Silas is in the tail-pulling, fist-of-fur-grabbing stage of animal interaction. There is lots of, "No, gentle pets, please...like this" going on in our house. He'll get it eventually, I know, and we are very fortunate to have such tolerant animals in our lives. If he ever gets to be too much for them, they just get up and walk away. I feel for Nikita, though. She's a very sensitive soul and I know that that all the poking and prodding wears on her.
It seems as if everyone in our little neighborhood has a dog or two. We see a few of them and hear several more every day when we take our walk. Nikita usually ignores them, unless they're outside and are barking at her aggressively. To be honest, I have been absolutely shocked by how many people hit their dogs. It happened earlier this week when a dog was barking at us and the owner just started hitting her, trying to make her stop. I felt guilt, because she was barking at us and if we weren't there it wouldn't have been a problem. I felt sadness, because I know that animal doesn't understand why she was being hit. And I felt frustration, because it happened in front of my son. I guess I knew that in my quest to teach Silas kindness and compassion to all living things I would eventually have to address the fact that there are people in the world who do hurt each other and animals unnecessarily. I just wasn't expecting to have to come up with an explanation so soon.