Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Child Support"

When my Chi, "Ginger", had puppies she was a great mother.  Though she trusted my wife and I with her "kids", she would get up and follow us around if we picked up one of her pups.  She was gracious enough to try not showing  her anxiety as we held a pup, but you knew she was under some tension until they were returned to her care.
If Ginger thought the "runt" was not getting enough nursing she would shuffle the other pups around and make sure the smallest pup got equal time.  

After the pups opened their eyes and began wondering around she allowed them their freedom; the freedom to learn and explore on their own so that they might be better prepared for the world when it was time for them to go into it.  But when it was bedtime she would go around and round them all up and make sure they were all home safe for the night.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing I observed with her pup rearing was the way she would toughen her pups up.  Ginger delighted in roughhousing with each pup.  She would run and knock them over, chew on an ear a bit, mock growl and fight, then lick them on the head and send them on their way.  When she saw a pup that was not roughhousing, or appeared to be meek, she would knock them all over the floor, nudge them into playful confrontation, bark at them, and continue to do so until the pup was aroused enough to stand strong and fight for their own slice of respect and dignity.  
Her child rearing must have worked because we received so many complimentary comments from those who adopted the pups.  "So loving, so feisty, so full of life", they would all say of Ginger's children.

I've seen parents today who would do well to emulate what my Ginger instinctively did in raising her children.  Keep a close eye on them, allow them the freedom to explore the world, but make sure they are safe at home when evening comes.  Encourage them to stand up for themselves and fight for what they believe in.

And never be afraid to give a little tough love when the occasion calls for it.


  1. Exactly how we are raising ours. My boys as 16 and 14. Polite, frugal, smart, and most important, thinkers. Yes I am bragging. Just trying to leave the world in a better place when I am gone.


    1. PS And thanks for your stories here and at Lost. I don't comment often but read always.


  2. Nice going, Jilly....we need more men like your boys for a better world.

  3. Jilly, it warms the cockles of my heart when I hear that someone enjoys my blogs. Always nice to hear.