Pets for Peace

Lucy Locket stars as "A Bookish Cat" in a pastel painting I did of her this week.

My pastel painting of my cat, Lucy Locket, who sits with me while I work

"Maggie", by Caron Dann, 2012.

“Maggie”, my brother’s dog, rescued from an animal shelter

These two pets don’t know each other, but my mother calls them her “grandchildren”. The dog is Maggie, who lives in the US with my brother and his wife. The cat is Lucy Locket, who lives with me in Melbourne, Australia. I share my paintings of them in this post, in answer to Kozo’s Bloggers for Peace challenge this month on raising children so they know the value of peace.
In order to truly promote peace in the world, you have to be a person who knows inner peace. I believe there are few experiences in our everyday lives that give this sort of peace as much as owning a pet does.
The undying love of a dog who thinks you are perfect, no matter what; the companionship, elegance and spirit of a cat who thinks you are part of its litter (or perhaps its servant); the sweetness of a small bird that will sit on your shoulder and mimic your sounds: these are pets I have known.
I’m a cat person. I’ve owned cats since I was very young. Times have changed since I was a child and we put the (un-neutered) cat OUT for the night. These days, my cat is an indoor being, perfectly happy in our townhouse. She has an enclosed courtyard to play in, and to wistfully watch birds strut across high-up roofs. She could, if she wanted, climb the fence and run off—but she never does.
As for Maggie, my brother’s dog, she’s an American rat-terrier. They acquired poor Maggie from an animal shelter. When she had been brought in, there were signs she had recently had puppies, but no trace of the puppies. Her claws were very long and she was malnourished. After that awful start, Maggie now has an idyllic life and is devoted to her owners.
If you have a pet, you have responsibilities to look after it, to keep it safe and to give it the affection it deserves. In return, this pet will be your greatest companion.
It doesn’t matter what you look like, whether you’re fat or thin, whether you’re rich or poor, whether you did well in school, whether you are popular or not, or whether you are talented at anything. As long as you look after it—which means training, of course, especially for dogs—your pet will love and respect you.
These are good lessons for children to learn: that love and care given will result in love and care back, and that life is about much more than material things.

2 thoughts on “Pets for Peace

  1. “These are good lessons for children to learn: that love and care given will result in love and care back, and that life is about much more than material things.” These words might just tip the scales of getting a pet for the family. My son just asked me 10 minutes ago, “Can turtles be pets, Daddy?” My younger son is taking a nap and hugging his stuffed dog, Lulu. Wonderful post, Caron.

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