Out of the Mouths of Babes

How many times have you heard me say, “She’s a working dog, so please don’t pet her. You’d be amazed at how many people have never heard it from anyone else. But there’s one little person who has, and she is not shy about telling you.

Several years ago, I gave a big plush golden retriever dog to one of my granddaughters. Because I had a Seeing Eye Dog ® named Sherry at the time, the child named her Sherry. As it happens with families with more than one shild, the good toys get passed along. Now Sherry belongs to 2—1/2 year old Bethany, but the dog’s name is now Dora. Bethany has met the real Dora several times in her young life, and while we encourage her to pet her “nicely,” I don’t recall saying in public in her presence, “Please don’t pet the dog.” But little kids are listening even when you think they aren’t, and she made note in that cute little head of hers.

Now she carries the plush version of Dora around and says to her sisters and her sisters’ friends, “This is Dora, but you can’t pet her, because she is a working dog.”

Bethany, you make me proud. You are my best little advocate.

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