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Thursday, April 19, 2012
Dog Treats are For Dogs...Not for Little People
Well, I didn't let the Little People eat any dog snacks today. Which, as it turns out, was an improvement on yesterday.
It's not that I fed them dog snacks of course. It just kind of...happened.
So it all went down like this. We have been having a series of dogs visit our classroom this week and last. All of these canine visits were supposed to happen last week when we had Pets week. However, since it was raining three out of the four days we were in school last week, we had to postpone some of the visits. This is because we hold all sanctioned (and non-sanctioned) pet visits outside on the grass in front of our room (since obviously we can't have dogs in the classroom). We ask the pet owners to bring the dogs about 15 minutes before our school day is over and keep them out on the grass. That way the Little People who want to visit with the dogs can, and those who don't can keep their distance.
For the most part, the Little People all wanted to visit with the dogs. Even with the biggest one - a Bull Mastiff about as large as they were.
I did have one little boy who obviously was nervous about all of the dogs. He would hardly come out of the classroom when the Bull Mastiff was there, and he wouldn't even get close to the little Yorkshire terriers. However, he seemed intrigued by Timmy's poodle yesterday, and kept wanting to try and pet her. He would get close...and then he'd back off...and then he'd get close...and then he'd back off. He carefully watched her stand on her hind legs and dance around, and saw her get a treat from the owner.
Then other kids started getting treats for the dog, too, and he was all over this idea. "I want one," he said, daring to come quite close to get his. I was a little worried about this sudden burst of confidence from him when before he wouldn't even come out on the grass. "Um, you know that the treat is just for the dog, right?" I asked, imagining that he had abandoned all his dog fears in the hopes of picking up a little personal afternoon snack from Timmy's dad.
He nodded (perhaps in a crestfallen kind of way), and eventually ended up flinging it the dog's direction and fleeing with a holler as she approached him to take it.
The truth is that I was so concentrated on helping him have a chance to touch the poodle that I didn't even think to remind the other kids that these little bacon-looking morsels were just for the dog. So I was surprised when I looked over and saw little Sally chewing little, tiny bites, a look of complete disgust on her face.
"Did you know that was just a treat for the dog, Sally?" I said only to her as we headed back into the room. A look of embarrassment, realization and a degree of relief came over her face as she put two and two together. I'm not sure which feeling was more prevalent: embarrassment that she had tasted a dog snack, or relief that Timmy's father wasn't really giving out the worst snacks ever. She handed the treat to me, a tiny piece nibbled off of the corner.
Fortunately her dad was right there waiting to pick her up and had in fact watched the whole dog-visit scenario happen. So I just let him know what had happened with the treat and he just laughed and it was all good. Which was much easier that meeting him at the door after school and starting out, "Well, I need to tell you that Sally tasted a dog snack today..." which would have taken a whole lot more explaining than the first scenario.
So today was good. No dog snacks tasted, no parents to talk specifically to after school. Not even any dogs visiting. Just a regular day at preschool.