About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Borrow Your Pinch Collar?

(Our host for March 16's Fun Monday is Mariposa over at Maraposa's Tales . Mariposa wants some tales of kids saying the darnedest things. I'm going to be away from the internet for the next week so am posting early with my kid saying the darnedest thing.)


The adorable little boy in this photo with my three dogs Zack, Frank, and Dan is now a grown man serving in the Army Reserves with two children of his own. A was my neighbor's child and a somewhat troubled little boy. He had very few friends growing up and when I moved into the neighborhood he started hanging around with me, first causing trouble then gradually straightening out. A's mother worked a night shift and his father was not that involved with his upbringing. So, this mischievous little boy was my constant companion.

A didn't have a lot of respect for living things--plant or animal. I worked in my yard planting flowers and he thought nothing of pulling them up. I solved this problem by teaching him to plant and take care of the garden. He got so interested that he saved his allowance to buy a small tree for his yard. We went to the nursery and he was so disappointed to see the size of red maple that he was able to buy for $20.00. As I recall he told the nurseryman how disappointed he was!

Even more troubling was his treatment of animals. I observed him with his own dog doing some cruel things so didn't trust him with my three unless I was around. I have always heard that a child's mis-treatment of animals is a sign of psychological problems or, at the very least, lack of education. So we worked on how to care for animals as well. As you can see from the photo above, he came to love the dogs.

As a teenager A became involved with the fringe. He and his friends wore the dark clothes, body piercings, and black rocker makeup. One Saturday evening he came to my door dressed for a Marilyn Manson concert. Except he needed an accessory that only I had--a pinch collar! He wanted to borrow one of the dogs' collars to complete his concert outfit. This was in pre-Dog Whisperer training days, so, unfortunately, he had several options to choose from. Now I would never consider putting a pinch collar on my dog when a simple slip collar and the right energy gets so much better results. Kind of the same with A--sometimes dogs and small boys just need to be re-directed.

I'll bet most of you will have to think hard to come up with a comparable request! Now be sure to check out what is going to be a really Fun Monday and I'll catch up with you when I get home from my travels.

15 comments:

Kraxpelax said...
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Jan said...

Good grief, you really took on a lot, when you mentored A. It certainly was worthwhile, and he'll reap the benefits for the rest of his life. I'm sure his children continue to feel the rewards of your mentoring. Good for you.

Mariposa said...

Can I borrow your pinch collar too?! :)

But really, your mentoring did good...wish you a great Monday!

The Church Lady said...

I'll bet you didn't expect that request?! p.s. did you get your pinch collar back?

Peter said...

Early days yet Faye, but your entry gets the vote so far for the oddest.

Pamela said...

You never know what your investment "earns" when it's in children. sigh.

(Hey, I see you got spammed. Now you're getting pammmed. ha ha)

Gattina said...

He had a lot of chance to have you !!

Lil Mouse said...

how nice of you to do that. I try and teach my n/nephews about things so that they'll be respectful, and learn something. not just, here's a ripe berry, and the plant has thorns, but this is WHY the plant has thorns. I'll be damned if they didnt listen and told me the next year why berries have thorns. like it was brand new. but hey, they remembered!

♥~♥ Tracey ♥~♥ said...

Wow! What a kind hearted neighbor you are! Did you give him the collar? I am dieing to know!

Hootin' Anni said...

Hmmmmm, a sad tale with perhaps a good ending....only his children can tell us.

ChrisB said...

You clearly did a good job befriending this lad and teaching him some values.

Karmyn R said...

I think A was very lucky to have you as a neighbor!!!

But a pinch collar - ouch.

SwampAngel65 said...

Wow...did you loan him the collar? That's just a tad bit freaky...

m (the misanthrope) said...

You are a terrific neighbor and friend. This story reminds me of two versions of a asying I like. It goes along the lines of "A hundred years from now, it will not matter what car I drove or what my bank balance was...but it will matter that I was important in the life of [a child or an animal]"...and you, my friend, have done both!

Can't wait to hear about your walking adventure!

Lane said...

How kind you were to that lad. I'm sure he's taken it with him through life - and the animals he encounters will thank him (and you).

You must be back from your adventure now. Looking forward to hearing all about it.