Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!


Posts Tagged ‘children’

The Care and Feeding of Children: Airing (1907)

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

My fabulous friends Laura and Dave are, in the next few weeks, about to have their lives changed by the arrival of a bouncing baby boy. Upon realizing that I had an extra copy of a book called The Care and Feeding of Children, I passed along the 1920s version (I kept the 1907 copy for the collection) to counterbalance all of the probably-more-relevant advice they are getting from more modern-day baby books.

The book was written by L. Emmett Holt, who was a well-known pediatrician back in the day. The book, according to the NIH website, was “originally written as a manual to assist the training of nurses at the Babies’ Hospital” and was quite popular, with 12 editions and an amazing 75 printings. Check around your houses; no doubt there are many copies still out there in people’s attics! Wonderfully, you can see the whole text of the 1894 version here).

For Laura and David, who were recently shocked to learn at a baby class they should not leave the house with the child for months and months, I thought this advice on “airing” the baby would be fitting. Airing indoors sure sounds like fun!


How early may airing indoors be commenced and how long may it be continued?

Airing in the room may be begun, even in cold weather, when the child is one month old, at first for only fifteen minutes at a time. This period may be gradually lengthened by ten or fifteen minutes each day until it is four or five hours. This airing may be contained in almost all kinds of weather.

Is there is not great danger of a young baby’s taking cold when aired in this manner?

Not if the period is at first show and the baby accustomed to it gradually. Instead of rendering the child liable to take cold, it is the best means of preventing colds.

How should such an airing be given?

The child should be dressed with bonnet and light coat as if for the street and placed in its crib or carriage which should stand a few feet from the window. All the windows are then thrown wide open, but the doors closed to prevent draughts. Screens are unnecessary.

At what age may a child go out of doors?

In summer, when one week old; in spring and fall, usually about one month; in winter, when about three months old, on pleasant days, being kept in the sun and out of the wind.

What are the best hours for airing out of doors? 

In summer and early autumn a child may be out almost any time between seven in the morning and sunset; in winter and early spring, a young child only between 10 or 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., although this depends somewhat upon the climate. In New York and along the Atlantic coast the early mornings are apt to be damp and the afternoons raw and cloudy.

On what kind of days should a baby not go out?

In sharp winds, when the ground is covered with melting snow, and when it is extremely cold. A child under four months old should not usually go out if the thermometer is below freezing point; nor one under eight months old if it is below 20° F.

What are the most important things to be attended to when the child is out in its carriage?

To see that the wind never blows in its face, that the feet are properly covered and warm, and that the sun is never allowed to shine directly into the eyes when the child is either asleep or awake.

Of what advantage to the child is the going out?

Fresh air is required to renew and purify the blood, and this is just as necessary for health and growth as proper food.

What are the effects produced in infants by fresh air?

The appetite is improved, the digestion is better, the cheeks become red, and all signs of health are seen.

Is there any advantage in having a child take its airing during the first five or six months in the nurse’s arms?

None whatever. A child can be made much more comfortable in a baby carriage, and can be equally well protected against exposure by blankets and the carriage umbrella.

What are the objections to an infant’s sleeping out of doors?

There are no real objections. It is not true that infants take cold more easily when asleep than awake, while it is almost invariably the case that those who sleep out of doors are stronger children and less prone to take cold than others.

What can be done for infants who take cold upon the slightest provocation?

They should be kept in cool rooms, and especially when asleep. They should not wear such heavy clothing that they are in a perspiration much of the time. Every morning the body, particularly the chest and back, should be sponged with cold water (50° to 60° F.).

How should this cold sponge bath be given?

The child should stand in a tub containing a little warm water, and a large bath sponge filled with cold water should be squeezed two to three times over the body. This should be followed by a vigorous rubbing with a towel until the skin is quite red. This may be used at three years, and often at two years. In the case of infants a little higher temperature (65° to 70°) may be used."


Country vs. City Kids (1891)

Monday, March 14th, 2011

“It cannot be claimed that children brought up in the country are better morally than those brought up in the cities. Evil exists in both places, and much of it cannot be kept from the knowledge of the young. It is seen in the city stripped of its glamour, and with its degrading effects more prominently in view, while in the country the unrestrained imagination is apt to supply fascinations which do not in reality exist. It is often better to know of dangers in order to avoid them than, in ignorance, to grow up with the chances of succumbing to their attractions.”

