Be the Voice for the Vulnerable

My first career as a younger adult was in the outdoor recreation industry. It was fun and there was a certain caché to being paid, as minimal as it may have been, to do something others paid to do. Though there was no obligation to do so, many of us felt the need to advocate for the wild places, the rivers, mountains, deserts and oceans we floated, climbed, skied, sailed, worked and played in and on. We shared information about legislation effecting our environment with adults and provided opportunities for children to find delight in a world that didn’t run out of batteries.

Animal trainers are also in the unique position to provide educational opportunities in ways that may be more impactful than books or classrooms. The same sweeping wave of delight that led one person to work with exotic animals in zoos can be fostered in the troops of children that routinely visit zoos to see the animals, who without advocates, may cease to exist in their natural environments across the globe. It may be less an indoctrination than it is a call to our own self-preservation.

Dog trainers can model the ways we teach without threats, force, intimidation or pain. Children can learn how we can shape and change behavior without bullying or creating fear in an animal whose life is quite literally in our hands. We may not be the only eyes of the miracle that is our world, but we may be the only voices that can protect the vulnerable.

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6 comments so far

  1. example58943 on

    So true! It’s so important that we speak out, and especially that we model for and teach the children! More than anything, TEACH EMPATHY!

  2. sassyseattle on

    I do take every opportunity to demonstrate force free training, and try to help others ‘decode’ dog behavior, especially fearful dogs. If enough of us do it, maybe eventually it will sink in.
    Although, there are some humans who are just evil and beyond saving. All I can do then is try to save the dogs.

  3. Henry on

    Great read and lovely picture. Turtles are amazing. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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