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Animals and Teens The Ultimate Teen Guide (It Happened to Me)

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内容提示: It Happened to MeSeries Editor: Arlene HirschfelderBooks in the It Happened to Me series are designed for inquis-itive teens digging for answers about certain illnesses, socialissues, or lifestyle interests. Whether you are deep into yourteen years or just entering them, these books are gold mines ofup-to-date information, riveting teen views, and great visualsto help you figure out stuff. Besides special boxes highlightingsingular facts, each book is enhanced with the latest readinglists, websites, and ...

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It Happened to MeSeries Editor: Arlene HirschfelderBooks in the It Happened to Me series are designed for inquis-itive teens digging for answers about certain illnesses, socialissues, or lifestyle interests. Whether you are deep into yourteen years or just entering them, these books are gold mines ofup-to-date information, riveting teen views, and great visualsto help you figure out stuff. Besides special boxes highlightingsingular facts, each book is enhanced with the latest readinglists, websites, and an index. Perfect for browsing, these bookscontain loads of expert information by acclaimed writers tohelp parents, guardians, and librarians understand teen illness,tough situations, and lifestyle choices.1. Epilepsy: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Kathlyn Gay andSean McGarrahan, 2002.2. Stress Relief: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Mark Powell,2002.3. Learning Disabilities: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by PennyHutchins Paquette and Cheryl Gerson Tuttle, 2003.4. Making Sexual Decisions: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by L. Kris Gowen, 2003.5. Asthma: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Penny HutchinsPaquette, 2003.6. Cultural Diversity—Conflicts and Challenges: TheUltimate Teen Guide, by Kathlyn Gay, 2003.7. Diabetes: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Katherine J.Moran, 2004.8. When Will I Stop Hurting? Teens, Loss, and Grief: TheUltimate Teen Guide to Dealing with Grief, by Ed Myers,2004.9. Volunteering: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Kathlyn Gay,2004.10. Organ Transplants—A Survival Guide for the EntireFamily: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Tina P. Schwartz,2005. 11. Medications: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Cheryl GersonTuttle, 2005.12. Image and Identity—Becoming the Person You Are: TheUltimate Teen Guide, by L. Kris Gowen and Molly C.McKenna, 2005.13. Apprenticeship: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by PennyHutchins Paquette, 2005.14. Cystic Fibrosis: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by MelanieAnn Apel, 2006.15. Religion and Spirituality in America: The Ultimate TeenGuide, by Kathlyn Gay, 2006.16. Gender Identity: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Cynthia L.Winfield, 2007.17. Physical Disabilities: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by DeniseThornton, 2007.18. Money—Getting It, Using It, and Avoiding the Traps:The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Robin F. Brancato, 2007.19. Self-Advocacy: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by CherylGerson Tuttle and JoAnn Augeri Silva, 2007.20. Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by SuzanneBuckingham Slade, 2007.21. The Military and Teens: The Ultimate Teen Guide, byKathlyn Gay, 2008.22. Animals and Teens: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by GailGreen, 2009.23. Reaching Your Goals: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by AnneE. Courtright, 2009.24. Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by KellyRouba, 2009.25. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: The Ultimate TeenGuide, by Natalie Rompella, 2009. Animals and TeensThe Ultimate Teen GuideGAIL GREENIt Happened to Me, No. 22The Scarecrow Press, Inc.Lanham, Maryland • Toronto • Plymouth, UK2009 SCARECROW PRESS, INC.Published in the United States of Americaby Scarecrow Press, Inc.A wholly owned subsidiary of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706www.scarecrowpress.comEstover RoadPlymouth PL6 7PYUnited KingdomCopyright © 2009 by Gail GreenAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, storedin a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permissionof the publisher.British Library Cataloguing in Publication Information AvailableLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataGreen, Gail.Animals and teens : the ultimate teen guide / Gail Green.p. cm. — (It happened to me ; no. 22)Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN-13: 978-0-8108-5769-8 (hardcover : alk. paper)ISBN-13: 978-0-8108-6656-0 (ebook)ISBN-10: 0-8108-5769-3 (hardcover : alk. paper)ISBN-10: 0-8108-6656-0 (ebook)1. Animal welfare—Citizen participation. 