Our darling dog has brought out empathy, care and concern for the feelings of another being the way no one else ever has. I think this is especially true of a rescued dog, since we know he was found on the street, abandoned and sad before he came to live with us. The children watched the shelter's volunteer groomer trim him as he stood shaking on the table, they heard that he had been full of burrs and had to be shaved when he was found. They saw how he barked and barked when he was penned up in a cage, but perfectly quiet and playful as soon as he was let out.
Then they heard from the trainer we are working with, how he could tell Jasper had been abused since he flinched when a hand came near his face, and the reason for his aggressiveness where food was concerned; he had been on the streets and starving. This broke everyone's heart and made us all even more gentle and kind towards him. If you haven't tried a dog for loyal, unconditional companionship in your family, you might want to give it some thought. If you need a project for educational purposes, you should consider a dog, if you are ready for one. There are so many wonderful dogs filling the cold metal cages of shelters all over the world. The kids have listened for years about the pros and cons of owning a dog (me pros, my husband cons), researched every breed you can imagine, settled on a non-allergenic dog that would work for us, and visited almost every shelter in the area searching for the right furry friend for us. Now they are learning the hows and whys of pet training and care and how to dog-proof a home and be careful with their favorite possessions.
We have watched him grow from a nervous, slightly hyper creature into a calm, stable loving one, happy with playing fetch, happy being brushed and fed, and happy just to lie at your feet and be with you.That's the nicest part about a dog, they ask nothing more in life than to be yours, and they give so much in return.