The Replacement– Not quite

It took me three years to convince my husband that we should get a dog. I knew they take a lot of patients and practice. My family went through a dozen dogs growing up, none of them ever even made it to being house broken, so I was nervous about it, but when the time was right (last Valentines) we adopted Snoop from a local shelter.

When new moms at work or church talk about little things and experiences with their new baby I can’t help but chime in with “Yea, I know! With my puppy…” And I usually get the same strange look in response. I don’t mean to compare my love for my dog with their love for their child because believe me… I know there’s a difference. But in my eyes, there are a lot of similarities.

I did come across a blog a week or so ago (the name slips my mind, if it was you let me know and I’ll insert link here) about a woman who said she couldn’t believe how some people have dogs instead of children. She had a cute picture of the comparison between a dog and her cute baby. Her baby was way cuter than the dog pictured but that’s not always the case.Take this for example:
I thought my husband and I would be good candidates for having a cute baby but ever since trying the computerized analalysis and seeing we have a possibility of our baby looking like this:And I’ve changed my mind. Umm, totally white? Lopsided cheeks? If that’s the case I do think my dog here:is cuter. I love Snoop, but he’s not my replacement child. He will always have a special place in my heart, even after human spawn.
However, I have been thinking lately of how my dog is great practice for a child. Here are a few things I’ve thought of:

1. Building maternal instincts: When he wakes up in the middle of the night I jump up… It’s become an instinct. He usually has to either go outside to go potty, or rush outside to puke (after sneaking some snaks).

2. Getting mom smart: I’ve learned to learn. I’ve been reading a lot of “parenting” books about raising a dog, how to be a “pack leader” and really trying to follow through.

3. Mommy talk good and bad: It’s easy to let your children walk all over you. Same with my dog. Even I have a hard time holding my ground when he gives me his sad puppy eyes, and he knows when I mean business. I turn on my “serious mom” voice and he obeys. I also have my cute googoo mommy voice for when he’s being all cute and cuddly. Oh, and I’m beginning to use mom phrases like: “Yea I can see you, I have eyes in the back of my head.”

4. Selflessness: I know a lot of you may be chuckling at this right now but really… Baby steps ok? I use to hate to exercise but since getting Snoop and learning daily walks are crutial I’ve sacrificed sleep for his fitness.

5. Poop? Who cares?!: I’m use to gross things. Puke, poop, diarreah. I’m acustomed to it all now. And I don’t know for sure but I’m guessing human stuff isn’t as gross, and I know dog farts smell WAY worse.

6. Teaching skills: Just like I want to teach my kids… My dog knows good manners. No jumping on people, sitting before he’s pet, that kind of stuff.

7. Homemaking: I learned how to sew just so I cold make him dog collars and matching leashes. This is kind of in the spoiling category but I think I’ll be one of those people who wants to dress my baby in something different EVERY time we’re out. I imagine that because I refuse to let my dog wear the same collar to Petsmart twice in a row… Usually he won’t wear a duplicate for at least a month, and his collar and leash HAVE to match. And sometimes I’ll wear a bandanna that matches his.

8. Healthcare: I take him to the veternarian regularly and stay very in-tune with his health needs.

9. Selective listening: I read a lot of blogs about women who lock themselves in the room away from their kids while the blog… Yea, I do that with my dog.

10. Patients: Lots of carpet shampoo, ripped jeans, chewed up shoes, 5 new sets of blinds, 2 training classes, lots of practice and a bark collar later, I’ve learned a lot of patients, and boy if you stick with it it pays off!

Sure, you can’t throw a kid in the backyard all day, or leave them at home alone, but if you ask me, it’s still good practice, and baby steps in the right direction.

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  1. We consider our doggie a daughter. She’s a rung (or three) below the human children of course, but she’s unquestionably a family member.
    I heard someplace that if you want kids then first you should get a plant…if you can keep that alive then get a pet, and if you can keep that alive and healthy then have a child… well, I kill houseplants (every one I’ve ever had) but my dog and kids are doing ok. I think it’s because they make noises when they need something. LOL!

  2. Your post made me laugh! We had a dog for many years before our daughter was born. Yes, human poop is so much nicer than dog poop. And the farts…ugh, don’t miss doggy farts. Anyway I really miss my dog. He got hit by a car this spring when he was 7 years old. He was a part of our family. (Which makes me add yet another question to my list of “things to ask God once I die”–when we say that families are forever, does that include our dogs too? I hope so!)

  3. Haha, Mommy Bee, I hear you on the plants thing. I can’t keep those alive worth squat. My husband likes to talk about how I nearly killed one of our plants by not watering it for about 3 months. It survived, but now its leaves are kind of malformed and tiny. Luckily, my baby does make lots of noise to let me know when he needs my attention!

  4. Thank you Jenn! My hubby and I got a dog around Christmas for baby practice (and I really really wanted one) and she’s the most trying thing we’ve ever faced in our marriage. Whose job to take her potty this morning, feed her, play with her, ect.
    My sister thought we were crazy, but we know… she’s our little baby!

  5. You are so right!! Having a dog can be comparable to having a child. So by the time you do become a mom, you’ll already know the depths of sleep deprivation and selflessness that go along with parenting! We had a couple rabbits before we had kids and I think it did help prepare me for parenthood – the middle of the night call to the vets office when bunnies stopped eating suddenly and was lethargic, the scooping up poop from the litter box, giving bunny baths, taking bunny to vets for regular check-ups, teeth shavings, lining up babysitters to watch bunnies while we were on vacation…the list goes on.

    Your computerized baby is a little freakish looking but seeing the pics of you and your husband, I’m sure you’ll have a beautiful baby that won’t have lopsided cheeks!

  6. I totally agree with you on this! Actually I found kids are a little easier than animals. LOL! Before my first baby was born we had a cat and a dog. They drove me nuts! I can’t believe I wanted to have a baby after how crazy I always felt with my pets. I no longer have my pets. An owl killed my cat and we had to put my dog down since she was very violent towards anyone who wasn’t in our immediate family. I do believe kids are much easier though. I now have two and can’t wait for number three to make it into our lives. To me a pet is just like having a toddler. Completely disobedient and to lazy to use the potty. I seriously love kids and pets and no…toddlers aren’t always disobedient…just every few hours or so ;D

  7. I just have to tell you that I tried out the baby image thing a minute ago. I did so twice and both times the babies were no where near as cute as the kids my husband and I have now. DON’T TRUST THE COMPUTER BABY!!! LOL!

  8. Jenn, have you ever thought of trying different pictures? Maybe it would change the outlook of the child. I had a friend who did the same thing and their baby had some weird hat and scarf on, it was so random, and so funny! also, I don’t think I could handle it if I had a dog ruin a pair of my shoes, I would freak out! I love my shoes too much.!. But I’m glad you are learning patients. 🙂

  9. Hey Jenny, this article made me laugh but we married now for over two years and to me personally there isnt a difference between children and dogs .well when i say that i mean raising them and laving them and the care. Our dog Dusty RIP passed on last week she was 14 years old we are still very sore from it. my point is that even animals can be family. just different members. some people relate to animals better than humans and others dont so i would kinda understand if someone adopted a pet in the place of a child. people’s preferences differ.

  10. We had our dog 2 years before we had kids, so… Captain is our first child and James is our first born.

    Don’t forget you are also learning to bab proof…

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