Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Child's Compassion For Animals

--by sequoiaproject, posted Jun 10, 2010

Our family has had many different pets over the years: Dogs, cats, frogs, lizards, turtles, and even a snake once. CC (our 7-year old grandchild) has always had a compassionate heart for all of them. When we learned about a shelter in the area that was ran by just volunteers she couldn’t wait to get involved. This was an excellent opportunity for her to learn and care for many different animals. What made this shelter different than most is their policy to never have any of the animals put to sleep. The animals they tended to would live at the center until they were adopted. If it took a week or a year for them to find a home, it didn’t matter.

When CC learned that many of the animals were there because they had no home, it really bothered her. She couldn’t understand how that could be. When she asked if there were lots of other animals without a home we told her unfortunately yes. She knew I like to build things out of wood so she asked if I could build homes for animals that couldn’t find the center. It made perfect sense to her.

So that’s what we did. About 3 weeks later (and $400 lighter) we had two large dog houses. She took part in just about every stage of building them. She helped sand, paint, and hammer on both. It was a project that she felt good about. When we were done she made a small sign and we put them in our front yard to sell (the money would then be donated to the shelter to help).

CC learned that it took a lot of work and dedication, from volunteers, in caring for the animals. It was a lot more work than she first expected. The mop used to clean the brushing rooms stood 3 feet taller than her. She didn’t mind. She learned how important it was to keep clean cages and fresh water for all of them. Her favorites were the cats. The dogs scared her but she didn’t shy away from doing what she could to help them either. We were proud to see such a caring side to her.

These two dog houses sat in our yard for a good month. When the economy went south nobody was buying any extra’s. It came at a time when many families were doing everything they could to keep their own homes. We decided to then donate them to the center for a fundraiser they were putting on. These actions helped out in two separate ways. One serving as a shelter for two different family pets and the other being cash for the center to use at a time when there is not much around.

We wanted to show CC that her volunteer work at the center really was nice to do. When she outgrew her bicycle we decided to get her a new one. On the day we had planned to go down and work at the center we asked her if she first wanted to go get a new bike. It was on the way and we could quickly stop. Her response was that we could always get a bike but the animals needed to be tended to first. At a time when many children are written off as lazy and uncaring about the world they live in, this made us smile. Children learn from what adults take the time to teach them. In turn they often teach us the things in life that really matter the most. A very rewarding experience.

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Readers Comments

Mike wrote: How very true!
Zevelina wrote: If there is no home, biuld one. It does make perfect sense! :)
Mike wrote: So true!
Dora wrote: Very true, children learn from what they're taught. Such a reward to see a child putting animals first before the purchase of a bike. Rare in this day and time!
Mike wrote: Sure are right jen. So nice of comments for her to later (and now) read in the future. Love ya cc! Bumpa
Jennie Comfort wrote: I am cc's mom and we sat down to read the beautiful article about her and the supportive an touching comments. She is very humbled by all the wonderful comments on here for her doing something she feels is only right. Thank you everyone. She is a blessing.

Ithunn wrote: Your story brought tears to my eyes. How refreshing to read about your compassionate grandchild in this compassion-less world!

What a wonderful way to be remembered. Be sure cc will always have the memory of you tied to this. You taught her - and us - an important lesson. Thank you, thank you!

sethi wrote: Great story. Thank you for sharing.
Mike wrote: The comments have been so kind and interesting. When cc gets older she will look back at these and be so happy. Thanks!
Mike an Bobbi wrote: Thank you for the comment papamikey. Cc and her compassion for all animals is so nice to see. Her mother and father have played the biggest role in her seeing things in the way she does. Her grandmother carol and grandpa roger, her uncle andy. All have simply watched and nurture her heart. Shows the importance behind each family member taking time in seeing life just a little different. Really impressed how dat these writings have traveled! The internet is such an amazing tool. This website and organization has such caring people involved. A humble thanks!

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