This is the final post from the archives of author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg who as you can tell from some of her books is a dog lover. Children and pets can be magical and bonds are formed that ensure a child never feels unsafe or alone throughout their early years. In this post Patricia explores this in more details.
Pets — Understanding Your Child’s Affinity Towards Animals (2018) by Patricia Furstenberg
How does a child react when interacting with an animal? Smiling, the entire body filled with enthusiasm and exhilaration? Small fingers enjoying and learning from the experience of touching the pet’s fur? Watchful eyes fixed on the animal and, you just know it, questions about to start pouring?
Or perhaps a child may close his eyes to feel the pet he is holding, to become one with it… “I am a horse…” “I am a rabbit…” “I am a lion cub on the African plains…” “I am alive!” Children, just like animals, live in the present; where the heart pulsates and the wind is fragrant, if only you pay attention.
When a child meets an animal, there is a much stronger connection that takes place. It goes beyond the sensory or the visual stimulation of touching and observing. For a child, being in the company of an animal is more significant than the educational lesson adults want them to take from it.
A biological connection is already in place when a child and an animal meet. Be it an animal or an insect, just by being different to us, they a child’s attention –– in most cases, to stir his or her caring and nurturing instinct. Children have it in their hearts: the empathy, the understanding that what is small needs to be protected, as well as the desire and the need to look after it and nurture it.
As Kahlil Gibran put it, “Your children are not your children; they are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.”
Human’s interest in animals is wired into our DNA.
“Biophilia” was defined in 1984 by E.O.Wilson as “the innate tendency [in human beings] to focus on life and lifelike process. To an extent still undervalued in philosophy and religion, our existence depends on this propensity, our spirit is woven from it, hopes rises on its currents”. The disposition towards nature and the living is prominent in youngsters. Children flourish when they are outdoors, especially when interacting with living animals.
Children value creatures for what they really are, alive. A kid connects with a ladybird just as well as she bonds with a kitten or a horse. When we take our children to the zoo, the link (unseen, between children and animals) is already in place.
The invisible wire is what keeps our youngster glued to the cage of an elephant, or the aquarium and its penguins. The child has “seen” more than the animal in its natural habitat. He treasures and celebrates having met another living being. And this moment often becomes one of a child’s most treasured memories.
What is different from us should and can be treasured, just because it is puzzling and thrilling and, at the same time, stimulating.
Think about how much children enjoy stories about animals. Why is that? Wild animals live in “shelters” that are different from ours, and which they build themselves! Animals find their own, food and it is often strange-looking and so different from ours. Animals can do so many other things we haven’t seen any human being doing. Animals choose their own special lives, and we are but blessed to be a part of them –– to observe and enjoy them.
If this is not enough, there is also an added benefit to children’s natural bond with living things. Studies show that when a child’s innate love and care towards nature is being nurtured and encouraged, it not only fuels the child’s inner desire to learn, but in the long run, it develops the child emotionally.
Children who are understood and encouraged to care for animals will grow into thoughtful adults with a higher EQ (Emotional Quotient). An individual with a high EQ will be better able to recognise and express their own emotions, as well as the emotions of those around them. They will be able to easily put them into words and analyse them, then react in consequence –– a vital task in improving our social skills and, by extension, the social welfare of each generation.
©Patricia Furstenberg 2017
Initially published on the Huffington Post SA on 5 November 2017
About Silent Heroes
‘Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.
*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*
When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate. The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.
The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.
Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.
Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.
From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.”
“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?”
“When soldiers grieve, time takes a screenshot and a new star rises in the sky.”
One of the recent reviews for the book
Ms, Furstenberg’s concise yet sentimental style takes us through an emotional book. Her vivid descriptions, both physical and emotional, opened up my mind and my heart to the American soldier’s and the Afghanistan people’s turmoils. The book embraces the special relationship built between humans as well as soldiers with their canine partners who play a very important role. A silent role. Have you ever read about these wonderful dogs? I have not. I’ve read a lot about the situation in Afghanistan but her research delves into areas I wasn’t familiar with. The culture of this country is revealed by her words in such a way that made me enthralled by the citizens and appalled by the Taliban. Read it and be taken on a journey of brutality and humanity which left me feeling happy to be part of the human race. There is hope for a better world.
Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07V4GMRV6/
A small selection of books by Patricia Furstenberg
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Furstenberg/e/B018QGC570
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Patricia-Furstenberg/e/B06ZZ2H3R4
Read more reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8867736.Patricia_Furstenberg
Patricia Furstenberg is a multi-genre author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about history, art, dogs and the human mind. “Silent Heroes” is her 13th book and her first contemporary fiction novel. So far Patricia wrote historical fiction, poetry and children’s books. All her books have one common denominator, dogs.
What fuels her is her fascination with words and coffee. She is the author of the bestseller Joyful Trouble and a prolific writer working on her next novel already, a historical fiction. Will it feature a dog as well? Only tme will tell. Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.
Connect to Patricia.
Author Blog: http://alluringcreations.co.za/wp/
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/patfurstenberg
My thanks to Patricia for allowing me to access her blog and to share some of the terrific posts with you and I hope you will head over and exlore her archives further. Thanks Sally