From the recently acquired book, The Daughter: Her Health, Education, and Wedlock.

Popular Games for Children

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

I've lost my squirrelQ Dear Miss Abigail:

What did children do for fun in the late 1800s and early 1900s? Were there some games that were popular? My daughter’s class is studying the lives of immigrant children in the years 1880 to 1920. I suspect we can’t find much because there isn’t too much on the subject. Life was pretty hard for children then? Any help is appreciated.


A Dear Cathy:

Coincidentally, I’ve just recently purchased Ethel Acker’s Four Hundred Games for School, Home and Playground. It was published in 1923, which is a bit outside your required dates, but many of the games are based on old ones, so says the preface. The four hundred games cover a variety of styles: counting out and choosing sides, circle games, dramatic games, singing games, mimetic games, tag games, hide and chase games, schoolroom games, special purpose games, bean bag games, ball games, athletic games, quiet games, and forfeits and stunts. I’ve picked just a few amusing ones to whet your appetite.

1923: Four Hundred Games

Have You Seen My Sheep?

The players stand in a single circle. A player in the center goes to a player in the circle and asks, ‘Have you seen my sheep?’ The one questioned asks in reply ‘How is it dressed?’ The center player then describes the clothing of some one in the ring; for example, ‘He wears a blue suit, a dotted tie, and has light hair.’ The one described runs as soon as he recognizes his description. The one questioned chases him, and if he catches the runner before he again reaches his place in the circle, the runner becomes the next questioner. If, however, the runner is safe the chaser becomes the questioner.

I’ve Lost My Squirrel

The children stand in a single circle, playing that they are squirrels. One child is outside looking for his squirrel which he has lost. He walks around, repeating as he goes, ‘I’ve lost my squirrel, I’ve lost my squirrel.’ Then he stops just behind some child and touches him on the shoulder, saying, ‘I’ve found my squirrel.’ At this the two run in opposite directions around the circle. The one who gets back to the open space first is safe. The other one is ‘it’ for the next game.


The children stand beside each other in one line. They join hands in back. Directly in front and facing them stands the one who is ‘it.’ The line advances while ‘it’ at the same time walks backward. The child at one end of the line calls ‘Pinch!’ and pinches the hand of the child next him. The pinch is passed along the line to the last child who calls ‘O!’ when pinched. As soon as the others hear the ‘O’ they turn and run back to a predetermined goal, and ‘it’ gives chase. Those who are caught by the one who is ‘it’ help to catch the others in the next game, or the first one caught may exchange places with the one who is ‘it.’ The children must be careful not to show by their faces where the ‘pinch’ is. For variation of the game any child may call ‘O!’ when he is pinched.

Snow Man

This game affords an opportunity for legitimate snowball throwing. Any number of children may play. Two goals some distance apart are chosen. The two opposite boundaries of the playground may furnish these goals. One child is chosen to be the snow man. With a good supply of snowballs, he stations himself at a point halfway between the goals. All the other children are stationed at one of the goals. Then the snow man calls out, ‘Who’s afraid of a snow man?’ If the children hesitate at all about running, he calls out again, ‘Oh, you’re afraid of the snow man! You’re afraid!’ At that all must run to the opposite goal and the snow man proceeds to hit as many as he can before they reach goal. Any who are hit must take a place beside the snow man and make balls. Those reaching goal safely without being hit, wait there until again addressed by the snow man; then they run again to the opposite goal, and again the snow man snowballs them. The last child to be hit between goals becomes the snow man for the next game. No one hit on goal is counted out, but no one may stay on goal after the snow man calls the last sentence. As will readily be seen, this game requires a wide as well as a rather long running space.

Source: Acker, Ethel F. 400 Games for School, Home and Playground. Dansville, N.Y.: F. A. Owen Publishing Company, 1923.
~ pp. 24 -26, 100, 118 ~

The Birthday Cake

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Blow! Blow! Blow!Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me! Yes, it’s that time of year again. Although it would seem that I should be mature and respectable in my old age, I’m not about to give up my birthday party. I decided to do a bit of research to learn more about one important aspect, the cake, expecting to find tips about cutting and serving and what type to bake your loved one. But wouldn’t you know, the first thing I came across was the following from party-pooper author Sophie Hadida. It’s from her Manners for Millions. I sure am glad my mom never read this book!

