Saturday, May 5, 2007

Love Your Neighbor~RESPONSIBILITY!

Life can be hard, and sometimes it is hard to let your children (that you love dearly) experience hard lessons.

Our children, as most, LOVE animals, especially Emma. If it were up to them we'd have at least 3 of every creature, and some would live in the house with us. Jeff and I were raised with animals in the house, but for the past 10 years or so we've chosen to have no inside pets, for several reasons. When Josh brought home a 6 week old boxer puppy18 months ago we let her stay in the house...she was so tiny...and so sweet... But then it got to be too much. After the death of a very dear friend a couple of months ago we inherited the momma boxer. This was in addition to our lab (whom is our favorite pet ever), a few cats and a rabbit, who all stay out side.

Our lab is harmless, unless you are a squirrel or a bird,
and he has free roam of the yard. Scrappy hoping Jeff will drop some of his ice cream.

The boxer puppy is a riot, but the momma is a bit aggressive with cats and such, so they stay in their pen unless one of us is outside to keep an eye on them.
This is Savanna getting her bath last week.

Today the boxers were out playing (boxers are so much fun), Emma was out with them. Then a neighbor's dog came in our yard...it is a small dog that is about equal with a child in the eyes of the owner. Well...our momma boxer decided to 'play' with it...roughly, then Savanna, her pup, got in on it. Although boxers are VERY playful, they are also all muscle. Then our harmless lab (who is about 8 years old) got in on it and Emma had a hard time getting them to break it up. Jeff and I were gone for about 30 minutes while all of this happened.

The short of it is that the neighbor's dog ended up with a trip to the vet and stitches, but we think she will be OK. Jeff and the girls went to talk with owners (we are always on good terms with our neighbors, but they called the law instead of calling us???!!! Josh just mowed their yard for free last week, etc...)

Anyway, we told the girls that they are their pets (because if it were up to me and Jeff we'd have none) and that they should offer to pay the bill. So they did, plus Olivia and I went and bought their dog some doggie treats as an "I'm sorry" jester. The girls got into their savings and paid for the vet visit of $105. (even though their dog came into OUR yard when this happened) We've been telling the children all day relationships with humans, especially neighbors are more important than animals. Josh will chip towards the vet bill and so will Jeff and I, but today we wanted the girls to see how important pet ownership is. They think mom and dad are cold hearted because we won't keep every creature that crawls across their path.

So we have decided to find the boxers a good COUNTRY home. :o(
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This reminds me of when Josh was 15 and he had learned a little about installing speakers in a car. Well........he convinced his grandmother to let him do something with the speakers in her car (I can't remember the details). Grandma lives alone and over an hour away from any family members. The next day after Josh came home, Grandma could not get her car to start as she needed to get to work. She had to call a tow truck and pay a mechanic to 'repair' her car. Come to find our Josh had cut a very important wire.

We made him pay for the repairs from his money he had earned, I think it was about $115. Yes, it was hard to watch him have to pay for this, but it was a lesson that needed to be learned. It is called RESPONSIBILITY! If he was big enough to cut the wire, he was big enough to take responsibility for it. If the children want to own pets then they must take the responsibility for them. (of course we buy most of the food etc... but you get the point)

I hope they will be better adults for it. sigh...it's been a loooooong day! We would LOVE to move to the country.

1 comment:

Mama Russell said...

Great job, Kathy and Jeff, on teaching responsibility. Children just aren't taught that anymore and it is such a blessing to read your account of how you taught your children this important and godly value. In His Grace,
Mama Russell