“Gosh, now that Miss 2 is toilet trained I really miss cleaning up all her little accidents; and now that she’s only waking one or two times a night instead of five, I’m getting too much sleep,” thought my subconscious – apparently.
Most people would give themselves a congratulatory pat on the back and turn to the serious business of catching up on all that lost sleep their bodies have been craving. Not Mr Wub Boo and I. Instead we got ourselves a six week old puppy with the bladder of a pregnant woman and the desperate need to poo three times a night.
Last year when we got a kitten I wrote about how kittens are just like toddlers. Puppies, on the other hand, are just like babies.
When you take a baby or puppy out in public you’ll get lots of people stopping to go all coochee coo over it. They’ll gush about how cute it is and then, bam, they’ll throw in a well meaning insult:
“Oh look how your baby is holding it’s hand up. I’ve heard that if babies do that they’ll grow up to be mime artists.”
“Oh look how your puppy is panting with it’s tongue out. I’ve heard that if puppies do that they’ll grow up to devour children.”
After a few more observations about eyes being a bit close together, the smell, birthmarks that indicate the likelihood of being a serial killer, etcetera, they’ll be unable to stop themselves from giving their expert opinion. Everyone knows that parents/owners of babies/puppies are totally overwhelmed and will be incredibly grateful for unsolicited advice.
“You should be doing crate training so they’ll sleep through the night.” Why did no one tell me this when my children were babies?
Or, with a horrified look on their face, “You’re using a harness? You’ll never be able to control them if you don’t choke them every now and then.” Firstly, I have two kids who like to run away in opposite directions so this is the only way I can stop their disappearing acts, and secondly, the Homer Simpson form of parenting is so 1990s.
Luckily for me I’ve been through all this with my kids so I’ve become pretty good at working out whether a person’s advice is worthy of my listening ear, or if their ramblings should be drowned out with my back passage operatics (with bonus nasal stimulation).
There are many benefits in getting a puppy for your children that are well documented, such as companionship, teaching them about responsibility, boosting their self-esteem, strengthening their immune system, etcetera, but I have discovered some more compelling benefits:
- My kids have become bilingual and regularly alternate between speaking English and Bark.
- My kids have become proficient in playing Fetch; instead of teaching the puppy to chase the ball, we’ve somehow managed to teach her to flick it away from her so the kids will run off and get it.
- No longer do I have to worry about what to do with all that pesky artwork the kids do for me. Now when they leave it lying around on the floor, or stuck on the lower reaches of the fridge, the puppy happily chews it up into tiny pieces for easy disposal.
- I probably won’t have to worry about ants this Summer because we no longer have a problem with dropped food around the house attracting them.
- Sick of those toys with annoying sound affects? A puppy will make short work of it and you’ll be able to (a) teach your kids about the importance of putting things away, and (b) do a little guilt-free happy dance.
But, perhaps the best thing about getting a puppy is capturing wonderful moments like this…