Parenting A Dog Is Not Like Parenting A Child
“Parenting is hard, I know because I have two dogs.”
DEAR LADY AT THE PARK,
I appreciate your insight on how to raise well-adjusted children in the modern era, and I am sure you have plenty of more advice to give, but noting you have two dogs does not exactly make you an expert. That’s like me trying to criticize a Navy Seal about a rescue mission. “So you were in the special forces?” “No, but I have seen American Sniper.” Your experience and mine are not marginally equivalent.
YOUR DOG VS MY CHILD
You brought your dog home from a breeder. I pushed my child out of my vagina after 9 months of gestation. I used a suction apparatus to milk my breasts so that my baby may have a higher IQ. You put a bowl of food on a floor. How many times have you stayed up late with your dog because they have strep throat or crupe? Do you worry about teacher assignments or the physical and emotional impact of over scheduling? How many private school applications have you filled out for your dog?
PARENTING A CHILD
You know what keeps me up at night? I worry about my children having enough nutrition, food allergies, that I have done enough research on the HPV vaccine, or that we will have enough money to pay for a 4 year college education. You know what keeps you up at night? Rabies.
IT’S NOT THAT EASY
You are right that raising your voice could impact a child’s sense of self, but they could also break an arm if they jump off the side of the slide. Maybe they shouldn’t wear sling back flip-flops, but they also might crack their face open if they don’t wear shoes that fit. You know what advice I can give you about your dog? It’s probably better you keep them on a leash. Don’t feed them burritos.
NOT THE SAME
You know why I am carrying an ice hockey sized duffle bag? It’s because I need quick access to diapers, wipes, Motrin, change of clothes, sunscreen, bug spray, drinks, and snacks. All you have is a plastic bag and a rubber ball.
You can leave your dog at home or in the car when running errands. I need to hire a babysitter or carry mine around in a baby Bjorn. If I left my kids at home or in the car someone would call children’s services.
I know you love your dog. I can see it by the way you push it around in a stroller and dress them up in a blouse and slacks. Undoubtedly they give you an enormous amount of love. I am just saying there is nothing similar about raising a dog and a child.