Guest Rant of the Week: Dogs Are Slightly Less Expensive & Time-Consuming Versions of Children
I have am cursed lucky to have a number of kids in my life, even though I don’t have any kids of my own. Some of these kids are family (nieces and nephews) while others are the children of friends and co-workers. Meanwhile, I have a dog. My dog is getting up there in age and I’ve been a pet-parent for over 12 years. You would think that this gave me an opportunity to have a “leg up” on the parenting conversations, but people who have human children hate having their children compared to my dog. They think that their children are different and should be treated differently, but I “beg” to differ.
Anyway, here is my list of all the ways that I’ve noticed that dogs and children behave in pretty much the exact same ways.
(My apologies to the cat people. I am allergic to cats and this hasn’t given me the chance to spend much time around them to observe their feline habits so I can’t write about their comparison to children, but you are welcome to include your experiences in the comment section.)
- Food – Both dogs and little kids need special food. You can’t feed a dog the same thing that humans eat and you can’t feed a baby or toddler the same things that adults eat.
- Bathroom Habits – Dogs and children require training to teach them how to properly go to the bathroom. For dogs, you want them to go outside or on special paper/pads in the house. For children, you want them to go in a diaper at the beginning and later transition to a potty.
- Naps – Dogs and babies are both content to nap throughout the day. And, when both sleep, they do not do so quietly. Dogs and children make noise and move around a lot while sleeping.
- Play Time – Kids and dogs love to play and can make anything into a toy. Even if that is a cardboard box, wrapping paper, or food.
- Mouth – Everything goes in the mouths of children and dogs, whether it is supposed to or not.
- Constant Supervision – See “mouth” above. You have to be quick to get a button out of the mouth of a dog or baby. Even if you thought that button was sewed tightly onto your throw pillow, they will find a way to dislodge it and put it in their mouth in the 10 seconds it took you to sit down across the room.
- Safeguarding the House – Before getting a dog or a baby, it is important to make the house safe for them and from them. Everything under 3 feet in height must be moved if it is breakable, small enough to be swallowed, dangerous, or could be damaged by the child or dog. This actually means that everything gets put up high or locked into a cabinet and all cords and wires have to be removed or taped down.
- Listening Skills – Children and dogs have poor listening skills. You constantly have to repeat yourself to tell them the rules or expectations for their behavior.
- Privacy and Alone Time – Neither of these exist if you have children or dogs. You can’t even go to the bathroom or make a phone call without being interrupted. Children and dogs constantly want your attention.
- Tricks – Parents of children and dogs can not contain their pride in showing off the newest trick that can be performed by their kids or dogs. Whether that trick is crawling, walking, sitting or speaking, the parent is overjoyed to show off this trick to anyone willing to watch. And, often a food-related bribe is needed to encourage the child or dog to perform said trick.
And yet parents still get mad when the comparison is made…