Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A girl and her dog


Nose to nose
London, ON, October 2007

I often stop myself in the house and quietly watch the kids play with the dog. They're such unique little people, and each one of them seems to have developed a similarly unique relationship with our furry little man. I'm cooking up blog entries for each one of them, but I thought I'd start with Dahlia because she's appointed herself the role of dog-mother.

In recent weeks, she's been training him - not easy given his bouncy Schnauzer DNA - and he's up to sitting, staying and giving high-fives. Her voice practically sings as she works him through the process again and again, rewarding him with bits of food (he thinks it's a real treat. Shhh!) every time he succeeds.

Like me, she isn't too jazzed when she first wakes up in the morning. But a visit from Frasier returns the smile to her voice and gets her day off to a happy start. Same thing when she returns home after school, drops down to the floor and hugs her wiggly puppy. She asks him about his day with a tone that's strictly reserved for him, and that's when I like to hover by the walls and just take in the scene.

Sometimes, it seems as if he'll follow her to the ends of the earth. Which is yet more proof that bringing him home was the right thing to do. As life continues to throw less-than-pretty challenges at us, it's nice to know that a small dog can bring an instant smile to our little girl's soul.

Your turn: Children bonding with pets. Please discuss.

11 comments:

Anna said...

What a wonderful profile of two buddies!

Mommy Mechanics said...

That pic is really sweet. I grew up with a little schnauzer too I just loved her.

Jill said...

Beautiful photo!!

There is nothing sweeter than watching my daughters fawn over our (their) dog. They treat Libby (the 75 Labrador) like she was a 5 pound pooch. They lay on her, kiss her, cuddle her, and demand that she sleep on their bed with them at all times. She's almost 7, and still acts like a puppy, but when she's with them she's as gentle as can be.

Jennifer said...

That's a very sweet picture.

I'm not sure if this is "bonding" but my daughter use to go up and kiss the fish tank :)

barbie2be said...

i have a voice that is reserved for my fur-baby moo. when i leave the house i often remind him if i have plans for the evening or if i will be coming straight home from work. when i get home i ask him about his day.

yes, friends and neighbors, i am the crazy cat lady with only one cat.

Sassy Mama Bear said...

I love the picture and the story. Sadly my children have not had the pleasure of being able to bond with a pet, but I must say waching them bond with their baby nephews has been a wonderful thing to watch. I never knew my rough and tumble teen boys could be so gentle as they are with the infants.

byrningbunny said...

That's is a beautiful picture. She is so lucky to have her dog.

Scarlet said...

I hear you. Brady, our soon-to-be one year old Lab has the same effect on our kids (the parents, too, for that matter). I'm sure it has something with his puppy dog eyes and softer than soft fur. Not to mention he's always so happy to see us, jumping with his tail wagging and ready to give kisses, and who doesn't smile when they get that kind of warm, loving reception?

lissa said...

Beautiful picture!

When I went to the SPCA to adopt Spirit, Josh was with me. He was 7 at the time. Though the kids had wanted a dog, it wasn't the right time for one, so a cat was a perfect compromise. Spirit took to Josh immediately - perhaps because Josh was there, or because Josh was more confident with him than 3-1/2-year-old Sam. But Spirit, almost from day 1, has slept on Josh's bed, and goes to Josh even though he is an "everyone's" cat.

When we got Theo, both boys were with me. But perhaps as Spirit was already "Josh's", Theo has become Sam's buddy. Yes, he is my shadow (being the only female human in the house, he definitely knows his mama) but he and Sam have the bond Josh and Spirit do, even though Theo is also everyone's puppy.

There is a special connection between kids and their animal friends. Even Josh's betta fish and Sam's hamster know their boys...

It's been almost a year since Theo came to live with us and Sam hasn't stopped thanking me. It's beautiful to see a bundle of fur (3-1/2 pounds when he came to our house and all of 8 pounds now) change the dynamic in our house, and put the light in a child's eyes.

We're bird-sitting for the next 2 weeks and the kids even have a special affection for animals not their own. It's amazing too, how the birds have taken to the boys even though they have kids of their own. I think there's more to the animal kingdom than we know...

Heidi said...

Carmi, this photo absolutely melts my heart! There in the photo are two wonderful, beautiful souls...

I grew up with a cocker-poodle-schnauzer mix, Jerry, and he was my buddy. I wish I had time for a puppy-dog right now, but our greatly-loved cat, Larry, is doing a good job of those fuzzy hugs.

The relationship between an animal and children is so amazing... teaching the little ones incredible ways of communication that can not be learned anywhere else, I think.

Snaggle Tooth said...

The boxer puppy given to our family was responsible for helping me through an introverted childhood. Ever since, I've bonded with animals very easily.

Pets are always happy to see you-