There is a whole chapter called Learning to Love With Pets and Pseudo Pets in the book Calm and Compassionate Children by Susan Usha Dermond*. She talks about how children's hearts are opened by animals, and that "pets help children develop the heart's capacity to love." "Pets are especially important as a socially acceptable outlet for boys to show tenderness," and children have been observed to be "softer somehow, less inclined to pick at each other" when they spend time with animals. By taking care of animals children develop the "ability to see the world from another's perspective [which is] part of [their] learning to establish relationships with others and relate to their realities".
*I've included an affiliate link to the book at the bottom of this post
A Card Fit for a Dog
Yummy used some paper scraps and glue to create a card for Katie. I printed some words using a font of Yummy's choice and she glued them onto the card as well. She used my Mr. Sketch markers to draw a picture of a very hairy Katie in green. SHe was very careful to hide the card until Katie's birthday, not wanting to ruin the surprise.
Yummy decided that the dogs needed birthday crowns to be able to properly celebrate so I cut a cardboard tube into crowns for Yummy to draw on and embellish with gems. Neither of the dogs especially enjoyed wearing their hats -Jesse ran off to eat his after posing for a quick photo.
I found a recipe for dog cupcakes which delighted Yummy, lover of cupcakes. She helped me measure and mix the ingredients and even tasted the finished product -she declared them delicious. They looked pretty cute, topped with some leftover icing and dog treats. Katie did not appreciate the aesthetics, and downed hers in one gulp. Jesse was much more delicate with his, taking it daintily in his teeth and nibbling away at it.
For Katie's special day we made sure we did all of her favourite things: took her for a walk, walked her to the dugout for a swim, and found her a special stick to chew on. It was a fun birthday celebration for our loyal and sweet dog.