Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thoughts & Convictions: Concerning Animals

When we were expecting Nolin, Paul & I began writing Thoughts & Convictions on Raising a Tiny Markham.   This was a document mostly for us so we could seriously think about & document the way that we feel we should raise children.  It is always a work in progress, as we learn & grow.  I thought I would share a few things that we feel strongly about.

Kai was recently sick for about a week & had to spend the night at the Vet.  He had never had to do this before, so he has been on my mind a lot lately.  Our home was seriously missing a huge piece while he was gone, so I think there is no better place to start than with our thoughts on furry friends.  

This is what we wrote concerning animals:
Animals are a very important part of our lives.  To us, they are family members, not simply a pet.  We feel that animals should be loved and taken care.  We do not want to shelter Nolin from animals in nature.  We want to allow her to safely experience them and be curious so she can develop a love for them also. 
Anyone that knows us, knows how important Kai (our weimaraner) is to us.  Kai goes everywhere he can with us.  If public places allowed dogs inside, we would never be without him!  He is such a good dog & our lives would be so different without him.  To the outsider, Kai may seem a little wild, but he really is so well-behaved with us.  Weims just have a lot of love and energy!  Of course, Kai's life is about the change, just as ours is.  But we hope to keep his life from drastically changing - meaning that he will still be going with us as much as possible and he will still be allowed to be on the couch, etc.  We both feel that animals should play a big part in the raising of a child.  In Paul's words - Animals constantly remind humans who they are and that the world is with us, not for us.  We realize that it will take a lot of work when Nolin arrives.  But we plan to let Kai be curious and hope that Nolin will be cuddling on the couch with Kai in no time!  More than anything, we want Noin to know and love Kai as much as we both do.

Nolin & Kai have been together now for over 15 months.  Possibly longer even, considering Kai was probably the first thing Nolin ever heard!  They aren't yet cuddling on the couch - Kai is too anxious & Nolin doesn't sit still!  But, these two really are best buddies.  From the beginning, we allowed Kai to be curious about Nolin & now Nolin is able to be curious about Kai.  She loves to hug & kiss him.  In fact, she won't leave the house without giving him a kiss!  Nolin wants to help take care of him by feeding him, cleaning his paws, brushing him, & more.  They love to chase each other through the house & Nolin continuously brings toys to Kai.

Don't get me wrong, there are difficult times!  It has been hard on Kai to have to stay quiet for a baby to sleep.  She sleeps about 14 hours of the day, so that's a lot of quiet time for a crazy pup!  There are also times when Nolin chases Kai from spot to spot when he is trying to get some peace & quiet.  He has fussed at her a few times, but he would never hurt her.  Soon she will be old enough to understand when he wants to be left alone.

Since Nolin has been around Kai her entire life, she understands animals as a part of our lives.  She loves dogs - maybe too much for dogs that we don't know!  Anytime she sees a dog, she pats herself (the sign is to pat your leg) & she says, "ooof, ooof, ooof, ooof".  I just love hearing her little bark!

We haven't had the chance to have Nolin around many other animals yet, except some chickens & goats (which she was equally curious about).  But I hope to take her to the zoo for the first time very soon.  I know she will love seeing the animals from our books in person!  

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