Answer key: Opening the Heart’s Floodgates, With a Paw

Lesson Plan: Opening Our Hearts…To Animals

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. matchmaker|ˈmaCHˌmākər| noun-a person who arranges relationships and marriages between others, either informally or, in certain cultural communities, as a formal occupation.
  2. abandoned  |əˈband(ə)nd| adjective-having been deserted or cast off: an abandoned car | abandoned pets.
  3. compliment |ˈkämpləmənt| noun-a polite expression of praise or admiration: she paid me an enormous compliment.
  4. passion |ˈpaSHən| noun-an intense desire or enthusiasm for something: the English have a passion for gardens.
  5. dismal  |ˈdizməl| adjective-depressing; dreary: the dismal weather made the late afternoon seem like evening.
  6. mislead  |misˈlēd| verb (past and past participle misled) cause (someone) to have a wrong idea or impression about someone or something: the government misled the public about the road’s environmental impact.
  7. blur |blər| noun-a thing that cannot be seen or heard clearly: the pale blur of her face | the words were a blur.
  8. muffled |ˈməfəl| verb make (a sound) quieter or less distinct: his voice was muffled.
  9. ancient |ˈān(t)SHənt| adjective-having been in existence for a very long time: an ancient gateway | ancient forests.
  10. miniature  |ˈmin(ē)əCHərˈmin(ē)əˌCHo͝or| adjective• a plant or animal that is a smaller version of an existing variety or breed.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Reading Comprehension: Word -Recognition

Watching people fall in love so completely with dogs, I began to see how humans long to give their hearts away. Of course, there are outliers: cool customers set on French bulldogs of a certain shade, or people who turn up their noses at pit bulls, even the smoosh-mouthed little ‘pittie puppies.’  And the difficulties of human relationships can keep the love from flowing.

 Grammar Focus: Prepositions

Animal people can be judgmental, self-righteous and cranky, all of which I was becoming. As I spent more time at the shelter, I found that I became less patient with human beings, even my sweet husband. Walking the dogs would cheer me up, but my mood would darken as I fixated on the stupidity and carelessness of my fellow Homo sapiens. On the subway ride home I often caught myself frowning at strangers on the train.