My youngest daughter loves animals... in theory. From the Lion King to Free Willy to Babe, she's absorbed animal movies like a sponge (sponge bob square pants!) and spent a great deal of her life "understanding how they feel". We talked about her possibly interning with a vet to see if that was something she wanted to go to school for. That ended up being a big "no". She just froze and wouldn't even touch the therapy dogs. We went home and talked it over, and it turns out she's crazy about animals from a distance... except for ours, in which case she's very hands on.
The animals provide a safe outlet (they're small and non threatening) for her to show her nurturing side. I know it sounds odd, but because of her disability, she's constantly nurtured verbally both at school and at home. We push communication a lot because she'll be expected to communicate on an adult level soon and she's still working on her end of it... expressing herself. To see her turn around and nurture her animals, helping them to express themselves, it's just really rewarding. It's even more fund to watch them respond to her...!
Last weekend, K3 went to see my Dad at the island for 4 days. Maddie looked horrified at all the hub bub when they came to pick her up. Maddie specializes is looking horrified when people visit our house!
K3 immediately swoops in to comfort her. Maddie continues to eyeball the grandparents...
All week the dogs have been missing their "interpreter". Their groove has been off. They've been extra clingy with TOG and I. Last night she came home and this morning... everything is back to normal...
I'm putting my foot down. She can never move out! The dogs would never be the same!