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What Dogs Can Teach Us

At an animal shelter in Spain, gentle dogs called greyhounds are teaching lessons in kindness.

A woman kneels down with her arms around a brindle greyhound that is looking back at her.

© Jorge Guerrero—AFP/Getty Images

An adult volunteer plays with a greyhound at an animal shelter in Spain.

At an animal shelter in Spain, kids are learning lessons in kindness by spending time with gentle greyhounds.

The shelter, called SOS Galgos, is devoted mostly to one breed of dog. Greyhounds are known as racing dogs in some parts of the world. In Spain, where they’re called galgos, they are often used as hunting dogs. Sadly, they are sometimes abandoned after they reach a certain age. SOS Galgos takes in and finds new homes for these greyhounds.

The shelter also works with schools, inviting students to visit and spend time with the dogs. The cost is six euros (about $6.50) per child, and all the money is used to support the shelter’s work.

During a two-hour session, kids learn how the dogs are cared for in the shelter and how SOS Galgos finds new homes for them. Greyhounds are known for their quiet and gentle personalities. Many greyhounds dislike loud noises and rough play, so it’s important to be calm around them. Spending time with animals that depend on humans is a great way to learn about kindness and sympathy.

“Children who have not had any contact with the animal world…leave here excited and happy that they have touched a dog,” Sara Cadenas, who is in charge of the school program, told Reuters.

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Did You Know?

The greyhound is one of the oldest dog breeds, dating back thousands of years to ancient Egypt!

© G. Dagli Orti—De Agostini Editorial/Getty Images

Dog or Wolf?

Dogs and wolves are very similar, and for good reason. Dogs came into being about 40,000 years ago, when humans domesticated, or tamed, wolves. Since then, humans have developed different dog breeds. Unlike wolves, dogs are great pals for humans. 

Here are some more key differences between dogs and gray wolves.

A table compares and contrasts different qualities of wolves and dogs.

 © Anagram1, Volodymyr Melnyk/Dreamstime.com; Infographic Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Hey, Youuuuuuu!

© Film Studio Aves—Creatas Video/Getty Images

Wolves communicate with one another by howling. A wolf can hear other wolves howling from miles away! 

You can learn much more about wolves at Britannica.

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Word of the Day

domesticate

Part of speech:

verb

Definition:

: to breed or train (an animal) to need and accept the care of human beings : to tame (an animal)

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