One presentation leads to another and another. It started slowly. Just a presentation on anti-bullying through the eyes of the dogs, celebrating that all dogs are different, all dogs have challenges, all dogs are special.
A simple concept, right?
But when presented to first and second grade children it is powerful.
So powerful that the Love Dog “Be Cool, Not Cruel” program has been requested over and over again and for entire schools, all grades.
What makes it work?
What makes the children understand the difference between teasing and bullying?
What makes the children understand what it means to be a friend?
What makes the children want to be kind and gentle around the dogs, and to each other?
All of the Love Dogs who participate in this unique program have something special about them that you cannot see when you just look at them.
The children learn about rescue and how old dogs can be great dogs but often thrown aside.
The children learn that some dogs or breeds are just not for everyone but there is always the right family for them.
The children learn that dogs learn differently, as children do, and is it our responsibility to uncover how they earn best: with sound, signal, slower pace, faster pace.
The children learn that dogs have feelings and people feel things deeply.
The children learn to look beyond what someone or some dogs look like and the biggest dog may be the shiest and the teeny tiny dog may be the bravest.
The children learn to look at one another differently as they are all unique and deserving of respect and kindness and friendship and patience.
A simple concept. A powerful message.
What children have to say about Be Cool, Not Cruel:
- I learned to be nice to people and dogs.
- I learned that we should never hit dogs or throw things at them.
- Thank you for teaching us not to tease dogs.
- I never met dogs that are so nice and calm and quiet.
- I learned not to pet a dog in their face.
- I like Benny the most because he is just like me.
- Boise is so sleepy – how do you keep him so quiet?
- I really liked George because I am shy too.
- I learned from you to treat everyone the same and be nice to everyone and to try to be friends with everyone.
- George and Boise were my favorite dogs because they are big but not scary.
- Thank you for teaching me not to tease. I didn’t know dogs had such feelings.
- I learned to always be cool, not cruel with people and dogs.