Caring for animals teaches children to think about something besides themselves. If you have a pet, you know that taking care of it is a great way for kids to learn some responsibility. You also probably know that most of that responsibility falls on you … but still.
We have a dog and two cats. My kids feed, walk, brush, bathe, train, and scoop their poop.
Sometimes we foster dogs from shelters. It allows shelters to spring animals from the pound so they don’t, well, there’s no polite way of saying it—get killed. Shelters and rescues love to have volunteers who will foster dogs for a couple of weeks until the animal is adopted.
Dogs in homes do better than dogs in shelters. You would, too. A dog from a foster home is infinitely more adoptable than a dog who has been living in a shelter. They are healthier and better behaved. My house is a trifecta of dog challenges: Cats, kids, and no fence. Dogs who fit in at my house make pretty good pets.
I know it’s not for everyone. To be honest, I plan to quit fostering soon because I want new carpet. I’m not so great of an animal-lover that I’ll sacrifice new carpets. But it’s a small thing to do to teach my kids to be good stewards of the living things in this world. Click on the slideshow to see some of the dogs we’ve helped and what they taught us. nggallery id=’127355′