At some point in the future I will introduce you properly to the family mascot; our resident pooch.
He is a disloyal, food stealing, baby waking, neighbour visiting, smelly trip hazard… but for some reason we keep him around.
The dog came to live with us a year or so before the toddler was born.
As a baby, she was fairly disinterested in him, as he was in her (with the obvious exception of meal times). Since he could first drag himself across the carpet aged around five months however, my second, much more mobile, baby has made it his mission to get to the dog and attempt to poke, torment or grab him.
Obviously, I try to discourage this as much as possible. The dog is tolerant, but when all is said and done, he is still a dog.
People who have dogs but no children often refer to them as their fur babies, hairy kids, etc.
Although this doesn’t bother me in the way it does some people, as a seasoned owner of both I will tell you (in one breath) that the two are absolutely nothing alike and having a dog can in no way prepare you for children.
In the next I will concede that, aside from the very obvious (they run around a lot, you have to clean up their poo, feed them, take them to the vets….) there are actually an alarming number of similarities between small children and dogs.
1) They beg for food
2) If that doesn’t work, they steal it
If you let the baby roam free at toddler group he often comes back with scraps which he has foraged. For the dog, this can mean pinching the kids’ food whilst I am momentarily detained, making a cup of tea for example, or taking someone’s lunch out of their lunchbox. From within a zipped-up handbag. Sorry about that.
3) …Or eat scraps off the floor
The dog is allowed to eat off of the floor; it’s his job to clean up after the kids’ meal time. Due to being really sick, we left him with my brother-in-law and his partner for an extra week after our holiday (thanks VERY much guys) and the amount of food I had to clean up was unreal.
However, eating food off the floor is not something I encourage the baby to do…But he does it anyway given the chance.
4) They love balls
My son thoroughly enjoys a game of fetch. My dog will chase a ball and run about with it for a while but like hell will he bring it back.
5) If they’re inside they want to be outside
But the moment they’re out they just want to come back in and drag mud and/or grass clippings everywhere.
Right at this moment, the dog is whining to go out and the children are complaining to come in. Both are creating sticky nose marks on the door (that’s another similarity).
I am sitting in the conservatory between the two wondering if it’s easier just to give them free reign and clean the carpets later.
And talking of carpets…
6) They like to leave bodily fluids on the floor
I did have a picture for this, but I’ve decided to protect your eyes and fragile minds.
You all know what I’m talking about – even the most housetrained of pets and children have the odd accident.
When it comes to puke, dog vomit is far, far worse than standard reflux vomit; especially if they have been eating fox poo. Delightful! However my dog has never actually been sick on me, so I can’t determine a clear winner at the moment.
7) You have to spell out works like P A R K and T R E A T
Unless you want to have them clinging to your leg or jumping up at you in excitement. Dogs and toddlers may not be stupid but they both, fortunately, have atrocious spelling.
8) They follow you from room to room
And like to watch you while you pee. If you lock them out, they whine. There is nowhere to hide.
9) You have to buy them chew toys
And they can easily get confused as to who owns what.
RIP Sophie la giraffe (number one and two).
10) They produce a lot of drool
And do a lot of being smelly and sticky.
11) They don’t like being cleaned
But have a general enthusiasm for getting very dirty.
12) They are good at scaring visitors
A loudly barking dog puts off even the keenest of cold callers, as does the sight of a naked screaming toddler. Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t tend to hang around at my house.
13) They are experts in wanton destruction
I could do a whole series on items my children and dog have destroyed. I won’t, because it would be too depressing.
14) They aren’t great conversationalists
You talk a lot to them and don’t get a great deal back in return, quality wise.
15)…But they’re cute, and cuddly, and most of the time quite fun to have around.
I could probably go on and on, but this is far too long already.
Can you think of any I’ve missed? Leave a comment!