2. Teenagers—Political activity. I. Title.HV4708.G74 2009179'.3083—dc222008037589™The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paperfor Printed Library Materials, ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992. Manufactured in the United States of America. Introductionvii1 Companion Animals: What They Mean to Us12 Understanding Animals; Understanding Ourselves353 Friendship634 Choosing Our Companion Animals915 Defending the Innocent: Animal Abuse and Environmental Concerns1116 The Bonds of Trust: How Animals Help with Emotional and Social Issues and Interactions1397 Life Changes: College, Country, and Careers1658 Overcoming Health Problems, Pet Loss, and Other Adversities1959 At Your Service: Assistance Animals and Therapies225Appendix: Online Resources for All Things Animal247Bibliography251Index253About the Author259vContents Imagine yourself in a world where everyone is treated fairlyand the most important thing to do is have fun. This is a placewhere rules are easy to understand and follow, life is uncompli-cated, and love is unconditional.Fortunately, teens who positively interact with animals canexperience that type of world! Animals do something foreignto most human thinking, especially as we grow further awayfrom childhood. They live in the moment, with no pocketplanners or future calendar dates to remember. Animals don’tcram for exams or worry about a date for the prom, nor dothey need to make choices about what college to attend.That’s the stuff we do. When we have a bond with companionanimals and focus on them, we aren’t thinking about the testwe took yesterday or what we’ll do on Saturday night.Instead, animals exude spontaneity, bringing us into the sim-plicity of their moment. Their joy becomes our own.But animals don’t only pull us away from worries andstress. They also provide us with unconditional love, evenwhen we fall short of all those things the human world findsso important. We don’t need to impress them with zit-freecomplexions or straight As. Instead, animals can teach us tobe happy with who we are and what we have and to takepleasure in just being.We have coexisted with animals from a time before historywas recorded. Across millennia, we have walked, run, flown,or swam together as allies and as enemies. We have fed themand offered them shelter and medical assistance, while theyviiIntroduction have provided us with labor, protection, assistance, and foodor resources from feathers and wool to hides and sinew. Preyand predator, animals and humans have hunted each otherand hunted with each other. And through it all, we haveshared an intertwined stake in our shared future.We have built homes for ourselves while destroying theirs.They, in turn, damage our crops, spread disease, and ruinproperty and belongings we vainly think are ours. At times ourchoices or their instinctive responses have defined entire civi-lizations, such as the Native American cultures in which ani-mals provided a basis for spirituality and identity or theMongol barbarians and their legendary connection with theirhorses. The water we drink, the food we eat, and the air webreathe are our joint inheritance. It is also our common strug-gle as we share the planet and find ways to survive. Yet,despite our fierce competition, there is something else thatdraws us to them, something that reaches deep inside our verysouls. In addition to physical needs, when we bond with andbecome emotionally involved in the welfare and social needs ofanimals, we gain something of extraordinary value. Animalsremain mysterious in many ways, but the emotional bonds thatcan exist between human and animal are more than just mutu-ally beneficial. Our ability to care for other creatures outsideour own species defines who we are. Whether we are involvedwith the welfare of whales or enjoying a romp with our familydog, what we’ve gained is more than just a feeling that we’vedone something good. For a moment or a lifetime, we tran-scend who and what we are as individuals. Not only can wedevelop compassion for all living creatures, we also learnrespect for differences and uniqueness by seeing what makes asquirrel a squirrel or a duck a duck. These lessons make us bet-ter people. They give us meaning and they give us the means tofully realize our own individual potential.Many of the voices within these pages are teens and youngadults just like you. They go to school with you, live in yourcommunities, and have the same types of social issues andneeds that you have. Let them share their love of animals withyou while you learn how you too can experience that worldand make a difference by connecting with animals.viiiIntroduction OWNING A PETWhat exactly makes animals so special? Is it because theylook cute or are fun to play with? Or are we just fascinatedwith them because they are not human? The relationshipbetween humans and animals has an incredibly complex andintertwined history that has lasted millennia and goes beyondjust seeing them as pets or workers.Exposure to animals begins when we are very young, andmuch of it happens without our even being aware of it. Welisten to nursery rhymes about cats and fiddles and cows1CompanionAnimals: WhatThey Mean to Us1“Animals don’tjudge you or wantto talk about yourproblems, but atthe same timethey are alwaysthere to listen.”—Tina Swinkels,Australian high schoolstudent livingtemporarily in theUnited States1HISTORICAL TIDBITSIn ancient Rome, people kept a variety of pets,including cats, dogs, monkeys, goats, and unusualbirds like owls, magpies, and nightingales. Someanimals were kept more for prestige orentertainment, or to perform specific jobs. Forexample, cats were kept as house pets and also tokeep rodents out of grain containers. As a statussymbol, some Romans even kept lions in their homes!Others decorated the pet fish in outdoor ponds byputting necklaces and gold rings around them for alittle bling-bling!2 jumping over the moon, learn our ABCs with Big Bird orBarney and see animal prints on children’s clothing and babystrollers. Babies born into households with existing pets mayperceive them as just a natural part of their environment.Experiences like these may actually provide many of us withour first “safe” exposure to animals and pave the way for ourperceptions of animals as friends and companions, and animportant part of the family.References to animals are basically everywhere around us—in our neighbors’ backyards, in movies, in TV commercials, andon magazine covers, where dogs are often photographed withfashion models or shown lounging on furniture to“accessorize” home decor. Newspapers serving a variety ofpopulations even have regular pet news sections and columns,while