Most kids would love to have pets, that is the general notion isn't it? But how many of these children can actually be trusted with domestic animals - cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, etc. I have heard of instances where children have caused trauma to animals by the innocent act of playing with them.
For the children involved it was fun, but for the poor creatures in question, it resulted in being blinded in one eye for a dog, a bad limp for one poor cat, and being frightened to death for an unfortunate hamster who was just brought home from the pet shop.
Hearing about cases like these where irresponsible children were left to handle animals is one thing, having to witness it is another thing altogether, and this is where my story starts...........
A few days ago, we had some visitors who came with kids in tow. Usually when people come visiting, Lexie our nine month old German Shepherd is leashed to the fence, so there is no fear of her jumping on anyone.Lexie gets excited when she sees new people - so she might jump. After this particular visit however, I was left wondering whether we leashed the right one!
This is what transpired. After the adults entered the house, two boys aged about 8 years old remained outside in the porch, reason being - they wanted to play with Lexie. My brother had removed her leash, so did Lexie advance towards the boys? No. But they did, they kept touching her, putting their hands on any part of her body that they could reach, and poor Lexie kept running towards my brother each time this happened.
Even when she went to her water bowl to drink, the molestation continued, at this point she turned towards the boys and barred her teeth. But as soon as my brother told her: "NO!" she stopped. But the boys did not.
When I came to the front door to see what all the commotion was about, Lexie ran to me and stood up, holding the grill gate for support. As I was stroking her head, one of the boys came up and started tugging at her, urging her to get down. The poor dog jumped down and ran to my brother.
Irritated at what was happening, I went out to put a stop to the menace. Oh but just as I was stepping out, I heard the mother of the boy who was tugging at Lexie, proudly say that her son was a master of dogs! When my mum remarked that dogs might bite when you keep putting your hands in front of their mouth the way he kept doing.
My very frazzled brother then decided to take Lexie for grooming (to keep her out of harm's way). But alas the fates were not kind to Lexie that day. For shortly later, my brother called to say that the pet shop could not do any grooming that day.
You wanna know what the mothers of those two boys said when they heard this? They laughed and said God must have answered their sons' prayers! I was quite aghast that they actually thought it was okay for their sons to treat a dog like that! What if she was a fierce dog? What if she had bit their kids for molesting her? Dogs do that you know........have they not heard stories of people who have knowingly or not irritated dogs and got bitten for it.
Lexie's Ordeal Continues...........
My brother brings her back and ties her to the fence near the front gate, the kids run out in glee, swarming all over her. My brother who has to go out, calls me aside and tells me to keep a watch, as he fears they might hurt her in someway.
As I make my way back to Lexie, I see that the poor dear is curled up in a ball, trying to hide her head, as the boys keep at her. I know Lexie, I've known her since she was a little pup, I've never seen her so afraid of people before. She's a friendly dog, loves people, loves attention.
Naturally I'm pissed off, very pissed off at this point. So I tell the boys: "No touching, she's afraid!" Do they listen? Nope, they still try to get around me to touch her. So I keep shielding her while trying to swat the boys off, my sister who notices what is happening from inside, comes out and tries to get them away from Lexie too.
Then to my horror I notice that Lexie is shivering uncontrollably! I hollered for my mother who was in the midst of entertaining, telling her that Lexie was traumatised. Now if you were a parent, and you heard that your kid traumatised someone's pet, what would you do? At the very least you would go get your kid and admonish them right?
Oh no, not these parents, they were happy to sit and watch.......as my mum came out and chased the kids in and closed the door. For fear that they might traumatise Lexie again, my sister and I sat out with her until they left.
As we sat next to her, stroked her head and spoke to her soothingly, she gradually became better. Lexie was so afraid, that each time I even tried to move a little, she would quickly wrap her head and body around my leg, fearing that I might leave her, that's how frightened she was.
As much as Lexie a canine can understand the word "No", these boys obviously can't. Even when leaving, they ran towards her and tried to put their hands on her face and body once more. So once again I had to fend them off!
At one point I noticed that one of the boys was putting his hands over her eyes, so I lifted his hands off her and told him: "No!!" he ran off. It should have been his mum doing that, where was she? Is a dog so low down on the scale of existence that you think there is no need to discipline your child for such behaviour?
Education is Crucial
Who do I blame for how Lexie was treated? I blame the parents. Those boys are not toddlers. At their age, they should know that doing that could frighten her, and they should have been able to recognise her fear and stop.
But judging by their behaviour, it's obvious that they have not been taught to respect and care for other life forms. These boys clearly lacked humane education. I know that sometimes children get overly excited when seeing animals, but when the situation gets out of hand, it is the responsibility of the parents to intervene. When you don't, your kids are not learning the valuable lesson from the situation that they should be. So they are very likely to repeat such acts in future.
From my observation, many parents out there are so caught up with getting their kids to ace exams, that they forget that there are other aspects that need to be developed as well. Like emotional intelligence. IQ is not above EQ. You need both to be a well balanced human being.
Food for Thought
|Many people seemed to think this was soo.... cute. I didn't.|
|Do you know that some dogs have become crippled because of this. Read the story here:http://barkandclark.blogspot.com/2011/03/children-riding-dogs.html|