This past weekend I got to fulfill my role as “Auntie” as I babysat my friend’s children. The kids came to my place so that they could have the dogs to play with, but, also so that the dogs (Wheaton) would be in their own space and be more comfortable as they don’t interact with kids very often so being in their own environment would give them an “escape” if necessary.
The kids are 9 (boy) and 6 (girl) and they were very respectful of the dogs. Their mum informed them of Wheaton’s story so they knew coming over that he was a special case. They even made reference to his “cage life” a few times, “we have to be careful cause Wheaton was in a cage for his whole life before he came here”. They moved slowly and calmly and respected his space. It was awesome to watch. As they respected him he became more curious of them….these smaller humans…who probably smelled like snacks! It was lovely!
We took the dogs for a walk. I showed the kids how to hold the leashes. The boy was in charge of walking Wheaton and the girl and I hung back and walked Daisy! Wheaton was a bit scared at first, being walked by this new little human so he kept looking over at me…..and then they’d get ahead and Wheaton would stop and turn around and come back to see Daisy. In distance, his walk was almost twice as long. The kids thought it was great to walk the dogs, they kept saying, “I never knew walking dogs could be so much fun!!” We weren’t even doing anything out of the ordinary…just around the block….dodging puddles!
We came back to the house and the kids drew pictures of the dogs. Also fun!
At one point the boy came running into the dining room to tell me that Wheaton let him pat his head. Wow!
All in all it was a good experience on both sides. And, after the kids went home, the dogs and I went to bed exhausted!!