“Your dog has diabetes.” For a child, having a pet can be an extraordinary experience. An emotional bond forms between children and their pets that is so strong, even the thought of a childhood pet can evoke powerful emotions in adults.
When he was a small child, my son Brent desperately wanted a dog. He got one when he was 6 years old. I still have a copy of the story he wrote in second grade about the day he got his dog. He wrote, “When I was 6, I wanted dogs but my dad did not want one. My mom took me to the puppy ranch without dad knowing. That's when I got Tiger. He was the only good dog. When I was riding home it felt like a dream.” Fortunately for me, Tiger was so infectiously likeable that my husband was glad we brought him home.
Baby Food. JAMA. 2008;300(4):371-372. doi:10.1001/jama.300.4.371