Pets or No Pets?

I would like to also start this blog off by asking a question that has always given me mixed feelings. It seems to me that most children ADORE pets. The furrier , the better. But I also believe they can be extremely distracting. I once had a student , age 6 (and a half she emphatically says!) who wasn’t concentrating during the lesson. This was new as she seemed to always be relatively focused for her age. I asked her what was wrong and she whimpered “I … I … didn’t get to see Harold when I walked in ..” with a very sad expression and depressing tone. Harold is of course the name of my over sized and super friendly cat. I didn’t realize the full effect of how some children view pets until then.

Another story.

My studio is set up in my Grandmothers house currently and she used to have a pure white dog named Scout. Another young student of age 7 would always want to play with Scout after the lesson. If she didn’t accomplish this apparently important task before she left , I would be informed about it the next lesson. ”Mr. Dustin , where was Scout last time? I didn’t get to play with him.” , again with a sad expression and depressing tone.

It was a very sad day for her when I had to inform her that Scout “Passed away” , as the little dog developed some sort of disease inside his organs and the vet couldn’t save him. Her mother told me that she found her daughter crying multiple times because she wouldn’t be able to see Scout anymore.

Has anyone else ever had a child express themselves like this before after not having made interaction with their furry little friend before the lesson? Or are these seemingly rare experiences that don’t occur too frequently?

So my question is:

“Pets or no pets?”

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