This week the children were most delighted to have Netta from the Victorian State Government’s Responsible Pet Ownership Education Program come to visit, along with her companion Bailey the Beagle. Before the incursion, we discussed which children had pets, what they were and how they take care of them. They were eager to share stories about their pets, such as Holly’s Jack Russell, “Jack”, Tarkyn’s two cats, Richard’s dogs and rabbits as well as Louis’ pretend pet dog.
When Netta was introduced, they were delighted to meet Bailey and were all ears. Netta spoke about what to do when encountering a dog in various situations, and taught everyone the phrase “No owner, No lead, No Touch”. She described when we should not approach dogs, such as when they’re sleeping, eating, tied up, in vehicle, or in their kennel, and revised them with songs.
She explained that a dog who is sad, hurt or angry would not want to be touched just as we might feel. She talked about how dogs are also different from humans, and they children were eager to volunteer information on how they differ such as having “a tail” (Tarkyn), “having more feet” (Phi Phi) and “not wearing clothes” (Holly). However Charlotte pointed out how “dogs have coats in the fur that keeps them warm”.
Netta also taught children the safe way to approach a dog and each child had a chance to practise this with Bailey. They had a turn to practise asking, waiting, letting Bailey smell they back of their fist and then petting the back of Bailey. Some children who were afraid of dogs overcame their fear and were brave enough to pet Bailey (Louis) others who love dogs were delighted to get an unexpected lick on the hand (Santiago). The children loved the visit from Netta and Bailey and were given colouring pages, stickers and pamphlets to go through with parents. We were also left with a CD of songs to sing and practise actions with to remind ourselves of how to interact safely with dogs.
KBC: My World & the Environment, Kidz Lab, Art Expression, Letters & Words
1.2 Children develop their autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency
2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment
3.2 Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and wellbeing
4.1 Children develop a range of skills & processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising & investigating
5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally for a range of purposes