Friday, October 14, 2011
Bring Your Dog to School
One of my fondest memories of elementary school was classmates bringing their dogs to the classroom for show and tell. Does anybody do that today? I don't think so. But where I live in suburban Boston, plenty of people walk their kids to school and bring the dogs along for drop off. Some days there may be as many as a dozen dogs on school grounds. I think it's a good learning tool, even for the people who don't like it. Tolerance, if we're to believe the ideal, is a good thing to be applied across a diverse landscape. And there's more. Dogs are a way of life. They're not going anywhere. Irrational fear of them is, in my opinion, terribly limiting. A child with a dog phobia can cross off more than a third of potential playdates because there's a dog waiting at the home of their friend. That's unfortunate.
For those who say dogs don't belong at school, I just have a different opinion. If there are allergies, that's understandable. Just don't be oopy boopy about it. You can stay away from the dog just as easily as he or she can stay away from you. And, of course, the handler has a responsibility to have a good handle on their dog. Some of the best learning and growth happens when you confront your fears and get out of your comfort zone. The nice thing is, when dogless people give it a try, the dogs and their owners almost always and exceedingly help you in the effort. Agree, or disagree? Share a comment below.