A Dog Is Not Like Your Sister

AKC Gazette, “Times Past”: In our June 2003 issue, we asked fanciers, Pulitzer Prize–winners, and the world’s leading authorities—kids—to describe the dog-and-child bond.

Here are a few responses.

“I have heard people say that it’s more difficult now for a child to take care of a dog, that a child’s day-to-day life is quite different from that of children years ago. But the bond between children and dogs has not really changed over the years. The world has changed, we have changed, but the dog-and-child bond is much the same.” —Vicki Bratton

“My stepfather was a great man, and the greatest thing about him, as far as I was concerned, was that he wasn’t afraid to bring home a puppy. He didn’t ask permission of my mother, he didn’t worry about the details. He just brought home the puppies, set them on the living-room floor, and he knew they would be taken care of. And they were.” —Jane Smiley

“Dogs and kids get along because kids like to take care of something, and so do dogs.” “I like dogs because they’re fun to play with, not like my sister.” “If you’re nice to them, they’re nice to you. And they understand your heart.” —Second-graders, Dows Lane School in Irvington, New York

“I spoke to that dog all the time. I think this is how dogs first seduce us. They are the rare good listeners in a world of talkers. … and I’ve yet to meet one that could not keep a secret.” —Robert Olmstead, on his childhood German Shepherd Dog


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