Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yes, I Compare My Dogs to Your Kids

Fact: I like to compare my dogs to my friends' children, or as I like to call them "spawn." I'm at the age (29) where my friends are starting to reproduce.  My Facebook newsfeed has blown up with pictures of tiny people under the age of three, monthly pregnant belly size updates, "clever" ways to announce a sperm and egg were fruitful and multiplied, and also ultrasounds (sidebar: this is a pet peeve of mine). I am happy for my friends as they take their family to the next level, but as most of you know, and I make it VERY clear, I am just not there yet. So, the best way for me to relate is to compare what I know (my dogs) to what you know (your offspring). 

Comparison #1: Weight
Like your children, my dogs also have their annual visits to the doctor (vet) where they get weighed. Granted, vets don't give a percentile for their age and breed, but they do let me know if they are healthy or not (which mine are in perfect health for their size, just so I can brag). So when I have a conversation with a friend about their infant and they tell me how much their kid weighs and what percentile they are in for their age, I like to respond by saying, "your kid weighs more/less than Winnie," which is my smaller dog (she weighs 22lbs.). So yes, I am comparing the size of your kid based on the weight of my four-legged kid. 

Comparison #2: Potty Training
My dogs are house-trained and your kid won't be potty trained for years. Dog > baby = I win! And yes, I will compare the process to crate training a dog. It's all about consistency, right? 

Comparison #3: Dogs and Babies Both Change Your Lifestyle
Granted, a dog doesn't change it THAT much, they are still added responsibility. I can't just go straight out after work, as someone has to come home to let the dogs out and feed them dinner. And just like you new moms, I can't be too spontaneous with leaving town - we have to find a dog sitter or make sure daycare has room for them first, and then weigh the value of spending the extra dough to leave town and pay someone since they can't be left alone. And no, in our case our family is not an option (yet...).

Comparison #4: Lack of Sleep
While I don't have to get up every few hours to feed a baby, my days of sleeping in are over! Now, my smaller dog, Winnie, is much better about being lazy and sleeping in until we are ready to get up on the weekend. However, the big dog, Cali, doesn't really let me sleep in past 9am (yes she only annoys me, not my husband). For whatever reason, she likes to only jump up next to my side of the bed and will eventually start to whine when she is ready to take her morning walk. 

Comparison #5: Daycare
My co-worker has a four month old baby girl who is in daycare during the week, since she is a working mom. What's cool about her daycare center is that there is a camera on site where she can login to their website and watch her kid. While the doggie daycare we take our dogs to for boarding doesn't have a camera on site (some do, though), I do stalk their Facebook page daily to see if they post any pictures of my dogs and get really excited when I see them having a good time. So I totally get it! 
Side note: who doesn't love watching puppy cams!

Comparison #6: Discipline / Training 
There is nothing more that I hate than when a kid is not disciplined, and the same goes for a dog! No one wants to go anywhere in public and experiencing your kid run around and act like an animal (pun intended). If I am going out to dinner and paying for a meal, I don't want to have to spend my time out ignoring your screaming child that is going crazy running around the place unwatched while you pretend they aren't owned by you. If only I wouldn't get sued or arrested if I had the ability to grab that kid, scold him and then tell him to sit in his chair like a "big boy/girl" or else they they will punished when they get home. It takes a village to raise a kid these days, yet it's frowned upon if anyone but the actual parent steps in to teach a kid right from wrong and how to act like an actual human. The same goes for irresponsible people and their dogs. Please take your dog to training and at last attempt to teach your dog some manners! I did it with both of my dogs, and when basic training wasn't enough, I got private training lessons. The key to raising a kid is the same as a dog - make sure you are consistent with the discipline and that you are on the same page as your partner.


I want to conclude by saying that I am not trying to insult you parents out there - this is just my way of relating and trying to care. And don't worry, I know in 3-5 years when I am ready to reproduce I fully except each and everyone of you to give me crap and tease me throughout the pregnancy until the time my future spawn leaves for college.