How My Kids Prepared Me for Being a Dog Owner
A lot of people say that having a dog is good preparation for being a parent. Well, I acquired my dependents a different order and I have to say that the reverse is true as well. I don’t like to think of my children as guinea pigs, but they did do an excellent job of breaking me in to become a dog owner.
I’ve never owned a dog before and was never very interested in the idea. But exactly one year ago this week, my life was forever changed when a former colleague of mine posted this on Facebook:
It was love at first sight, I knew he had to be ours. My husband, a dog-lover, said we should wait—our youngest was almost potty-trained, why would we want to bring more poop into our life right now? But maybe that was why my maternal (or should I say “peturnal?”) instinct was kicking in—because my youngest was starting preschool in the fall and I needed someone else to take care of. Some women feel a stirring in their womb when they see a picture of a baby; my womb was silent, but I felt an itching in my poop-scooping, fur-petting, treat-giving hand and clicked on the “Comments” box and typed that we were interested.
I knew that I didn’t fully comprehend what I was signing up for, just as there is no way to be fully prepared for parenthood. Fortunately, I wasn’t walking into this completely blind. I’ve had prior experience taking care of domesticated animals: I’m a mom.
Here are some ways that having kids helped prepare me for owning a dog:
1. I’m used to not having any privacy. My dog—and my three-year old—follow me everywhere. I pee in front of an audience of two. When I shower, Bo is sitting right outside the glass doors, watching and waiting. It would be unnerving if my three-year-old wasn’t sitting next to him eating crackers. Or maybe that should be more unnerving. When I step out of the shower, Bo licks my ankles before lapping up the water on the shower floor. Fortunately, my daughter hasn’t tried that. Yet.