A great way to tick off parents is to tell them you have dogs, so you know what it’s like a little bit. I used to scoff at this comparison, but I’m inclined more to agree after being a dog owner for about 4 years. I’ve found that when the pooping/eating machine doesn’t have the advantage of a biological imperative to nurture it into something conducive to the survival of the species, you can begin to see how having a little tyke might even be easier than taking care of a pair of eyeballs with a tongue and the memory of a goldfish. So here are 5 ways that dogs are like babies.
(I’d give a disclaimer that this doesn’t apply to all dogs, and that this is my experience only, but if you need a disclaimer to know that, then I’m not sure I have enough initial respect right off the bat to accommodate you in such a way although now this parenthetical passage has in effect become a disclaimer, so I hope you feel accommodated now!)
1. The Obvious
They eat and poop. Much like the larval stage of growth known as human infancy, dogs like to eat, pee, and poop. This is so much of a priority for them that they determine the importance of other dogs and people by when and where they eat, pee, and poop. I eat first, so I’m the boss. I decide when they eat, so I am a god. I relegate their pee and poop activity to confined spaces, which they love to freely rebel against at a moment’s notice. With a child, you decide when they eat, sleep, etc… eventually. I mean, that’s the ultimate goal. My dogs have decided that they only want to eat when the humans are gone, so as not to spoil their appetite for any human food that might come their way. Whatever. The food is there, dogs, starve if you want to. I’m not about to come out with a plate of food every time I think they might be hungry. If they don’t eat then, they’ll starve.
“But that’s not how babies work!” you cry.
Yes it is, it’s just not legal to treat them like that. “You won’t eat? I’ll take you back to the hospital and make a different baby.”
Just like you wish you could train your baby to sit in a cage for a few hours when you’re not around. You know – for its own protection. The difference in treatment is not due to an actual fundamental difference between the two – just a difference in how we’re allowed to treat each species.
… and I’m not pro-caging babies. I would never do that to my baby.
2. Nothing is Their Fault
Try to complain about your baby or your dog anywhere. You’ll get some of the most condescending messages ever. Apparently nothing is their fault. “You can’t blame a dog for being a dog!” Isn’t that – practically speaking – what training is?
“Are you naturally inclined to pee on the rug? Well let’s brainwash THAT out of there..”
That one applies to babies too. The only difference is when a dog bites someone it gets put to sleep. Even then, people cry that it’s the trainer’s fault… but the action of putting it to sleep implies that the animal itself is responsible… or irreparable.
3. Food is Love
Apparently it’s the scent of mommy associated with food that makes baby reach for her… that and the safety association built in from hearing her voice in the womb. (I read this somewhere, so don’t correct me on minute details like I’m some kind of charlatan for approximating some of this knowledge. I never claimed that this was an academic journal of any sort.)
I don’t need to draw the dog parallel right? If you have food, you have love. My wife is the Treat-giver. Tofu follows her around like a duckling.
4. The Noise
The only reason the phrase “smother a baby” even exists in the English language is because of their noise, oh the noise, oh the noise, noise, noise, NOISE! I don’t mean barking, I mean full-on crying. My Shih-Tzu sobs like a human being. Whenever we cage him to go out, I half expect a cop car to be outside my house, wondering at the shrieks within… or at the very least a sternly disapproving middle-aged head of the Neighborhood Watch asking about “that strange music.”
At least do me a solid and sound like a dog. What if his screams voice-dial 911? (Not that a panicked scream automagically making your phone call the cops is necessarily an awful idea…)
5. The Whole Bed is Theirs
“Oh I don’t let my dogs on the bed.” you might say. I don’t mind, go ahead and live your empty life. My point is the amount of real estate dogs need when they lay down is unreal.