1950: The Birthday Cake

Breezes and Showers. ‘Now it’s time to eat the birthday cake. Let’s all blow out the candles.’ Blow! Blow! Blow! They’re all out, and so are the germs from all the guests ~ out traveling on the cake. Whoever originated this joyous birthday sport ~ well, never mind him; but don’t let’s do it any more.

This act, you can see the moment it is brought to your attention, is a vile one. It is amazing that you mothers have for years been permitting the guests of your children to put out candles on birthday cakes in this unhealthful manner.

From now on supply yourself with a snuffer. Allow each child to take it in his own hands and put out one light. That will give as much pleasure and will not endanger the health of anyone.

I hear you say, ‘Strange! I never thought of that before.’

Source: Hadida, Sophie C. Manners for Millions. New York: Permabooks, 1950.
~ pp. 54-55 ~

Talent for Toy Choosing

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

quainter, cuter, sweeter, more take-me-homishI’m heading down to my mom and stepdad’s house in Florida for the long weekend, and part of the purpose of the trip (besides lounging by the pool) is to pick up my favorite childhood toy: a doll so creatively named Big Baby. She’s been part of my life for the last thirty or so years, but when Mom was in town a few months ago we pondered over Big’s current state of disrepair. A decision was made to carefully transport her to a doll maker relative to perform the much-needed surgery. I haven’t seen her yet, but the reports are good ~ in addition to a new cloth body and stuffing, her hair has been washed and combed, hopefully hiding the choppy haircut I gave her many years ago.

All this talk of loving toys led me to the following quote, from Emily Post’s Children are People. Thanks to Mom and Aunt Pam for saving Big Baby! And many thanks for not replacing her with a boring old tinkle doll.

1940: Talent for Toy Choosing

There is an especial gift which certain people have for choosing the very toy that each child loves the most of all. Buying a present for an older child is easy enough, since it is usually getting something that you can persuade him to tell you about, including the store or the catalog in which it is to be found.

But when choosing a toy for a younger child, the essential thing to do is to imagine that it is for you, and ask yourself what you are going to do with it. If it is something to look at ~ like the musical doll’s head on a stick that tinkle-tinkles as you swing it around ~ it would bore you to death and make you dizzy besides. Well, that is exactly what the child will think, too. For a little baby the tinkle doll is quite all right. But not for more than a minute at that, since he can’t take it in his hands or put it in his mouth or do anything but blink at it as it whirls around. For a child of two, anything with which he can make something is always delighting. I hesitate to suggest a hose to couple and uncouple, to turn on and off on a hot summer’s day ~ because nothing ever made by a toy manufacturer ever met with the success of this. Next to a hose, a collection of small boxes ~ ordinary wooden boxes of the kind silversmiths use to enclose cardboard boxes for mailing, and of course blocks of almost any sort, and balls both big and little, and animals, and a wagon. Above the age of three all of the kindergarten boxes ~ mat-weaving, sewing, drawing, clay-modeling, painting, bead-threading ~ are delightful if a grown person or older brother or sister will help to keep it easy play and not an irksome task.

The ‘didey doll’ was perhaps the most fascinating of dolls, because of all the things that the child was able to do for it ~ bathe it, dress it, feed it, change it, wash for it.

Having rather belittled things just to look at, let me add that there are endless things that children love to look at for minutes on end ~ picture books, dolls, toy animals. But the books must have pictures that fascinate you, the doll a face that suggests a name. In fact, to give it a name when you send it is sometimes a good idea. Pigaline, a chunky bear, the elephant child, and the personable dog. . . .

In many cases, if, when you go to buy a doll or an animal, there is one that has something about it that makes you think it quainter, cuter, sweeter, more take-me-homish than anything you’ve ever seen, it is almost certain that the child will think so too! Why? I don’t know ~ perhaps it is nonsense, but in many, many cases, and over the stretch of many years, I have found it to be true.

