7 Ways Having a Dog Totally Prepares You for Parenthood

You skeptics. Seriously. You think that nobody without kids can understand how hard it is. That’s just crazy. Sure, having kids, caring for them and raising them is a challenge. We all empathize. But you don’t have to get so superior about it. I’ve even heard some people dismiss the attestations of pet-owners, dogs cared for since puppy-hood even, as not fully preparing one for the experience of having kids. Well, I say phooey to you. As skeptics I know what you need is evidence. Allow me to enumerate my argument.

  1. Love – Until you’ve had a puppy, a precious baby dog, look up at you with those beautiful eyes expressing trust in you to care for her in ways that melt you, you can’t know love. Plain and simple. The full weight of love is only felt with a puppy and can’t be replicated by anything else. And as anyone who has seen a Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation knows, love is painful, guys. Seriously.
  2. Sleep – I totally think this sleep thing that so many parents talk about is SO OVERDONE. It’s a naked and frankly embarrassing cry for attention. As a friend I try to be sure not to indulge it. It doesn’t take a lot of looking to find out that science has shown that babies sleep like 15-18 hours a day. You want to talk about sleepless nights? Yeah. Has your kid ever chased down a porcupine and had quills stuck in it’s gums? No? Well, there we have it. You don’t know sleeplessness my friend.
  3. Worry – You parents act like the world isn’t totally designed to help you. You wring your hands over your child in daycare all day. You know what you can do? You can call. You can ask a qualified professional how your child is doing. How your child who’s been playing with friends and snacking on healthy food and being tended to at every turn, how they are as they nap peacefully. Not me. All I can do, ALL I CAN DO is worry.
  4. Cost – Okay. I’ll grant you college. But the likelihood of that out of control scam known as higher education being fixed by the time it’s an issue for you is pretty good, so let’s not overstate it here. Meanwhile, I have an animal that can need everything from mental health therapies (don’t laugh, you have no idea how big a deal this is) and complex surgeries to prevent any number of ailments that are likely to compile and none of that is covered by any ‘family’ insurance plan. I mean seriously, if this dog isn’t family than I don’t know what family is.
  5. Strain on Your Relationship – Do you have any idea how hard a dog is to incorporate into your life. I mean really. It’s like the hardest thing you can do. A baby, that’s a strengthening of your bond, born of your shared DNA it can’t help but bring you closer. Dogs are so  SO needy. It’s like you hardly even have time to spend with your significant other. In those early days, and we’re talking easily 6 months here, I don’t think we had our ‘alone’ time as a couple more than 4 or 5 times a week. What the hell is that? Baby’s don’t do that, puppies do. Am I right!
  6. Potty Training – I’m to understand this is unpleasant for you. Now imagine your baby naked and unable to wipe. At least unable to wipe without doing so with your carpet. I rest my case on this one.
  7. Guilt – One word. Kennel.

I think I’ve made my point here. Don’t be so sure I’m not ready to be responsible for a human life. To raise it and care for it. To love it and set it up for success and fend off the wolves at the gate. I’ve had a puppy, so I ain’t scared!

Author: joejmedler

Joe Medler lives in New Jersey with his wife, who is universally understood to be far too good for him, and his two young sons, who are far too smart for him. His work has been featured on MamaLode, The Original Bunker Punks and Sammiches and Psych Meds. You can find more of his work at https://developingdad.com/ and follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/developingdad

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