Our dog Duke has been so depressed this week. He's a loveable yellow lab who is always willing to run with the kids, chase a ball or go for a long walk by the river. Not this week. He lays on the couch, mopes to his bowl for his breakfast and then returns to the couch.
So, why is this week different? School has started and he is missing our daughter. He misses her so much that he sleeps in her room every night and jumps in the car with her every morning to take her to school.
As a clinical social worker, I often think clinically about children and families. Duke has allowed me to see the world through his eyes this week; he is completely sad and miserable about the fact that part of his family is leaving everyday for a huge chunk of time. As the school year gets started, many parents are thankful for the reprieve and break from hanging with the kids all day. The "No Kill Policy": How To Control Anger As A Parent
I've decided that we can learn a lot from animals about parenting. Plus, there is a ton of research to support the benefits of relationships between humans and animals. Here are just a few of the things that I have learned:
1. Animals are always happy to see you. No matter what has happened during the day, your animals want plenty of love and attention. Children often want the same things, but go about it differently.
2. Pets are the ultimate forgivers and never hold grudges. As humans, we can spend all day thinking about what our loved ones have done to make us angry. Yes, animals have a memory, but really, all they want is for their humans to love them. We usually forgive them pretty quickly — we just need to apply that same rule to our loved ones.
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