I wrote these words 7 months ago. Young cou­ple with two careers, brand new house, bare­ly mar­ried a year and guess what…they get a pup­py. “So cute” says every­one, and yet…he will be put in a cage five days a week from now onwards. What oth­er choice is there?

So tell me what’s the dif­fer­ence? A two-month-old pup­py in a cage is deemed ‘fine’ in some cir­cles — though not what the vet told my moth­er when we had our Labrador pup­py many years ago: “This dog needs 10 miles a day, if you can’t do that she will have to put up with what you can offer”. 

For­tu­nate­ly our pup­py had a big back gar­den to roam in and an own­er who tru­ly want­ed to train her. Her own­er did­n’t just take her to 6 weeks of dog train­ing class­es — she did it her­self day after day in our gar­den. That was my moth­er! Our pup­py also had numer­ous oppor­tu­ni­ties to walk in the woods. (Miss­ing from the lives of most chil­dren today!) 

Some­how we all came to under­stand how to train a dog and we nev­er had any prob­lems walk­ing our dog as chil­dren. Just as our own chil­dren under­stood at a very ear­ly age how to walk our friend’s dog — a sim­ple flick of the fin­gers and call­ing her name brought her to heel! 

It seems to me that the next thing on this young cou­ple’s list will be to have a baby. Now we all know that any­one can ‘have’ a baby, you can even buy one from over­seas if you can’t breed one of your own or don’t want to go through that awful preg­nan­cy and child­birth or even a C‑section. I am told that if you are adopt­ing a baby from over­seas the first sev­en days is the crit­i­cal bond­ing time!!!

Wow — like me, you must be think­ing “this is all get­ting very cyn­i­cal sound­ing and out of hand”. How­ev­er, it’s com­mon­place in the worlds I pass through and around — I hear these tales at least once a week.

Now ‘caging’ chil­dren and depriv­ing them of a walk in the woods from their ear­li­est days is per­fect­ly accept­able to every socio-eco­nom­ic group. Unless you’ve worked in a day­care you can­not know how very ‘caged’ young chil­dren are — it’s real­ly quite horrific. 

If I go on I will scare some of you ded­i­cat­ed grand­par­ents who fre­quent­ly won­der why your grand­chil­dren are so hard to get along with and emo­tion­al­ly dis­traught when you are togeth­er — DUH! It’s the day­care stupid!

‘Nough said.