Animals teach kids important lessons about responsibility and respect for life.
As caretakers of animals . . . whether farm animals or companion animals . . . we often face tough decisions. When an animal is ill or injured, it’s our great responsibility to decide if we should do what we can to save it or if we should end its life humanely.
When kids are involved in caring for and rescuing animals, they learn important lessons about life and death. They learn to accept responsibility and respect life.
A couple winters ago, one of our farm kittens got wet and was found perilously close to death. I submerged her in a small pail of warm water to bring her body temperature back up. When she started mewing and moving again, I turned her care over to my kids. I gave them a blow dryer and told them that the kitten needed be fluffy and dry again if we were going to save her. Long story short . . . that farm kitten is now our house cat.
Last week, Dan found a baby chick nearly dead. This was a free-range chick hatched out by one of our hens. The chickens always drink milk from the dish we set out for the cats. Dan found the baby chick lying next to the milk dish, saturated in milk. And even though it was a warm day, the chick was seriously chilled without its downy insulation.
Dan said we should try to save it, so I held the chick in the same small pail of warm water. Before long, the chick was kicking its legs and chirping. So I gave Dan the blow dryer. This time he didn’t need any directions; he knew what to do.
[Read the rest of this post in the Hoard's Dairyman HD Notebook.]