Respect Me for Who I am

by Mindy Kaleta on May 9, 2013

Respect Six Pillars of Character

Respect Me for Who I am


We all want to be respected don’t we?  Accepted for who we are and what we stand for?  No one wants to be “disrespected” and all of us try very hard to gain acceptance.

Same is true with your pup, cat, hamster or any animal that you have in your care.  They all need us as caregivers to understand what makes them happy, sad and ultimately what makes them be who they are!

 The description for RESPECT, the 2nd Pillar of Character says:

  • Treat others with RESPECT; follow the Golden Rule
  • Be Tolerant of Differences
  • Practice Good Manners
  • Be Considerate of the Feelings of Others
  • Respect another Point of View
  • Do No Harm to anyone
  • Try to find Peaceful Solutions

So while interacting with our animals and pets, perhaps it would look a little bit like this:

1. Treat Pets & Animals as You would want to be Treated and Be Tolerant of Differences:  Each animal in your care is like you in many ways and also different in many ways.  Each has their own characteristics, behavioral patterns, instincts that are common to each. 

To care for them properly and to “ask each to live with you”, it’s important to understand what these various characteristics, behavioral patterns and instincts are; so that you know what makes them comfortable and happy!

It would also be a good thing to read up and study about the animal you are about to adopt so that you can ensure that this type of  pet will be good for your family and for the lifestyle you live.

Larry in his home


2. Practice Good Manners, Be Considerate of the Feelings of Others, RESPECT another Point of View: Using good manners and speaking kindly and in a loving manner will go far in helping your animal friend settle into your home. Remember, it’s all new to them and they are using all their capabilities to adapt too.  So, please be patient, kind and let them know by your voice, body language and actions that you are committed to them and their well being.

RESPECT for another point of view is what Puppy Scents is all about!  Written by a shelter dog Roc, Puppy Scents teaches kids what it’s like from a pup’s perspective!  Getting inside the little pup’s head helps kids to quickly become best friends and to not give up when puppy issues arise!  Understanding your pets, makes making friends easy to do!

Roc talks about chewing that comes natural to a puppy and being who they are. 

Roc says, “…if I chew on something that’s not mine, I’m going to get into trouble. And hey, that’s not fair. I don’t know. You need to show me.  I’m just a pup. A wise, old dog once said, ‘I am what I am.’ And I’m a PUP and proud of it!”

Is this wrong


3. Do No Harm:  It seems strange that we would even have to discuss this but more often than you might think, people get animals and for some reason or another they end up doing them more harm than good.

There are times when things just don’t work out. Acknowledging that it’s not working is a very praiseworthy step in the right direction because you can then take measures to seek out a better situation for the animal.  

If you do decide to keep this pet, but have some disagreements within the family as to the animal’s care or if you have issues being patient and holding your emotions in check…do yourself and your pet a favor and walk away until you have calmed down and you are thinking clearly.

Once you are calm and can rationally think about the situation, most often you realize that it’s rarely the animal’s fault for a situation for this reason;  They are animals  and therefore do not think the same as we humans do and cannot rationalize and sort things out as a human being can. So, please…remember this important observation.

We are asking them to live with us; and yes we do have rules of the house, but patience, patience, patience…until they learn to understand what you are asking.  They want to learn as badly as you want to teach them, so please keep that in mind.



Children learning to RESPECT their animals is a great way to learn how to transfer that knowledge and skill to the playground and the classroom.  Using tolerance for differences, being mannerly and considerate of the feelings of others, showing RESPECT for another point of view, doing no harm and dealing peacefully with anger and disagreements are all great social tools to practice!

Animals will always teach and give us more than we could ever give them! They are such pure beings and do amazing things with respect,  between species that we as humans would be wise to take note of! They deserve nothing less than our RESPECT!

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Next time: Responsibility

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