Dogs: A Child’s Best Toy

A recent Daily Prompt asked what was  your favorite childhood toy.  Mine? my dog Lady.  And yes, a dog is not a toy. And  a dog offers much more than play  to a child or a family.

Picture of dog in water

Punky, no longer a Pup, but still playing hard; he helps me parent my grandchildren. Dogs teach as much as parents when it comes to life, manners and morals.

This picture was taken on our recent road trip east.  At a rest stop on Lake Michigan, Punky braved the water and learned to swim.   In this picture, he was turning to tell me to throw a stick for him to fetch.

The Punk is now two years old in human terms, a teen in dog life terms. Fortunately, being a teen-aged dog does not involve ditching  parents

Pets have enriched my life. I was a lonely child and my wise mother helped me deal with that by rescuing Lady from our local shelter.   David went on a hunger strike to get a dog and Prince was finally added. Lady saved my emotional life and Prince saved David’s.  Dogs give a type of unconditional love,  even the best of parents cannot always give.   

Parent advice

If you are a parent and  a pet person, you know what I am talking about.

If you are not a pet person you are not alone. Not everyone is a pet lover. However, pets build emotional fitness and strengthen Emotional Intelligence in children. Dogs offer more than most other pets.

As James Garbarino, a leading researcher into what makes us strong says this about dogs impact on humans: “….our relationship with dogs …provides the best opportunity to learn to save the future of the planet as a whole and of ourselves as individuals.” 

Another plus for dogs, they are protective of their pack members. Recently,  a family credited their dog with alerting them to the abuse of a nanny.  The dog began acting aggressively toward the nanny and the mother began to wonder way.  She left her cell phone on and hidden; soon she heard her child being slapped around.

I know one time when I was at my wit’s end and about to lose it. our then dog Brutus, moved between me and my crying baby and  growled at me.  Brought me to my senses. Dogs know better than adults about who needs protecting.

Parenting tips

Can’t stand the thought of one more thing to tend to or If a dog seems like too much, try to find some type of pet to  join your family.   . Here are some ideas for introducing animals into your child’s life

  •  Even a gold-fish will teach responsibility and school aged children can become the fishes sole care taker.
  • Some teachers have pets in their classroom and need volunteers to care for them on weekends.
  • A visit petting zoos and farms.
  • If there is  enough money learning to ride a horse empowers.  I know learning to ride, made me emotionally stronger.
  • Teens can earn money walking a neighbor’s dog.  
  • Teens can also volunteer at a dog shelter.

stay strong

Remember to find some time for you;  you can only care for your family, if you also care for yourself.

Share this post if you think someone will benefit, minimally you will give me a bit of pleasure.


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