Respect For Animals Is the Greatest Gift That A Father Can Teach A Child

All my life I’ve never known my father to raise his voice or his hand although he has been sorely tested with some of our childhood exploits. Despite this he quietly strives each and every day to make his family’s world a better place. He manages this with a heart the size of his home county Yorkshire and a twinkle in his eye.

Throughout our lives he has brought home many a waif and stray, both the two and four-legged variety. He’s carried small whimpering bundles wrapped in old towels into the house, most with a sad story attached. Assuring my mother that children needed to learn from a young age to respect and enjoy animals and this was how characters were built. The latest addition has been a young border collie that he came across on one of his walks. It was being berated by a farmer for not being a better sheepdog and lacking a more aggressive nature. My dad intervened before the animal could receive any more beatings and simply said to the farmer “Now then fella m’lad, that’ll be enough of that” and the farmer wisely sensing my father’s determination in this matter, relinquished him almost immediately. He walked him into the kitchen on the end of one of his granddaughter’s old skipping ropes and they have been inseparable ever since. So we have yet another addition to our rescue menagerie; a sheepdog who’s scared of his own shadow.

Through my Dad’s job as manager of the local village electrical retailer, he has come into contact with a number of people from all sorts of backgrounds. Over the years my Dad has brought home the odd serviceman’s wife to join us for a family meal. Many having moved to the area, leaving their families behind and when their husbands have shipped out; their loneliness in a new town has become almost unbearable.

When I was much younger, I remember my Dad turning the volume up on one of the televisions just as he was closing the shop. He would gesture to an old lady who was stood outside the shop window in the darkening evening watching some TV Soap or other. I never knew her circumstances but every evening about the same time, she would stand there waiting for my Dad to adjust the volume signalling to him when it was loud enough for her to hear. When we later updated our television for a newer model, I knew instinctively where he would be taking the old one although he never said.

As a child these small random acts of kindness tend to go unnoticed, it is not until we are older and are facing our own trials in the world that we fully appreciate and understand. I think I may have said before that my Dad is a man of simple pleasures and few words; he’s never travelled the world and never wanted to. However, in his own quiet way, he is more insightful than many that have. I know that wherever I travel, my compass will always find my way home because my father’s innate goodness will be the shining beacon lighting my way through turbulent times.


My Dad & his youngest grandaughter Titch

83 thoughts on “Respect For Animals Is the Greatest Gift That A Father Can Teach A Child

  1. What a wonderful photo. They say that over time, a person gets the face they deserve, and in your day’s case it is clearly true. His face just oozes kindness. Is that you with him? Thanks for sharing.


  2. A wonderful tribute to a dad … wonderful written … love that part about that you compass will always bring you home to him. Never met my dad … can’t say I have ever missed him neither.


  3. Everyday we make a decisions whether or not to make a difference. It seems that everyday your father chose wisely. Random acts of kindness are not all that random. They are made with purposeful determination and compassion. People like your father seem to understand the need more clearly and respond with life affirming acceptance. As Charles Dickens said in “A Christmas Carole – mankind is your business. Excellent post…


  4. This is a lovely post and a beautiful thing for you to share to honour him, as well as being a nice anecdote. Your Dad has respect for animals and people because he has an plain good old fashioned respect for himself, and from all that I’ve read of you in your posts you inherited that same self respect, so while he is a beacon for you, his light shines through and beyond you, and you are a beacon in kind for others 🙂


  5. What a lovely post, your Dad sounds like a salt of thee earth Yorkshire chap. There’s something special about Yorkshire men. Enjoy and love him you have a very special connection. He sounds so much like my Father. I only knew my father for 10 years before he died but I remember him as a gentle, patient man always ready to take me on his knee and read me stories and draw pictures and go for walks together. So I know you will cherish every moment you spend with your Dad


  6. What a beautiful post. I too have realized how much influence the quiet strength of my father had on my upbringing. Sadly he is no longer here, but I see him all the time in my own actions and words. Thanks for posting this.


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