“You Shouldn’tt Have a Dog”, a book written by dog expert Hyoung-wook Kang, not only provides a fresh perspective on adopting a dog but also make you reflect on rearing a child. Also, it was a book that showed me that the expression “Walk in someone’s shoes” can be applied not only to people, but to an animal’s situation as well. I have considered that other animals might have a language of their own, but it was through this book that I realized I didn’t understand the dog that I lived with. As such, Kang boldly states that someone like “You Shouldn’t Have a Dog”, but I get the idea that unqualified parents like “You Shouldn’t Have Kids”.
Through this book, I got to know the author, and got to watch his show, “No Bad Dogs”. It was fascinating to see ‘problematic’ dogs be transformed in just a week, but it was startling that when there is a ‘problematic dog’, the issue isn’t the dog; it’s the owner who doesn’t understand their dog. After each episodes, the saying “There are no problem children, only problem parents” seemed like the truth. At the core, a dog’s problem has the simple fact that “for every problem, there is a cause.” However, people often make the mistake of focusing only on the problem. And now, I’m thinking that this isn’t limited to just having a dog, and it isn’t too far off from parents raising children.
The effort to correct a pet dog’s problem, in the end, is for the person to be happier. Those who adopt are comforted by their dogs, and expect that a life with their dog would be enriched, and happy. Although they believe that adopting a dog into the family will improve everything, there is a lack of effort to understand their dog’s language and behavior, and people often fail to understand that dogs, like humans, possess emotion. Before the adopting, it’s hard to imagine all the issues that’ll come up. Similarly, after having a child, we humans can only guess about what will change within us, and the environment around us. You could say that there is no preparation for being a parent or raising a child, and people aren’t aware just how much such education is needed.
The perpetrator in the recent abuse of an 11 year old in Incheon was her birth father, and his live-in girlfriend. The father of the 11 year old kept her locked at home, not even sending her to school. At the station, the girl stated that her father only played games in front of the computer except when eating or sleeping. The girl was even physically abused by the girlfriend, with kicks and punches, even with the metal pipes used for hanging clothes hangers. When this girl escaped from her home, her ribs were fractured, and multiple bruises were on her arms and legs. The girl testified that there were times when her father wouldn’t feed her for over a week. Due to severe malnutrition, this 5th grader weighed as much as an average 4 year old. If you examine the perpetrators in abuse cases like this, 80% of the time, it is the parents.
This incident was fairly recent so many people remember, but many high profile child abuse cases continue to get covered. Child abuse is likely a problem that stems from the problem parents, but if it happened in a society with enough interest or consideration, crimes like this couldn’t survive. However, when this student was absent for an extended period, the school paid no attention, and the neighbors cared little. Just like any other case, post management is important, but preventative measures should come first; the lesson on life and rearing a child is obviously done at home, with the birth of one. For this reason, It would be a great deal of help to have other plants or animals as a family.
People who had a pet dog when they were young, or watched their parents take time to take care of the plants would have a special way of treating every living thing. But just as having a pet dog or taking care of plants isn’t mandatory, you cannot expect it of everyone. But shouldn’t educating aspiring parents on the lesson of life and childrearing be treated with the similar gravitas as preparing for college? People don’t just become parents – but rather, it’s a strict qualification that takes preparation through learning, and the learning it takes to be a good parent must continue before, and after having a child. Just as human dignity is formed steadily as statues are sculpted from a rock, possessing the appropriate character to be a parent takes patience and work. Though becoming a parent is the most rewarding and joyful moment in the world, it comes with infinite responsibilities, demands the finest of character, and requires an indefinite amount of time.
Marie Hong/Chief Editorial Staff