We rarely have to remind Reese to be gentle with animals. It just seems to come natural to him.
We've had friends whose children always seemed to pull their dog's hair, squeeze frogs too hard, chase cats away. Reese just does not have that within. He would rather get down (or up as the case may be) on the animal's level & love on them.
This is Charlie The Cat who resides at the Log Cabin Village in Ft. Worth. Other chidren kept chasing the cat, and the parents said nothing. Reese would get down on his knees, talk to Charlie, & he'd come over and lay down to be pet.
At the zoo, Reese was sweet talking this turkey who was begging for our lunch. Reese tenderly explained why he couldn't share his food with the turkey (zoo signs said Do Not Feed The Animals), and that he was sorry.
One of the first animals we'll get when we finally move to the Farm will be a goat (or goats) for Reese. For some reason, they are one of his favorites! At the zoo, we spent about 30 minutes with the goats. Reese tenderly brushed the goats while they laid down.
We have horses near our house, & Reese loves to go say hi. This guy had a little cut on his snout & Reese "cooed" to him to tell him it was OK.