The Dog and Baby Show

I can’t remember now where I heard the adage that couples just starting out in life should start small when it come to keeping other things alive.  So, start with plants, graduate to animals and then actual live human children.  The theory is that if you can keep plants and animals alive, then you can probably do the whole baby thing. 

I used to think this was a bunch of bunk mainly because it doesn’t take into account whether or not you actually want to keep the thing alive.  I’m terrible at keeping plants alive because I consistently forget to water them, and I am not remorseful enough to make an effort to remember.  I have no problem remembering to water the kitties, however, because I have every desire to keep them alive and purring until they die a peaceful death of old age.  The saying assumes that each has the same level of respect.  I love my kitties and I tolerate my plants.

I do think, though, that whoever came up with this theory was on to something when you apply it to dogs.  In fact, I think G, our new (to us) old Golden Retriever has (temporarily) cured my Baby Lust.  I honestly had no clue how much work a dog really takes.  Walks twice a day, daily grooming, playing twice a day out in the backyard, feeding, holy crap it is unbelievable!  And there’s the worrying about training, leash pulling, eating the kitties’ food, chasing the kitties (that happened yesterday), the thunderstorm phobia.  This dog is more work in one day than the kitties are in an entire week.

It is enough to make you question whether you really want to have an infant who is likely ten times more work. Yeah, I said it.  Is that heresy?

There would be some marked differences: Mr. X would share a whole lot more of the responsibilities, and presumably we would have 9 months to get used to the idea of an infant. But still. After the honeymoon phase ends and people stop coming by to visit to see the new baby, it is you and them and that’s it.  Of course, you can take the kid everywhere. The dog, not so much.

For now, I’m going to enjoy not being obsessed with the state of my uterus (or anyone else’s for that matter) and enjoy navigating my way through new doggy-mommyhood. Woof.

image: wader

9 thoughts on “The Dog and Baby Show

  1. This idea makes perfect sense to me. In a somewhat related vein, I used to be terrified of throwing up. Some of my worst childhood memories were of the few times I was terribly sick with various nausea and vomit causing illnesses. A few times through the trying to conceive years I got slammed with terrible stomach flues, and as I kneeled over the toilet wretching I couldn’t help but think to myself, “You’re trying to get pregnant? Are you NUTS? You’re VOLUNTEERING for weeks on end of this torture? Are you SURE you want to subject yourself to this?” In those moments, I truly wondered if I could handle pregnancy. It sounds crazy, but it’s honest. When it finally did happen, I DID have terrible m/s up through week 17, but slogging through it was far easier than still fighting for a reason to puke. It was hard, but oh so worth it. Enjoy your doggy-mommyhood…prayerfully baby-mommyhood is soon to follow.

  2. I love golden retrievers… big, lovable oafs. Dogs do take a lot of work… I realized that last year when our old dog passed away. I suddenly had time on my hands… but then I just filled it up with something else. That’s life, I suppose.

    Enjoy your new role as doggie-mama!

  3. Good point! There are times (like last night for example) when I listened to my spawn screaming at each other & thought, “Is this really how I wanted to spend my life?” But then this morning B.B. stumbled sleepy-eyed into the kitchen & asked for a “Choc-ate Chip Graw-no-ah Bar” and offered a kiss in exchange.

  4. Dogs are great for satisfying a lot of that lust, but, they also mellow out. Our dog, an Aussie shepard, is practically no work, sure we go to the park and go for walks, but, we find that to be as much fun as she, and right now she is sleeping on my feet!

    Have fun with the new family member

  5. I think that one of the (very many) difficult things about infertility is that it gives us time to think about whether or not we really want a baby. Mr H and I were talking about this very issue over the weekend – we both agreed that we like the lifestyle we have at the moment, and that having a baby means that we would inevitably have to compromise on certain aspects of that lifestyle. We came to the conclusion that a degree of ambivalence is probably an entirely natural and inevitable part of thinking about becoming parents.

    Congratulations on your new arrival! I hope that you’re going to share some photos of G with us all soon.

  6. Dogs do sometimes get easier with age. You still have the basic feeding, watering, vet visits, but their energy needs slow down (depending on breed). And if you get them good training up front, it pays off for their whole life. I think the challenge with kids is that their needs constantly change as they grow up. You move out of dealing with diapers, to potty training, wetting the bed, etc. Then there are the teenage years…

  7. Let’s see a pic of the new member of the family!

    When we got our dog years ago, we had to learn to how successfully “parent” him together. It was a lot tougher than I thought, but he brings a great deal to our life. And since we don’t have a child – yet – he’s gotten all of our maternal/paternal love!

  8. Dogs are a lot of work, though it does get easier. Our dogs learned our our daily routines and they are pretty well behaved. We did a lot of training with ours. As long as all their needs are met, they are couch potatoes.

    Congratulations on the puppy! I would love to see him!

  9. My husband calls me the plant assassin. Maybe that is the problem.

    We have had a lab for five years, though. He’s a little overdue on his shots, but other than that, I think we are good doggie parents. Now if only we could be people parents.

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