• A Magic Bond

    Children raised away from the big cities have a lot of advantages over their down-town peers. They have more access to outdoor recreation and in many cases their parents find it practical to get these kids a dog as a companion. Bonded early, the relationship is beneficial for both dog and child and the joys they experience together are wonderful to see.

    If you were one of these lucky kids, nothing more has to be said. No one can tell you that dogs canít communicate as their body-language and facial expressions often work even better than words do between humans. Dogs donít lie like people do, they send their messages clearly and simply. Many breeds like collies, Newfoundland, Labrador and golden retrievers seem to consider themselves humansÖ or at least a full member of the family with rights and responsibilities to match.

    Not that raising a dog is always an easy task; they take a lot of care and attention as well as costing quite a bit to maintain their health. The payback is in more than just companionship though as the rapport between a child and a family pet is beneficial to the emotional development of almost any child. There is a security benefit also because dogs warn of intruders, fires, traffic hazards and the approach of other animals.

    About twelve years ago a middle-of-the-night sneak thief entered three of five houses in my neighbourhood but chose to avoid the two homes with large dogs. My friendly retriever growled at the front door a few times that night and that was all it took to maintain our security.

    Unfortunately, as is our human tendency, some people get carried away with the power they get from owning a dog willing to fight for them and obtain specially bred animals that threaten anyone at any time. Recent attacks in the news shouldnít reflect badly on the human-dog relationship so beneficial to everyone, they are instead indicative of poor human judgment, even a lack of common sense.

    Over-looking these unhealthy examples, we can still believe that mostly the magic bond between kids and dogs is good. It teaches kids to love, it brings happiness, contentment and leaves them with sweet memories of golden days with a real best friend.

    Grant Ferris
    Grey/Bruce Outdoors