Not a forceful caress

‘Not a kiss by force’ It was called a story that I read to my daughter, now a teenager, designed to teach children to be respected, to understand that their body is theirs; that they have the right to reject the physical approaches of adults if you don’t like them; that they should not obediently comply with the wishes of physical contact from adults because it is something that also leaves the door ajar to possible abuse.

‘Not a forceful caress’ It would have to exist as a story for all those people who insist on laying their hands on animals without respecting their wishes.

It is a common scene: children and adults who want to caress or hug an animal and they are going to caress and hug it, it does not matter if the adorable Chihuahua puppy, the huge Newfoundland or the fluffy Persian cat shows clearly that it is not up to the task of be rubbed or squeezed. You can show fear and avoidance behaviors, it doesn’t matter, those signals are knowingly or ignorantly ignoredbecause there is nothing more important than satisfying the human desire to touch or hold.

Except for a clear threat of a bite or scratch, and sometimes even that doesn’t work for him and the bite and scratch arrive, the animal will have to submit with resigned patience to the bad drinkunless you have a sensitive human next to you and able to kindly explain to the caressing subject to leave the bug alone.

“I want Tula to sleep with me,” my daughter used to tell me some nights years ago. “She is a living being with his own desires and you have to understand that, since it’s hot, he prefers the ground,” I replied. “Leave the cat alone, honey, he wants to be calm,” I explained to my niece when she was little and the love she felt for animals could be suffocating. I could have held the dog in her arms and forced her to stay in that bed or held the cat down for my niece to enjoy, but It always seemed more important to me to transmit respect, empathy for the other, animal or human.

We should all begin to internalize that if we see an animal and feel inclined to invade its space and pet it, instead of assuming that we have the right to do so, we should observe their body language, read the environment and approach only if we are going to be well received. Obviously, always asking and in any case if it is accompanied by its owner. I am sure that this way of acting it would also cement respect for our fellow men in other spheres.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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