Source: Post, Emily. Children are People, and Ideal Parents are Comrades. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1940.
~ pp. 158-60 ~

School Days

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Do you indulge in locker-love and corridor courtship?I spotted my first back-to-schoolers this morning. They looked so eager, with their empty backpacks and spiffy new clothes. Makes me want to stock up on my favorite Garanimals, just like the good old days.

This one goes out to all the bright-eyed schoolchildren out there. It’s from M. Thelma McAndless’s handy pamphlet titled Manners Today. Learn lots of good stuff this year, kiddos, and don’t forget to mind your manners!

1943: School Days

The privileged class ~ that title, if appropriate for anyone in America, applies to the millions of young Americans now attending schools, colleges, and universities, for if Freedom of Opportunity to plan, build, grow at the top of one’s ability isn’t a skyflight privilege, what, then, is?

Are you, as one of the privileged class, using or abusing your opportunities, or have you been hedging a little? Have you really gone sled length after knowledge? Have you been regular in attendance? When absent, have you made it your business to see about make-up work? Is it your policy to blunder into class a few minutes late? Do you then slap books, rattle papers, and annoy your seat mate? Do you copy his work? Don’t fib. What kind of school citizen are you?

Do you waste class time with hair-splitting questions? Do you laugh at stupid answers? Do you wave your fist wildly during recitations to attract attention? When you’re bored do you twiddle your thumbs? When your preparations are shaky, do you try apple polishing? If the Yes’s have it, you’re selling out the privileged class.

The right attitude toward public property ~ important, isn’t it? How do you rate? Do you loosen chair legs by rocking on them? Do you misuse school rulers, pencil sharpeners, scissors, maps, books? . . .

Do you throw apple cores, orange peel, scraps of paper, gum in the water fountains? Disagreeable habit, isn’t it? Do you cram desk drawers with wrappings, paper handkerchiefs, love notes? Do you litter the floor? Do you stuff your lockers, and then groan as they inconveniently spew out the junk? Too many yes’s here, and dimes to dollars you’re not proud of the appearance of your school or its campus.

Haven’t you seen him? Haven’t you heard about him? Oh, my dear, he’s the lunchroom pest. He’s a most inconsiderate person. He jostles elbows, juggles trays, steps in and out of line. He points at the food with a smudgy finger, speaks discourteously to the service crew, combs his hair over the food, coughs and sneezes and criticizes the cashier. He sprawls all over the table and gobbles up his lunch. Then off he goes, forgetting to dispose of tray, milk bottle, waste food. . . .

Do you contribute to the corridor jam? Do you break track records? Do you execute neat head-on collisions? Do you stampede the water fountain? Do you mob the classroom door? Do you indulge in locker-love and corridor courtship?

Do you slam lockers? Do you emit war whoops? Do you race wildly up and down stairs? Such behavior strikes school guests unfavorably. But more unfortunate, it reduces school efficiency, because schools are supposed to help people to live together comfortably.

Source: Manners Today
~ pp. 20-22 ~

McAndless, M. Thelma. Manners Today. Detroit: Briggs Publishing Company, 1943.

In Company

Monday, August 16th, 2010

all whispering, giggling, squinting shunPlease excuse me as I salivate over a wonderful additions to my collection. A gift from my dear sweet mother, this tiny pamphlet, written entirely in verse and is titled The School of Good Manners.It is dated 1822, and so became my earliest book. Some helpful readers have clued me in that the author was Nancy Sproat; the cover claims she also wrote the “Good Girls’s Soliloquy, Poetic Tales, Little Ditties for Little Children, &c.”

Here is a tasty morsel for your instant gratification. Isn’t it nice to know that picking your nose is not just a contemporary problem?

1822: In Company

Intrude not where you’re not desired,
Nor stay till every one is tired.
Writhe not your limbs in every shape
Of awkward gesture, like an ape,
Nor twirl your hands, nor hit your toes ~
Nor hum a tune ~ nor pick your nose ~
Nor keep in motion as you sit,
Nor on the floor or carpet spit,
But in the fire with prudent care.
Nor lean upon another’s chair.
If you must cough, or sneeze, be still
In doing it, if possible.
If you must yawn, just turn aside,
And with your hand the motion hide.
And when you blow your nose, be brief,
And neatly use your handkerchief.
All whispering, giggling, squinting shun,
Don’t turn your back on any one.
Nor bite your nails, nor lolling stand,
Nor in your pockets keep your hand.
Do not allow yourself to look
In letters, papers, or a book,
‘Till you have leave. If one is reading,
Don’t overlook him; ’tis ill breeding.
Don’t wear a frown upon your face;
Let cheerfulness your aspect grace.
To your superiors always strive,
In walking, your right hand to give.
A proper distance keep in mind,
Crowd not too near, nor lag behind.
To equals let your conduct be
Marked with sweet affability.

