Thursday, December 9, 2010

Baby and Dog Con't

Today's blog entry is dedicated to my darling God Daughter, Theadora. Every time Kelly (her mum) calls to tell me a story about Thea, she just fascinates me in how she learns, her intelligence, knowledge and compassion. The babies/toddlers we have talked about this week, are not really an exception to how kids learn and the intelligence they portray, but their parents on the other hand are EXCEPTIONAL for raising their little ones in this fashion.

Thea's pack consists of two cats Hugo and Murray and three dogs: Daphnie, Nicholi and Champ.

She is the only child, at least so far... and learns to share, play, manners, patience and rules by interacting with her four legged siblings, as well as by helping her mum with certain chores. Now that she can walk and talk (at least she thinks she can, I still can't understand her), she also thinks she is quite grown up and can do all the things her mum does.

By watching her doggy siblings play ball with mum, Thea now has learned the game of fetch. When mum throws the ball for the dogs, they run and get it, and bring it back to be praised for the wonderful job they just did. In Thea's mind, this seems like a pretty easy way to get mum to goo and gaa over her as well. She too now runs for the ball to retrieve it for the praise, and gets quite upset if they beat her to it.

From the moment Thea was brought home, her earliest lessons were teaching her kindness and to be gentle to all creatures. It is amazing how she generalizes the lessons she learns regarding respect for dogs, to other animals like lizards, squirrels and even spiders!

She has learned not to grab, to pet with open hands, to let the animal sniff you first, to be gentle, approach slowly, not to run away, and NOT to wake a sleeping animal. These lessons not only teach the child safety, but most importantly respect for other creatures... and if more kids were raised in this fashion, we would probably have very few chilren ever getting bit by dogs.

She loves dogs...well...any animal, insect, fish. She is kind to all creatures. From literally the day we brought her home from the hospital we have been teaching her appropriate ways to interact with animals (don't grab, pet with open hand, let them sniff you, be gentle, approach slowly, don't run away, don't wake a sleeping animal, etc.). Sure, its not all that amazing for a little girl to think puppies and kittens are cute, but the other day we were outside and found her bent over a big hairy spider saying "oh, he's so cute" and getting ready to pet it.

Here is a short story from her mum:

In teaching her about the animals in our home, we thought it would be good for her (and the dogs) if Thea was in charge of feeding them. She loves this "job". She goes and collects their bowls, brings them to me, I pour the food into them (she helps scoop), then she takes each dog their food by one. The dogs are obviously excited to eat, but she does NOT let them push her around. She will say "get back...not your turn yet...SIT" Then, when they sit and relax, she will put their food down and let them eat. Heaven forbid one of the dogs try to eat out of the other dogs bowl...she doesn't let them get away with that either.
She is also in charge of giving the dogs their treats before we leave the house every day. Champ's vision is failing and he has a hard time taking the treat nice because he can't really see it so he gets a bit snappy and nips her fingers from time to time. She will yell "Champy, take it nice! I don't like that. Take it nice!". Poor dogs....they really are very tolerant with our newest addition. "

Here is Thea, preparing for good night treat time, but little does she know, Champ is ahead of the game waiting patiently while she opens a new packet:

A little over two years of age, Thea can recognize many dogs by breed. Pretty awesome huh!

While many parents find it overwhelming and a burden to care for their pets when their new born arrives, and I am sure it is quite a change for the family.... don't forget it is for the dog as well. They are not a product that can be returned or called defective.

Thank you Humphrey family for sharing your wonderful baby and dog stories.

1 comment:

tailwaggin said...

Hi, I'm the Grammie to Thea and the dogs, and cats. As a baby Kelly was taught to respect all animals and their space. I'm so proud to see that she is passing this trait down to her daughter, Thea, as well. Being kind to all living things is a valuable and awesome characteristic to have. Thank you Teena for being a good friend and God Mother to Kelly and Thea.
Grammie Dora (Momma Dora)