This morning I was outside my local animal shelter's office, waiting for it to open. I had my parent's 10 year old kelpie with me who I was dropping off to their boarding kennel section. My parents are away over Christmas and will collect him mid-January.
A car pulled up alongside me and a middle-aged woman started having a go at me by saying what an awful person I was and that an old kelpie like that would never find a new home and would be put to sleep and she hoped I was proud of myself.
I was shocked and tried to explain he was just boarding for Christmas to which she said "yeah right" and pulled off. I felt really upset. I love this kelpie as he was my first dog and he only moved to my parent's acreage when he did not get along with DH's labrador. And even if I was dropping him off to the shelter section, there a many legitimate reasons why someone would do this without being an irresponsible dog owner. He could have been a lost dog or have belonged to an elderly person who could no longer care for him. This particular shelter has a no kill policy, which Ms Busybody did not seem to know about. And even if I was an unpleasant person who discards animals, at least he wasn't being dumped in the bush.
Anyway, she made me feel really down and cross. My kelpie sensed it and I think it made his handover more stressful for him than it needed to be. What a busybody.
Issues around children learning to read are rarely out of the news. Which is hardly surprising – becoming a successful reader is of paramount importance in improving a child's life chances. Nor is it surprising that reading creates a virtuous circle: the more you read the better you become. But what may come as a surprise is that reading to dogs is gaining popularity as a way of addressing concerns about children's reading.