Source: [Sproat, Nancy]. The School of Good Manners. New York: Samuel Wood & Sons, 1822. (Reprint: David Marshall, 1888).
~ p. 3 ~

Is She an Old Maid?

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

her amibitions have full swayQ Dear Miss Abigail:

My sister is thirty-two years old and unmarried. Is she an old maid? Is there any hope or should we give up?


A Dear Antoine:

Give up? Thirty-two is certainly not dead. Besides, she might be perfectly happy with her singleness. I bet she’s absolutely joyous!

Even though it is not wartime, I believe Bernarr Macfadden’s words in Womanhood and Marriage can offer some appropriate thoughts. Apparently it’s not the lack of men that keep woman “unhappy,” it’s the lack of children. Hmmm, interesting…do you think dogs count?

1923: The Old Maid

Some few years ago the phrase, “bachelor girl,” was a popular one, and we still have her with us, though the name is less used. The bachelor girl is an unmarried woman, of almost any age, who has gone out into the world of business and is leading her own independent, and generally very efficient, life. She carries with her no suggestion of failure. No one could ever think of her as a remnant on life’s bargain counter. She has remained unmarried because no man came into her circle of friends who possessed enough attractions to woo her from a life of “single blessedness.” It would sometimes seem to be something of a reflection upon the men of the present time, when one looks over the women who would have made such splendid mothers, but who have persistently remained outside of the bonds of matrimony. The bachelor girl has managed to escape the narrow life and weazened existence of the traditional old maid; but has she after all nothing to regret?

There are many allurements in the single life. There is, for example, the greater freedom which comes to one who has no one’s needs or desires to consider but her own. She can live her own life, which is what so many of us clamor for in the early years of adolescence. She is free to let her amibitions have full sway, and she may, therefore, achieve success ~ in some instances a noteworthy one. Yet we may ask ourselves, Is she always satisfied?

While she is young and everything comes her way, she is too busy climbing from one point to the next on life’s ladder to ask herself this question. When she reaches middle life and finds that she has achieved all that she dreamed of, and possibly more, there is little room for this question. But as the shadows of life begin to gather around her, and she finds herself left more and more alone because those of her own generation are silently departing to other shores, more and more frequently must the question return to her, “Is this all? Has it been worth while?”…

Although they may never know the intimate joys of marriage, there is no reason why they should be deprived of the deep and lasting happiness of motherhood. Without any doubt, the greatest, the most lasting, most satisfying happiness that comes to woman, comes through the gratification of her maternal instinct, and it need not necessarily be her own children who bring to her this satisfaction. There are today thousands of little children left orphans because of war, and no woman need ever be without little children in her home…. There will be no drying up of the fountain of life as the years go by, but rather will it grow richer and fuller from year to year. Thus may the bachelor girl insure herself against the dreaded fate of ever becoming that pitiful creature, the traditional old maid.

Source: Macfadden, Bernarr. Womanhood and Marriage. New York: Macfadden Book Company, Inc.,1923.
~ pp. 19-20, 21-23 ~

Household Secrets Revealed! Story at 11.

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

learn not to go away madQ Dear Miss Abigail:

What does one do to stop their children from revealing household secrets?


A Dear Lori:

Whew! I think it’s time to have a little family conference to let those kids know how you really feel about their blabbering mouths, and to let them air their “issues.” Henry and Elizabeth Swift explain how to do it in their informative book Running a Happy Family.

Let me set this up for you: In this case, the Becker house has one TV, and six family members to share it. Instead of fighting over the TV, as their neighbors the Millers do, dear old dad has worked out a wonderful system for planning the weekly viewing schedule. They discuss, listen, vote, and go away happy. It’s all about communication, baby, no matter what the issue.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my crazy mutt Frieda and I need to have a conference about her desire to balance on the back of the couch.

