Dogs and children together are often showed in an obviously trusting and loving relationship. This relationship has also been honoured in children’s literature, ranging from Lassie to Peter Pan, and generations have grown up not only having experienced wonderful times with childhood pets, but wishing their own children to have the same experience and, with a few simple considerations, they will.
Dogs can provide children with companionship and loyal friendship and in return children can provide their dog with affection and endless opportunities for activity and interaction. A family dog plays a key role in a child’s formative years, teaching him responsibility, besides developing nurturing and caring skills. Children with pets also generally have higher self-esteem and better social skills. Birthday parties, holidays, treats… children pamper their four-legged friend to the paws. But they are also aware of what are the important requirements for their pet. They might forget to take their own medicine but will remember Simba’s doctor appointment for sure.
When we interacted with few children about a feature on their relationship with their pet dog, there was immense excitement. One common request that we had from all these children was that Bollywood film industry should stop dog baiting insults and warned that wag-a-bon-ders like them might set their hounds loose. So scriptwriters beware, the younger generation is much better turned out than we might have expected.
D&P : What do you feel about animals and who do you like most? What do you learn from pets and how do you take care of them?
Sahil (Std 7, Sanskriti School): Animals have a very different world of their own. If you want to see what nature and power is, you have to understand the brilliant instincts of the animal world first. I had different kinds of pet but I like dogs most and especially my pet buddy Burney. He is totally my responsibility. My previous pet – a GSD Zaious – taught me what it involves in keeping a pet. It is not just about having a lovely expensive breed with who you can play with and then you completely forget him the next moment. I pay special attention to him since he cannot express his feelings. Burney listens to me and tries to read my mood and behaves accordingly. We get along like a house on fire. Sometimes when I am studying and he wants to play, he would come near me and try to show that we should actually go out and not sit at one place and get bored.
Having pets is a full-time responsibility and commitment to give them a great life. I know how to give basic first aid to an injured animal as I am a member of Friendicoes and I do whatever little I can. I have 11 stray puppies at my farmhouse. I wish all of us
could give every needy dog a home. Animals are great companions and it’s just superb having and getting to know them. All animals have moods and we should always look out to listen to them since they cannot talk in our language. If they are unhappy, we should always try to find out what’s wrong with them. I wish I could have a lot of dogs around me but I am happy that I have Burney and I am being able to give him all my care, love and attention.
D&P : What is the importance of pets in your life?
Sunny (Std. 9, GD Birla): I have four Rottweilers and one Dachshund at home. It’s just too amusing to see a huge and a tiny dog together. What I admire about dogs is that they are honest with you and let you know their feelings. They never hurt or are ignorant to your feelings. I feel they have an extraordinary power of understanding, just like God. They just seem to know it all. They are great fun, and you can spend hours and hours with them, without getting bored. They will follow you from room to room, always doing what you are doing. This four-legged friend is a true companion. My dogs are my family and most important for my life.
D&P: Do you love pets? Which pet animals do you like the best?
Kirat Gulati (Std 3, Ryan International): I am born and brought up amidst a lot of funny and cute Pugs and I can proudly say that I have company of four wonderful Pugs 24×7. They are Yoda, Figaro, Shasmo & Paris, of which Figaro is my favourite. I also love fish and have them at my home but my dogs are my actual friends. My Pugs think that I am the best and with them around, I can just spend hours indoor. They are my best friends and give me unconditional love. My friends are really envious of me since most of them want to keep pets but their parents don’t allow them to. It so happens that my entire family loves dogs.
I feel very sad for the stray dogs and I wish I could get all of them home and give them a healthy life like my Pugs.
D&P: How concerned are you about your pet animals? Do they form an integral part of your life? Do you always have time for them?
Abhishek Swarup (Std 10, Pathways World School): I had my first pet in 2000, which was a Golden Retriever. In 2003, we got our second pet and that was just the beginning and today I have as many as 12 dogs. They are Boxer (Brindle), Labradors (Mr. Black and Mr. Brown), Cocker Spaniel
(Mr. Patch), Pug (Oscar), St. Bernard (Lord Saint),
Great Danes (Lord Alexander and Lord Napoleon), German Shepherds (Caesar and Kaiser) and Golden Retriever (Mr. Gold). I have gathered a lot of knowledge about their health and diet. My whole family loves them immensely.
We keep a track of their medical records and all of them are looked after properly with utmost care. They never let us feel lonely. When my mom is not there, they take care of me just like she would. Watching them basking in the sun or playing around with each other is so “cool” because the amount of love they generate is amazing. We love them to the core and ensure all their needs are met.
Pets tell me a way of life and have made me a better person.