Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - 50

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Section I

Social Skills
All children will experience the feeling of being unwanted or unloved. A pet
will always accept children and provide them with a sense of being loved
and wanted.
By learning to understand a pet's body language, emotions, and needs,
children develop a stronger sense of responsibility and personal worth.
Children can develop skills that are important for when they become
adults. Many of these same skills are important in caring for children, the
elderly, and the disabled.

respect and Compassion
Daily caring for a pet can help develop a sense of respect and compassion.
A child will recognize changes in the animal's behavior, such as illness,
depression, or annoyance at the child. By recognizing these changes and
having consideration, a child can transfer these intuitions to others. The
child also learns to appreciate the effect his or her actions has on others.
Erika Friedman, a professor of health and nutrition sciences at Brooklyn
College of the City University of New York, in an article for the Courier,
states, "In early childhood pets provide a connection to the natural world
and are instrumental in teaching respect for other living things. For slightly
older children, the responsibility of a pet may be instrumental in developing
self-esteem, self-confidence, and independence."9

Grief and Coping with Loss
Grief is the normal response to the loss of a pet, especially if the pet had
become an important part of one's life. For many children, the loss of a pet
may be the first time they experience death. The feelings and emotions that
children experience should be discussed. Discussing the loss, and perhaps
performing a ceremony or burial, may make children feel better.
In the grieving process, most people go through five stages. Stage one
features shock, denial, and isolation. The loss may not be accepted, and one
may block the loss out of one's mind or deny that the death has occurred.
During the second stage, there is anger. The anger may be aimed at family
members, friends, or the veterinarian who couldn't help the pet or performed the euthanasia. There may also be feelings of guilt or fear during
this stage. During the third stage, there are feelings of helplessness. One may
question whether he or she fed and cared for the pet correctly, whether the
pet would have lived if taken to the veterinarian earlier, or what could have
been done differently. During the fourth stage, there are feelings of depression, sadness, hopelessness, and regret. There may be worry about what to
do with the pet's body and about the costs involved. The final stage is the
acceptance of the loss.
Support of friends and family is important in dealing with a loss. Talking
and discussing one's feelings are important. Discussions with the veterinarian may be helpful so that one understands the facts and procedures that
were done to help the pet.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition

Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover1
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover2
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Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iv
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Contents
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