Many parents have heard the urgent pleadings of their children, who have become ecstatic, in the blissful hopes of having a pet of their very own, to love and cherish. No thoughts of emptying clumps from dirty litter boxes, nor of bathing a muddy pooch, nor even of mucking out a smelly stall, can mar the initial excitement of these young ones.
Outright begging continues, with promises to give up allowances to pay for feed, and passionate assurances that, “Yes, I will take care of him (or her), honest!”
Having been raised in a household blessed, over the years, with pets of many species, shapes, sizes, and temperaments, I can easily attest to the fact that pets can be wonderful additions to your family. However, as an adult, I realize that it isn’t only the child who gains a pet, but also the entire family.
With that being said, I suggest that, before you give in to those tender little hearts, who long to shower their unconditional love on some unsuspecting creature, you do some thorough research. Find out all you can about the habits and temperament of your intended pet, as well as, costs and requirements for the care needs, health, and possible training involved (for both pets and owners), to prepare everyone for the undertaking. Not doing so opens up possibilities for disappointment—or worse—various degrees of disaster, from dashed hopes and broken hearts, or worse. Your child, the pet, or others could be injured, neglected, or even lose their life.
The internet or library, other pet owners, and even veterinarians can all help you with information and recommendations. The final decision and responsibility will be yours. If you ultimately decide to make the commitment to your child, and his or her pet, the experience of loving and being loved, and of learning responsibility, can become an important part of their growth and maturity.
Below are some pictures that I’ve gathered, of interactions between children and animals that remind me of my childhood. Enjoy!
(Note: All rights remain the property of their respective owners.)