Kids And Dogs? Yeah, Not All That Different
I know some people get pissed off when you compare their kids to pets, so I won’t. I’ll compare my kids to pets. Here are three areas in which I’ve found some startling similarities.
1. Coordination, A Developing Skill
The 7-month-old recently started crawling. Well, not crawling exactly. He would get up on his hands and knees, rock back and forth a few times, then with great aplomb, push off his knees, aaaaaaand…face-plant. He hadn’t quite figured out that his back limbs and front limbs needed to work together.
Similarly, when Max was a puppy, he had some issues with the whole back-limbs-front-limbs-working-in-concert concept.
For instance, when we brought Max home as a puppy, he wasn’t used to a collar. Full of energy and excitement, as puppies tend to be (especially lab puppies), he would chase us around the yard at an all-out run. Absentmindedly, he would reach up to scratch at the shiny, new, unfamiliar red collar…while still running at full speed. Aaaaaaand *tumble, roll, flop*. All you’d see was a blurry ball of fur and outstretched paws. When he finally came to a stop, he would just lay there for a moment, mystified as to what had just occurred.
And I love him dearly, but I have to be honest here. This dog, while he is the most loyal, affectionate, compassionate dog you’ve ever met… well…he’s dumb as a brick. The poor fur ball got up, started running, got an itch, aaaaaaaand…did it again. Kept doing it, too, until we were also ass-end up…with hysterical laughter.
2. Poop, Poop & More Poop
I remember seeing a friend’s Facebook status a while back: “I would like to limit the things in my life whose poop is my business.” I thought, “They’re either getting a dog or they’re pregnant.” Turns out it was the latter.
And that’s the crux of it. In both cases, you have just signed up for a new job as shit collector. And while that was actually a paid job back in the good old days of horses and cobblestone streets, you’ll be doing it gratis. Be it ‘pooper scooper’ or Diaper Genie, your vessel will overfloweth. At least with the kid, eventually they will learn to, um, clear their own decks. Until then, be ready to Batten The Hatches, There’s a Poonami In the Forecast.
3. ‘Hearing’ and ‘Listening’? Not Synonymous.
“Max, don’t lick the baby. Max, don’t lick the baby! MAX! DON’T LICK THE…wanna treat? Good boy!”
Yes, thank you Cesar Millan, I’m aware I am rewarding bad behavior. But teaching the dog not to lick the baby wasn’t possible before there was a baby. And now that there is a baby and a toddler, who the hell has the time to learn about effective dog training methods? We’re not talking safety issues here. Hygiene, maybe. Dog-lick smells like rotting fish. But, hey, kid needed a bath anyway.
“AJ, stop drinking the dog’s water. AJ, stop drinking the dog’s water. AJ! Stop drinking the dog’s water, or you will get a time out!” Hmmmmmm, just a thought – maybe I need to teach the dog about ‘time outs’… Because they work so well for the toddler…If you define ‘working well’ as ’25-50% effective’.
Then there are those days when neither dog nor child is listening. Past bribes have been forgotten, threats casually ignored, mommy is frazzled, and you can tell how flustered I’ve become when, from two houses away, you can hear me yelling, “AJ! STOP LICKING THE DOG!”
What do your children and pets have in common?