One thing I am very adamant about is teaching my children to be kind to animals and to respect them and do what they can for them. One of the ways I am teaching them this is getting them involved in my animal rescue efforts.
For the last year and a half, give or take a month or two, we have been fostering dogs from local shelters to be adopted locally, or to be transported to a rescue out of state. The girls help me in the care of these dogs – and in teaching them basic obedience skills. I also volunteer at our local shelter, as much as I can at least, but they are too young to be involved there because of the shelter rules. But they sometimes go with me to pick up or pay a fee for one of the animals (if I pay the fee, the dog is pulled to the back to be neutered or spayed, so I don’t take possession of them right away), and they sometimes ask to go to an adoption event with our foster.
Yesterday, they both went with me to pull five Sheltie puppies and take them down the road to their rescue. Five 5 month old puppies, about 25 pounds each. We put them in the back of our SUV, in a crate, and then drove about 50 minutes down the road to the rescue. The rescue was in an old house with lots of land for some of the dogs to run. Lots of room for kennels in the back yard. Inside, every room I saw had crates with dogs in them. Everything was a clean and neat as the rainy day allowed for. The girls got to see the inner workings of a rescue, and the ladies there were very patient and answered a lot questions.
Opening up children to new experiences, teaching them kindness to animals, and modeling the behavior we want to see in them is one of the best things we can do for them. Opening their minds to new things leads to them asking questions. We cannot learn unless we have the opportunity to see, experience, and ask questions.
What opportunities do your children experience? Help us with new ideas for character growth!