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Old 07-22-2006, 07:58 PM   #16
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pets give kids responsiblity
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Old 07-23-2006, 02:51 AM   #17
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You have all made valid points, it's going to be a hard decision when I have kids. And thank you for your kind words.
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Old 07-23-2006, 03:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by vaz02
pets give kids responsiblity
Only if the parents make sure the kids TAKE responsibility.
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:54 PM   #19
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Given the age of my golden retriever (5) and my girls (2 and 13 months), we will be facing the dreaded loss situation at an early point in their lives.

I wouldn't change anything though. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. The years of pure joy and comfort of a household pet and lessons in responsibility and fair/kind treatment far outweighs the pain of their passing in my experience. It will be tough but all of life's really important lessons are tough.

I can see getting a puppy a few years down the road before my older dog starts to decline to lessen the impact somewhat.

I hate thinking about it but it's inevitable and I've been there a few times before.
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:16 PM   #20
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We grew up with pets in our household and whe we were old enough and able (can't expect a toddler or pre schooler to walk, feed, etc a pet) we were given responsibility to care for our pets. I brought my son up with pets in the household because they are good as other family members, responsibility and pets really just enrich our lives. Now my son is off to college talking about getting out of the dorm and into his own place so he can get a dog or cat!

Yes there are happy and sad times with pets as they don't live forever (neither do we), but I do believe as sad as the times are when a pet is lost or we must choose to put them down for whatever reason, it is an enriching experience for an entire family to experience together.
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:17 PM   #21
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I’m sorry about your cat – and I’m sorry for everyone who’s shared a story about loosing a pet. It’s a terrible feeling – though I’ll say that it is a part of life and something you should keep at the back of your mind when getting a pet.

We had a wonderful dog, Rattles (don’t ask, there was a point to the name but I honesty can’t remember what), when I was growing up. I’d walk him in the woods by our house when I was home from school. When I was 16 my father was transferred to Milan and they couldn’t take Rattles with them. I couldn’t do anything since I was still away at school so we ended up convincing my grandparents to take him. He was getting old then and the move didn’t help. He became really odd. In the end we agreed that it was better to have him put down. I loved him dearly but I actually didn’t grieve as much as one would expect. I guess that I’d had the thought at the back of my mind for a while by then.
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Old 08-06-2006, 12:22 PM   #22
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"I think putting an animal down is the worst kind of death a child can witness."

I respectfully beg to differ, Screwtape. Seeing a loved animal eased out of his pain with his people there to comfort him is much better than witnessing a draw-out painful death fom disease or the damage done by a car or other lethal accidents. THOSE are traumatic. Missing out on the joys of having a pet as a child is a sad thing. Kids need to learn how to deal with death, I believe that keeping it a mystery will be counter-productive in the end.
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Old 08-06-2006, 02:24 PM   #23
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I would say having a pet as a child is essential.
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Old 08-06-2006, 08:13 PM   #24
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It certainly is essential. Humans need to learn to love and care for something voluntarily and unconditionally. Animals are a brilliant way of teaching children to love and care for something. Children who grow up without having animals to love have a heightened chance of becoming dysfunctional adults in some ways.
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:55 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Children who grow up without having animals to love have a heightened chance of becoming dysfunctional adults in some ways.
I'd like to see some evidence supporting this line of thinking. Would you say that a child with allergies that prevent having a pet is more likely to be dysfunctional? I'd say that having a pet can be a positive influence on a child but I disagree that it is essential. I'd also argue that unconditional love is not something that one learns but rather an innate characteristic that can either flourish or not although I must admit that I have no evidence for this claim
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:00 AM   #26
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There's tonnes of studies done on this. It's an extremely strong link in criminal behaviour. Even google (I imagine) would show an extensive amount if you searched for animal abuse and links to criminal behaviour. I should have realised someone would take the semantics route and bring up every possible variation as a reason for refuting this. My saying that I believe there is a strong chance those who grow up not knowing how to love and care for an animal gives a heightened risk for cruelty later on does not encompass everyone. Naturally. I'd hope no one would ever suggest otherwise. We're talking odds and statistics here, remember. There's no one rule fits all. Children who engage in animal cruelty learn violence. They may learn to attack the weak. They grow into teens who may grow into adults who may lack compassion and extend this later to their own children or to others in general. Cruelty may become a characteristic or trait if it is not taught out of them that it is wrong and are shown why.
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:26 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by silja


I'd like to see some evidence supporting this line of thinking. Would you say that a child with allergies that prevent having a pet is more likely to be dysfunctional? I'd say that having a pet can be a positive influence on a child but I disagree that it is essential. I'd also argue that unconditional love is not something that one learns but rather an innate characteristic that can either flourish or not although I must admit that I have no evidence for this claim
I agree. I was not allowed to have traditional pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters) growing up because of costs and my dad's allergies and I think I turned out OK....I now have four cats and can't wait until I have a yard large enough for a dog. You can learn to love and respect animals without owning them. We lived in a terrible part of town and were always taking in animals and calling the local rescue if we could not find the owner. We also had the local human societies bring animals to our schools and we learned about proper treatment as part of our normal school education.

There's plenty of research correlating antisocial and predatory behavior with kids being cruel to animals, but I don't believe there's any evidence to suggest the opposite is true - if one does not ever have a pet, s/he must turn out to be an antisocial, cruel human being - at least I've never come across anything of this sort in psychology and criminal justice courses. These types of disorders are only correlated to animal cruelty; the cruelty is one symptom. Of course children who grow up in homes where cruelty or apathy towards animals will learn it's OK to be cruel and apathetic towards humans, but I think there is definitely a middle ground between owning and loving pets and simply being cruel. Not having or allowing a child to have a pet doesn't imply the parents think animal cruelty is OK. I can't believe that children are inherently cruel towards animals unless taught otherwise via direct socialization with animals.
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:23 AM   #28
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:29 AM   #29
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Re: Should kids not have pets until thier teens?

Quote:
Originally posted by Screwtape2
I think putting an animal down is the worst kind of death a child can witness.
I disagree.

I'll preface this by saying I had a bit of an unconventional childhood in that my parents were sort of like Dr. Doolittle and so I've had nearly every pet in the book except cats whom for some reason none of us ever wanted. But dogs, birds, turtles, fish, chickens (yes!), rabbits, owned them all.

I remember very vividly when my childhood Collie had to be put to sleep. He was suffering from epilepsy and while we managed to control it with medication for years, at the end of his life his liver had started to give out and he was just very miserable and in a lot of pain. I didn't go to the vet with my parents but I remember how sad it was. The thing is, my brother and I who were kids at the time still say to this day that King got to die in peace and dignity, and my grandmother got to suffer the worst possible prolonged death imaginable to a human being with Alzheimer's.

So no, I don't think seeing a pet die is the end of the world. In fact, it's opened up my eyes to how I view end of life and what choices I'd like to have someday.
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:53 AM   #30
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Ehm - so wait, a little kid sees a vet give the dog a shot that will make it go to sleep. How is that traumatic? Because, literally, that's how it's done. The dog is given a lethal dose of anasthesia so that it will go to sleep. The organs shut down after the animal goes to sleep.

Trust me, it's really peaceful.
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