5 June 2011

unschool monday :: Betty


Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted a dog more than anything else in the whole world. The family had a dog in the past and things turned out very badly. The dog wasn't right for the family at that time and the family was all wrong for that dog, so they found the right home for her and swore never to own a dog again. But oh, how the little girl longed for a companion. Someone to tell all her secrets to and someone sit near her feet. Someone to go for walks with and someone to love her always...


Enter Betty. I saw her photo on a website* one day, with a little description about a quiet, gentle little dog who loves people. Her disposition sounded quite different to what her breed would suggest. She seemed all wrong for us and the timing seemed all wrong, with a baby not even crawling yet. But big owlet really wanted a dog. An animal loving owlet like her needs a dog. Betty needed a home and a family to love her. She was certainly small enough so as not to overwhelm the owlets. Much discussion ensued and before long we were off to the farm to see about the dog. Big owlet loved her immediately. Little owlet screamed with fear. About the dog and all the other dogs. And the pigs, the chooks, the ducks, the sheep, the cows, the guinea pigs... anything that moved. We got back in the car, sad, disappointed, worried about little owlet and her phobias. Then we visited a friend and their dog didn't even register on little owlet's radar. We slept on it.


And when we woke in the morning and little owlet begged for a dog, we decided to bring Betty home. Immediately when we arrived home, she hopped in her new bed in the lounge room and slept. As if she'd always lived here... While little owlet hid behind a cushion...


Two hours later, little owlet felt brave enough to pat Betty and by bedtime, they were firm friends. The owlets stayed up late, watching dog movies while snuggling the newest furry owlet. They even read her a bedtime story.


On Sunday we took her for a wander around the neighborhood. Big owlet beaming with pride and trying to get the hang of walking a dog for the first time. Betty knows all about leads and walks, so it shouldn't be long before they both have the hang of it and trust in each other. We're pretty sure Betty should continue to fit right in.


It's quite amazing the journey unschooling takes you on. Following your child's lead, you tend to open your heart to new adventures... The "no" becomes a "yes", somehow. You find yourselves learning about all sorts of things... And of course, animals are such great teachers. Then, before you know it, the right dog chooses you.


*Special thankyou to Emma and Julie at Brightisde Farm Sanctuary. Not only for talking with us on the phone, at length, and setting aside time for us to meet her. Twice. But also for the amazing work they do providing such a beautiful, happy home for all the animals they rescue. A happier menagerie you will never see.


  1. I said no to a dog for years - until a ridiculously fuzzy puppy appeared on our doorstep. And then I was out voted. But Ten Year Old has learned SO much about dogs, and takes full responsibility for him now. It's really been great for her.

  2. What a beautiful touching post! It is so lovely to hear that it seems that you have found the perfect addition to you family.
    I love your comment 'Following your child's lead, you tend to open your heart to new adventures... The "no" becomes a "yes", somehow. '. It is something that I still need to work on and learn, but whenever I do, I always feel in touch with something within myself that is guiding me in the right direction. Sometimes that is really hard to trust, but when I do, I feel in sync, and life feels more harmonious.

  3. What a beautifully written post. I love it. Brightside is a wonderful place, and I wish Betty well.

  4. Betty looks so happy ... as do the owlets that have fallen in love with her xx What a gorgeous post xx

  5. Hi All, It is Emma from Brightside Farm Sanctuary here. I am so happy to see and hear Betty is in such a wonderful home ! She looks and sounds so happy. I run Brightside with my daughter Eliza who is home schooled she loved Betty very much from the minute we rescued her. She will be SO happy to hear Betty is so loved. XX Thank you for adopting her into your family. Emma

  6. Oh, Betty is gorgeous - i used to work in a dog rescue place for many years back in the UK - I would have been ecstatic if one of my dogs had gone to live in the Owlet house!.....we all SO want a dog here, all three of us, but until we aren't away half the year doing field work with Brett, it just can't happen...not fair on pooch, not fair on us..:( One day.

  7. Oh, Betty's beautiful! And so lucky to find you, and you her. I love this Yes, Lauren! Like all from-the-heart, open Yes's, this one is bursting with joy. I'm so happy for you all!

  8. Hooray for Betty. There is something very special about children and animals together. Lots of love and learning ahead! Doots wants a dog too, but we have a very old cat, and a couple of chooks. But one day!

  9. What a beautiful story! We recently got a dog that was clearly meant for us too. It has been so healing for our entire family, but especially our son!

  10. I Love your unschooling Monday. I think I'll join you all.

  11. Welcome Betty :)
    How wonderful that she found your family.


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