When ‘Mrs A’ wrote to me asking if a pet is good for a child’s development, I drew on my experience as a mother to give her an example of how invaluable a little friend can be.
When my daughter was 6, we bought an adorable little puppy which we let her name ‘Mr Waggy’. It’s really useful for a child to see how discipline can affect a pet’s behaviour, and so it would prove with Molly’s ‘woofy bff’.
No-one likes to see a dog begging for food, it can be off-putting to visitors and lead to some quite naughty behaviour. The key is to avoid slipping them tit-bits and morsels at the dining table: they’ll soon learn that food only comes to them in their own darling little bowl!
And so it was with Mr Waggy. His behaviour was perfect, like a little animated doll, most of the time you’d hardly know he was there. In many ways, the perfect role-model for a child. But then I noticed a change. One day, Mr Waggy looked at my sandwich.
I knew something was up and with the use of some simple surveillance equipment, I recorded Molly slipping him a sausage from her plate. I knew it! That deceitful little bitch was betraying me!
Well, to cut a long story short I packed Mr Woofy off for a holiday and when Molly asked, I explained that he’d died because someone had spoiled him.
I told her I knew it couldn’t have been her that had fed him a ‘Taste the Difference’ pork sausage at approximately 5.16pm the previous evening. But she immediately dissolved, and confessed to her sin.
Needless to say, she’d learned a valuable lesson in life, and earned a three-month ban from playing with her friends. And as for Mr Woofy? I hadn’t really ‘sent him on holiday’. It’s much more economical to drown them and simply buy a new one.
Hope that helps! There’s no need to thank me, I do this for love.