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  • Lisa Van der Wielen

What can DOGS teach us?


Rosie with my latest book Aqua Dog

What can dogs teach us when we have to teach and train them? What could we possibly learn from dogs?... The answer is plenty.


I have always loved dogs and my family have always owned one. Over the years we have had many different dogs of different breeds as part of our family. I think the first lesson this taught me was to appreciate diversity and uniqueness and the understanding that we are all different and bring our own special qualities to this world. Dogs come in all different shapes, sizes and colours and are bred for certain qualities, yet each puppy is born unique, just like us.


My love for dogs is apparent in my writing with all my children's books having a dog character in them. Why do I use dogs as characters in my books? Well the answer is quite simple, apart from my personal love for them, I think children relate well to this special animal. Kids are able to bond with dogs quickly and express their feelings with them. Dogs are ultimate listeners. They don't discriminate, unless they take an unliking to the postman or nextdoor neighbour that is! Dogs don't mind if a child has misbehaved all day as they are very forgiving and loyal creatures. Those canine qualities can teach us so much more in life than anything money can buy.


Dogs not only teach us forgiveness, loyalty, trust and patience, but owning a dog teaches children responsibility and compassion. To feel empathy for and look after an animal is a great way to teach children these qualities. Some children are fearful of dogs and with some time and patience and greater exposure they are able to overcome those fears, so this animal can also teach us perseverance , determination and being understanding.


Dogs aren't the animal for everyone I know and the war of Cats versus Dogs begins! Regardless of whether we own a dog or not, the positive impact these animals can have on our lives, especially children's lives is undeniable. These gorgeous animals can teach us many things, with the most important being that of unconditional love.

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LISA VAN DER WIELEN

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