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WHEN VIEWING ON A MOBILE DEVICE -- DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM 12  chapter 2 for example, is always doing something new and different. By this I don’t mean that Fido or Fluffy is spontaneously doing new tricks. I simply mean that she gets up, lies down on the rug, and runs to the window to bark at a squirrel of her own accord. She is relatively autonomous. The dog’s agency is one element of her “is-​ness” that keeps her so interesting and captivating. An animal may respond to a child’s advances (such as a hungry box turtle approaching a strawberry after a child places it in the turtle’s food dish), but it is relatively self-​directed. Aside from humans and other animals, no other creatures in a child’s life move and act of their own accord. Even robotic or battery-​powered pets, which do seem to move and act of their own accord, do not captivate chil- dren in the same way live creatures do. Again, this may seem to be common sense, but it’s telling. It indicates a genuine awareness that real animals are different than these lifelike toys. And to a young child, the movement and agency an animal demonstrates are very exciting and emotionally powerful. Animals, Myers says, also “demonstrate what we might call moods, emo- tions, or ups and downs of energy in response to their world.” This is the second quality that Myers describes: animals have affect. Myers explains, “We know that the human mind is especially good at mirroring, or using one’s own inner experience to model and try to understand the actions and emotions of another. Children must use this ability to empathize with an animal’s affective state of being. The child may see the dog is lying down, [rest- ing, and that child senses a] calm, comfortable affect. Perhaps the child will want to interact with the dog and share that state, cuddling up.” An animal’s affect also signals to children when they should change their behavior. For example, when a child pinches or handles an animal too roughly, the animal may startle or move away from the child. When an excited child squeals and dashes up to a bird in a cage, and that bird startles, jumps off its perch, and flaps wildly against the cage bars, the child may realize that his own behav- ior had an impact on the bird’s state of being. In general, most children use agency and affect as keys to how they will interact with an animal. Another characteristic that makes animals so powerful to children is coherence. Coherence is a sense of wholeness, especially as it relates to the animal’s physical body. The way in which a pet dog moves, any predictability inherent in its actions, what it does in the home, in the yard, and in the dog park are all elements of an animal’s coherence: the integration of behavior, physicality, movement, sounds, and other interactions. If the pet dog is in- jured, ill, or behaves erratically, for example, limping or dragging a hind leg, COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL