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how puppies teach kids causality

04 April 2011

As I’ve said before, never buy a puppy because you think forcing it on your irresponsible kid will turn him into a responsible human. Doesn’t work.

The dog will probably die before that happens. You’ll end up with a small headstone among the gardenias and a kid who still doesn’t clean his bedroom.

The death and internment sequence would have surely happened with one of our neighbors if the parents hadn’t stepped in for the youngest son who didn’t quite grasp their long-term hopes and dreams when they bought him a Lab.

I think the dog is now almost 4 and I haven’t seen he-who-failed-to-become-responsible walk him in at least three years. Ooops.

Causality Not Responsibility

But while forced dog ownership is an exceedingly poor strategy to teach responsibility, owning a puppy can definitely teach kids the immutable law of causality. It is a distant cousin of responsibility.

Causality lessons work for all kinds of kids; from Juvenile Hall-bound thugs, to honor students and Eagle Scouts. Do this and this happens. Steal and get caught equates to spending months and years in a lockup. And so on.

Courting Diaster with a Puppy

courting disaster while the puppy sleeps

The Dog Ate My Test Prep

OD is writing a standardized test this weekend as preparation for her boarding school applications. MW’s been helping her get ready by creating sample questions for both the math and reading comprehension parts.

What happens to paper in a puppy's mouth

Remains of the Day: all that’s left of dreams for a better life than her parents had

OD has been a bit lax in protecting the prep material. As you can see from the photo to the right, she’s not above leaving it in the open even when danger lurks.

Which is how she (hopefully) learned an important lesson about leaving important stuff out in the open when you’ve got a young and carefree puppy in the house.

Eventually, that puppy awakens to seek entertainment. The pic to the left shows what can happen.

I don’t know how this incident may affect OD’s test score. Who knows, maybe the vocabulary words on the sheets Luna ate will appear on her test.

Regardless, I’m very confident that OD can now spell C-A-U-S-A-L-I-T-Y.

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