television networks produce programs or entire seriesthat include animal actors, such as Eddy, the dog on thepopular television series Frasier or the animals “guests” on TheTonight Show. Animal Planet is a television channel devoted2Chapter 1ANIMAL ENTERTAINMENT5555555555555Animals in the media aren’t new. Movies like Lassie ComeHome, based on the book by Eric Knight, or the popular 1957movie Old Yeller are considered classics. When television wasin its infancy, two of the most popular programs were Lassieand Rin Tin Tin. Horses were also popular draws, especially inthe Western-themed programs of the 1950s and 1960s. Twovery popular TV series where horses were an important featurewere The Roy Rogers Show (with Trigger) and The Lone Ranger(with Silver). National Geographic specials and Mutual ofOmaha’s Wild Kingdom also provided Americans with glimpsesinto the lives of wild animals for years. But when movies suchas the reality documentary March of the Penguins; WaltDisney’s adventure Eight Below, in which a team of sled dogsfight for survival in the frigid Antarctic after being left behind;and full-length animated movies such as Warner Brothers’Happy Feet, featuring tap-dancing penguins, get star billing, itis obvious that Americans’ love for animals extends beyondjust their own companion animals. entirely to programming covering companion and otheranimals. How many animal-loving young people regularlywatch Emergency Vet or Animal Rescue on cable or networkprograms like America’s Funniest Home Videos or Pet Stars?Plenty!Our curiosity about and interest in animals have alsoexpanded into a passion for the animals we invite into ourhomes and families. Local specialty pet shops and “big-box”retail pet supply chains sell everything from gourmet treats tofashionable outfits for pets, while pet bakeries, doggie day-carecenters, spas, and dog parks thrive in communities from NewYork to Los Angeles. According to the American Pet ProductsAssociation (APPA), in 2007 the pet food industry wasestimated to be an annual $16.1-billion business. And all the“extras”—toys, housing, collars, and so on—were estimated tototal an additional $24.7 billion. Why do people spend so muchmoney on animal-related products and services? The answer issimple: Companion animals are an important and oftenessential part of our lives. And we definitely love our pets!According to the definition in Encyclopedia Americana, petsare animals usually kept in a residence for the main purpose ofbeing played with, viewed, or studied, and are offered the statusof companion because family members feel curiosity about oraffection for them. Farm and other domestic animals servemore practical needs and are not usually viewed as pets. Butwhat exactly is a “pet” in the eyes of passionate animal lovers?And how accurate is this definition in today’s world?Any and all animals we voluntarily take into our homes andlives are often referred to as pets. At the simplest level, we areexpected to feed them; provide comfortable, humane livingconditions; and tend to their basic physical and medical needs.In turn, they amuse us, annoy us, and surprise us. However, theanimals we invite into our lives can become more than “justpets.” They can also become our companions.ANIMAL GUARDIANSHIPWhen we say we “own a pet,” what does that really mean?Should owning a pet be something we casually do, like taking a3Companion Animals: What They Mean to Us shower or getting gas for our car? How much thought should ittake to throw some water and food into a couple bowls once aday? Or should owning a pet take more effort?If we perceive that we actually own our dog or horse orgerbil, the same way we own our car or computer or designerpair of shoes, what happens when school sports, homework,friends, dating, family situations, and life in general get in theway? When we get tired of our car or it starts to fall apart, wesell it and get another one. Computer systems become obsolete;hard drives crash. We get frustrated, we get mad; we get anothersystem, better and new. When our shoes wear out or our jeansrip or fade, we can stick them in the back of the closet, forgottenand no longer used. Or we just throw them away.That is also how many people may feel about pets. Ifanimals develop behavioral issues, get sick, or get in the way,people give them away, tie them up in the yard, or beat themuntil they stop bothering their owners for attention and otherbasic needs. But is that really the answer? When they grow oldor no longer suit our needs, should we get rid of our pets,maybe getting newer, younger ones? Or when they no longeramuse us or we discover they are just too much work, shouldwe then forget about them?Changing the litter in the gerbil or rabbit cage the first fewtimes isn’t too bad, but it soon loses its appeal after doing itevery week for a year—especially when you are running late fora movie with your friends or just had a fight with your dad.And being wakened at six in the morning by a dog that needs tobe go out in a blizzard to relieve himself or a cat that stinks of4Chapter 1“Caring for an animal teaches you how to care forsomething and, in turn, teaches you how to beresponsible. This is a major issue when it comes tohaving pets because pets are like an extension ofyour family. To help them survive, it is imperative thatyou learn how to care for them.”—ReshomaBanerjee, college graduate, Springfield, Illinois3 hairball vomit is no way to start the day—especially after a latenight of partying or when you need to get to class on time. If weperceive pets as objects instead of living, breathing creatureswith feelings, then it is their fault if we are annoyed. But whenwe begin to view our pet animals as more than “just a pet,” ourperspective begins to change.But what exactly changes? Is it how we treat the animals, oris it that we can actually experience