so today . . . i've been thinking about the difference between having dogs and having children.
we love our pups. we have had a dog for most of our married life. when we lost our last dog to cancer a few years ago, it was just before christmas--the middle of winter. and as anyone who has ever house-trained a dog knows, that is not the very best time for a puppy. so our plan was to wait until summer, when i would be out of school, to add another furry friend to our household . . .
. . . we had another dog by the end of january.i guess we are just dog people. we have had four dogs in the last 30 years, counting the two who currently call us mom and dad. our dogs are part of our family. they live in the house. they have their own access to the back yard. they get up on the furniture--in fact one is currently scrunched up against me. and they sleep with us. yes, they even root their way under the covers when it is cold. (this is why we have to have a king-sized bed!)i was reading a blog yesterday about a friend of ours who is currently in new zealand, and she is missing her darling dog, who had to stay home (i am guessing he is staying with "grandma and grandpa.") and it got me to thinking about the differences between having doggie children and human children. so, risking the wrath of my human daughter (who i really do love more than the furry children,) i am going to offer up a TOP TEN LIST OF WHY SOME PEOPLE PREFER DOGS TO CHILDREN.
10. you can leave them home alone while you go to work or the movies or the mall. have you priced babysitters lately?? sheesh!
9. you don't have to think about what to serve them for dinner. they don't need variety. in fact, my mom's vet said you should always feed your dog the same food. otherwise they can get finicky about what they will eat. maybe that is why kids are picky about their food. maybe if we just fed them peanut butter sandwiches for every meal, they would be happier.
8. you don't have to worry about where they are or what they are doing, because they can't go anywhere without you. i still remember the call i got from diandra at 10:30 p.m. on a friday night from the long beach town center when she was sixteen, "mom? don't panic, but the police are here . . . " yeah, tell a mother not to panic, followed by "but the police are here!" thankfully it turned out to be a funny story, but still . . .
7. no clothing budget. ok, having said that, i know that some of you do buy clothes for your dogs. maybe, just maybe some dogs in cold climates might need a sweater when they go for a walk, but they really don't need a whole wardrobe. and even if you are one of those people who feel the need to dress your dog up, at least they don't require a bigger size every year, and they don't have an opinion about whether you bought it at target or at nordstrom.
6. they don't argue with you. they may not always obey instantly, but at least you don't have to have a big, long discussion about why. when they hear you say "NO!" they know that you mean it.
5. they can't roll their eyes at you. if you have teenagers, this needs no explanation. if you don't have teenagers, just wait--soon this will be a regular part of your day . . .
4. they sleep 20 hours a day. and when they are not sleeping, they can keep themselves occupied--they don't have to be constantly entertained. if nothing else presents itself, they can at least chew on their feet . . . or their tail . . . or the other dog's ears . . . or your favorite shoes . . .3. they don't say embarassing things when you have company. when diandra was about three, someone from our church dropped by one evening--briefly. or so we thought. their "i just need to talk to you for a minute" visit grew into half an hour. diandra wanted a chocolate chip cookie, and i whispered to her that she could have one when the company left. a couple of minutes later, she walked over to the poor guy, looked straight into his eyes and said, "when are you going home?"
2. there are no "balloon payments" when they grow up. a car? college? a wedding? no! don't be silly!! they are dogs. they are happy with a milk bone.
and the number one reason why some people prefer dog children to human children . . .
1. they have tails to wag. and wag and wag and wag. how can you not smile when faced with that!