Wordsworkinc's Weblog

Life, love and language

Kids and Pets

I grew up with pets – dogs and cats, of course – I still remember Blackie, my fluffy black cat (I wasn’t very innovative with names at five years old) who patiently let me dress him up and push him around in my doll’s pram

boy standing hugging cat

Photo by Elisey Vavulin

But I also had a locust, who would sit on my hand and nibble away on a piece of grass while I watched the movements of his mouth pieces in fascination.

That year, I remember, I had an insect hospital in our playroom, with matchbox beds. Unfortunately, I don’t think too many of my little patients survived my tender ministrations.
Later, when I was at high school, I had a chameleon named Rex, later changed to Regina when he/she laid eggs. Regina went to school with me every day. Our desks still had holes for ink wells although we had, just, progressed beyond dipping pens. Regina, who measured a good 10 inches from nose to tail, would stay quite happily in my desk, sticking her nose out through the ink well hole every now and then for a stroke.

Pet birds also played a large part in my life. Between my sisters and I we had six budgies who were tame enough to travel to the shops on our shoulders.

blue parakeet on hand

Photo by Sharon MacCutcheon

And as we have grown up, married, and had children, and then grandchildren, of our own, pets continue to be an integral part of our families, from budgies and parrots, cats and dogs, to rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and reptiles.
What generated all these reminiscences was the realization, I as patiently walked my rather chubby Pomeranian around the yard, that through all the years of studying, and then lecturing in child development, the relationship between children and animals was never discussed. And yet it was such an important part of my growing up. I started looking at research in this area and found that most of it is fairly recent.
So, I have decided, in my next few blogs, to look at what evidence there is for the place of animals in the overall development of a child, from toddler to adolescent. Watch this space.

November 21, 2018 - Posted by | About Me |


  1. Look forward to reading this. 😊

    Comment by rfarrell2014 | November 21, 2018 | Reply

  2. Have so many stories about our different pets but didn’t want to bore everyone so will probably include some more when I start looking at the research.

    Comment by Words Work Inc | November 21, 2018 | Reply

  3. Excellent idea to do this research, animals teach children responsibility, compassion, patience etc.I’m so looking forward to reading your blogs. I can remember the locust bit, was very fond of them, used to rescue the ones the nasty little boys removed the back legs off…not to mention the silkworms and crickets. Oh boy we can go on and on 🙂

    Comment by GAIL RIECK | November 24, 2018 | Reply

  4. Thanks Gail, yes, we were fortunate that animals always played such a big part of our lives.

    Comment by Words Work Inc | November 24, 2018 | Reply

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