When the Husband and I first started thinking about having kids I remember saying to a colleague that our dog was good preparation for a baby. She had her own children so I don’t know how she didn’t slap me round the face there and then although I’m sure she had a good laugh at me on her way home. To be honest I can still kind of see what I meant – having a dog is a responsibility, they limit your spontaneity and they smell of poo a lot of the time. Really though, surprise surprise, having a dog is nothing like having a child and owning a ‘fur baby’ is no preparation for a non-fur one. But if you’re not convinced then perhaps this list of major differences between canine and child will show you otherwise:
1 You can tie dogs up outside shops
Not only can you actually ‘pop to the shop’ with a dog as opposed the three-hour expedition from hell that is going with a toddler but you can leave them tied up outside whilst you go in and browse at your leisure. Try leaving your child tied up to the trolley railings and suddenly you’re assigned a case worker and no one invites you to coffee mornings anymore.
2 You can leave dogs at kennels
I know not everyone feels comfortable leaving their dog at a kennels but it’s a lot less controversial than dropping your toddler off at nursery and ‘forgetting’ to pick them up for two weeks.
3 Dogs don’t moan on a walk
Dogs fricking love walks. Literally nothing makes them happier. Children? Not so much. Oh sure they may pretend they like them at the beginning but pretty soon they’re crying, everyone’s muddy and you’re carrying two sticks, a scooter, two pairs of wellies, half a loaf of bread and a trumpet. Dogs even carry their own sticks.
4 Dogs are easier to toilet train
Now I have a confession here, we’ve only ever had rescue dogs who’ve arrived fully house trained so I don’t actually know how long it takes to toilet train a dog. But what I do know is it took us a year to toilet train the Child. Surely it doesn’t take dogs a year to learn you don’t shit on the kitchen floor?
5 Dogs always eat their dinner
Without complaint and they’d even eat seconds if they could. In fact, they’d eat anything you put in front of them. Our dog ate two raw stollen off the kitchen side one Christmas, although I wouldn’t recommend that as the above ‘no shitting on the kitchen floor’ rule doesn’t apply afterwards. That was quite a Christmas eve *shudder*.
6 Dogs are happy with one toy
Although, to be fair to the Child she does manage to not ruin her toys for longer than the dog. He got a new PB this week when he had a toy for literally thirty seconds before he broke it. 59p that cost me – ungrateful mutt.
7 You can pay someone else to wash your dog
Dogs and kids both stink but at least with dogs you can hand them over to someone else for a shampoo and set.
8 Dogs go to bed when you tell them
All I have to do with the dog is point and shout “bed” in my most commanding voice and he’ll retreat to his blanket for a snooze. There’s no ‘winding down hour’, no ‘routine’ and no loosing your mind because you’ve gently been shushing and hair stroking for 30 minutes. Dogs do as their told and I like that.
9 Dogs do tricks on command
It’s so infuriating when your baby has learnt to do something new but then point-blank refuses to do it in front of anyone, which leaves you looking like a right wally. But dogs love to perform and they never leave you looking like a delusional pushy mother in Clarkes as you try to convince the shop assistant that your 11 month old really can walk. Just sell me the shoes Sheila and stop judging me.
10 Dogs don’t ask questions
Dogs don’t care where their lead came from, who made it (specifically who made it – name, address, show size) and why the lead is red. Actually they probably don’t think about the lead that much at all. But children, they see a lead and ten minutes later you’re desperately searching YouTube to find out how leads are made and all that before 6am.
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