Friday, June 20, 2008

Why my dog is like a child.....

....but not in one of those creepy "I spoil him rotten and treat him like a baby" kind of ways.

As a single female with a dog, I often get made fun of by certain people for "thinking my dog is my child" (Shout out to the guys at the office). Let me be clear: I am aware that having a dog is not like having a child. I do not see my dog as a substitute for a child. I do not dress my dog, nor do I allow him to sleep in bed with me. There are clear distinctions, as he is a dog. I am aware of that.

With that being said, I think it's time to admit that those things people often think are so precious that their child does are in fact, common traits my dog also has - I'm just saying.

1) Singing a lullaby to my pup put him to sleep when he was little when nothing else would. His "favorite song" happens to be "You'll Be In My Heart" by Phil Collins. It was the only thing that got him to sleep the first week I had him, when he slept in his crate at night.
2) Bribes work really well for him, especially food treats or toys. Unlike many dogs, he's not a people-pleaser, but a self-pleaser. Give him a treat and he's yours. No treat? No response. It's that simple.
3) Toys never remain in his toy basket for long. If I vacuum and put them all up, once the vacuum cleaner has been put away, you can bet he'll drag all his toys back out, just for the sheer joy of having them within eye-sight.
4) If I have guests over, and Ben needs to be put into another room, he will most assuredly throw a temper tantrum to avoid being removed from the "action." This usually includes laying down, rolling onto his back, biting, kicking his legs, growling and resisting all attempts to forcibly move him. Cue treats and watch him happily comply (see #2).
5) When he needs to use the bathroom, he gets really antsy and won't leave me alone until we go outside.
5) When Ben is hungry, he gets obnoxious and wants to hang on me and play all the time. This especially happens at bedtime.
6) Benny lives and dies by a schedule. If we do not go for a walk/run/trip to the park after I get home from work (between 5-6) he goes nuts. Cabin fever sets in from the hours of 1-5 every day, no exceptions.
7) When it's bedtime and he wants to sleep but my light is still on, he puts his head under the bed-skirt to block the light from his eyes.
8) Like having a child allows you to go places you wouldn't go alone (out to eat, to the park, etc), having a dog validates me so I don't look like such a loser as I would sitting by myself those places. He's a great companion. (If I do actually still look like a loser, even with dog in tow, please don't tell me and destroy that illusion of coolness I have going. Thanks)
9) When the kids start crawling and make their way into whatever room you're in, only to lay down behind you - touching you - as you cook or put on makeup, know that this is something Ben also does. He is most content when he has a paw on me and is touching me, even when I keep moving away. He will follow.
10) He greets me happily every morning with a "smile" and a lick (I know the kids don't lick, just give kisses. This is Ben's version). He even loves me with morning breath and nasty hair. Gotta appreciate that unconditional love!

What does your child do you think is so completely adorable? What does your dog do that is a very human trait? I'd love to hear and compare :)

Anyways, if you think I am completely nuts after reading that, go back and read the disclaimer at the beginning. I still expect the insults, though. Let the mockery ensue.


Brent Sherrod said...

Lexie, a Lhasa Apsos (sp), (which is more my mother's dog) has different roles that each person in the family plays. My dad is her play toy and I am her rival brother. A bone will lay pretty much untouched until I walk in, then she'll chew it up...and stare at me the whole time. She makes no bones (pun intended) about biting me if it comes down to it. If my mother tries to get on the floor to play with Lexie, she (the dog) will just look at her. If I start teasing Lexie too much, she'll run to her mama, jump in her lap and stare at me. Lexie loves to go ride to see cows (Lahsas were originally bred in Tibet to be Yak herders-so ive been told), and will sometimes look up at nighttime airplanes flying over. However, a squirrel may stand right next to her, and she wont see it. Im not completely sure how these are human traits, but they are interesting nonetheless.
Now the previous dog we owned, JP, a cocker spaniel, was nothing less than a docile gentleman. He would not hurt a flea if it bit him. He could see a squirrel standing next to him and would not hesitate to go after it. Then there was the one time with JP and the toad. It jumped, he picked it up, it defended itself the way that toads do, and JP spit it out. The toad jumped again, and JP could not resist once again picking it up, and the cycle continued until I rescued the poor toad. JP had foam all over his mouth. Once again, I dont think that is a human trait (to pick a toad up with one's mouth), but is a funny story anyway.

Lauren said...

Brent - Thanks for sharing your dog stories :) Lexie sounds a bit like a bratty little sister. I can say that, because I have been known to be that in the past. However, I usually avoid the biting and go more for the yelling, hitting routine. Also, I've been known to run to Mom for protection, too! See, certain traits must be common to humans and animals, alike.

kb said...

re 5: I don't have to go too many places by myself if I don't want, but we're thinking about getting a dog, and I'm totally excited about the "greasing the social skids" effect that having a dog when out walking around the neighborhood could have.

Anonymous said...

I despise it when dog owners compare dogs to children. Children laugh, talk, ask questions, they can read, write,.... they are the future of this nation. Dogs are lower species that don't even know they're alive, for Christ's sake. DOGS ARE DOGS. Stop comparing them to children, you damn dog freaks.