1960: Holding Conferences

1. Hold a Conference to Plan Family Activities and Policies. Both regularly scheduled meetings and those called for a special purpose can be a real help to better understanding within the family. Such meetings make it possible for everyone to get a fair hearing, and to air their views and grievances. They also provide an opportunity to settle family questions in a friendly way, as George Becker learned when he brought home what he had learned at work about conference leadership. Through participation in family meetings you can teach, train, and develop your children. They can learn from you how to disagree without losing friends or holding grudges, and, best of all, can learn not to ‘go away mad.’

2. Plan and Prepare in Advance for All Conferences. Be sure of the main purpose of the meeting, and that all who will be present know just what it is. If you are in charge, plan a convenient time and place and let everyone know about it ahead of time. Prepare the agenda, also in advance if possible. As leader, have some kind of guide in the form of mental or written notes, and see that any necessary equipment is available. The fact that the Becker family was well prepared, with comfortable surroundings and the necessary television guide and calendar, contributed to the success of their conference.

3. Encourage Active Participation From Everyone Who Is Present. Use leading questions to encourage participation, and be sure to give genuine consideration to all opinions. Giving the children their chance to speak is of no value unless they feel that some attention is being paid to what they have to say. After a thorough discussion, the leader should guide the group to evaluate the results. A vote may be the most appropriate means to insure that all take part in the decision as well as the discussion. Participation by all leads to better understanding and sounder decisions, and children learn more about making their own decisions if they have a chance to contribute in such a way at home. All members of George Becker’s family took part in the television conference except the baby ~ when she learns to talk she will be urged to participate too!

4. Listen Actively and Speak Clearly, as Leader or Participant. Children must learn to keep alert and to listen to the opinions of others whether they want to or not. They can also learn from your examples as a means of strengthening their case and making their points understandable. Through holding regular family conferences as the Becker family does, this valuable training is easily absorbed; whereas no one listened to anyone else during the free-for-all over television in the Miller household which resulted in antagonism and hurt feelings.

Source: Swift, Henry and Elizabeth. Running a Happy Family. New York: The John Day Company, 1960.
~ pp. 126-27 ~

A Baby and His Dog

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

yap yap yapQ Dear Miss Abigail:

My children are separated in age by ten years. I thought it would be a great idea to get my five year old a small dog for a gift. My husband is adamantly opposed to this idea, but he isn’t offering any form of compromise. He says he is allergic, but we already have one dog (a gift to my older daughter) and has had no allergic reaction. I grew up with pets and I think it is a wonderful way to teach your children to share. What do you think?


A Dear Doggone:

Sounds like your husband is allergic to the idea of having another dog running around the house. Is your five year old really ready to care for a puppy, or will daddy have to “help” with the housebreaking? Here’s something to contemplate before you head to the animal shelter. It’s from Emily Post’s less-famous Children are People.

1940: A Baby and His Dog

So let us say on Christmas or Easter or his birthday morning that Johnny hears a treble yap ~ yap ~ yap, and bubbling over with curiosity, runs to see! Out in the kitchen or in the hall on a bed of straw in the bottom of a box, he finds a puppy, which stops its yapping and begins to wriggle and bounce with delight at Johnny’s approach. Certainly it is his to name, to own, to pet and to play with, but not to squeeze too hard, not to hold upside down, not to feed with the wrong food, not to stuff at one time and to forget its food or its always fresh drink at another. Moreover, it is his to housebreak ~ with help perhaps from Dad or Mother ~ but reallyhis own to train with love, and with patience that knows no end. . . .

Recall to mind Albert Payson Terhune’s broadcasts, made each year before Christmas, in which he says plainly that none of Sunnybrook’s Collie puppies are for sale. . . . Mr. Terhune never parts with a puppy or dog unless he knows for certain that there is a dog lover in the family who is competent to give help to the child in caring for his pet. Someone who will teach the child that a dog is not a toy, but a friend, who for the greater part of all the happiness he shall know, will be dependent upon his master and protector. 

Source: Post, Emily. Children are People, and Ideal Parents are Comrades. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1940.
~ pp. 68-69 ~