When I was around 12 or so, I was a volunteer at the Humane Society.
It was not uncommon for people to bring in a dog that had been found wandering around in the country because someone had dumped him there.
In fact, I have come across many myself and it always makes me annoyed.
These dogs are domestic and do not typically hunt and kill their own food. They have to be fed by their owners. They are not coyotes or wolves who are born in the wild and trained by their parent and hotwired by their creator to provide for themselves.
Yet somewhere, someone got a cute puppy one day and decided after he grew up and wasn’t so adorable that they were weary of caring for him, so they would dump him in the country in the hopes someone else would take him or he would care for himself.
If a caring soul found and brought him to the Humane Society, we would try to adopt him out but after a period of time, he would be euthanized because that is a far less traumatic death than getting eaten by coyotes or starving in the countryside.
Sometimes I think that people have this same idea with children.
It is easy to love a sweet, cute little baby who needs us and is helpless and dependent.
We are bigger than they are so we can manage their world and ours fairly simply. We feed, change and carry them wherever we go.
However, like a puppy, they grow up and aren’t so cute anymore.
Puppies are cute when they jump up and lick your face. A big slobbering dog who is untrained and knocking us down, licking our face, isn’t so much.
The same with children. I often hear parents laughing at their child sassing them or kicking them in the shins because they think it is so cute that this little person is bossing them around.
Or they do everything for them and never give them chores or responsibilities.
The problem is that if they don’t learn respect and responsibility early on, it is not so cute when they are a teen or an adult and they still behave this way.
They are handicapped in getting or keeping jobs, in carrying on relationships, etc.
Much like a dog dumped in the country, they are thrown into life as adults very ill prepared.
When we take on a puppy, we must be prepared to provide for its care into adulthood and not neglect it when it is no longer cute.
How much more is needed when we take on a human life if we are going to equip him/her to manage and survive in a complex world.