It's National Pet Day, so I've been thinking about my dog. My ever faithful golden retriever just turned 9 years old, and he's a far cry from the puppy he used to be.
These days, he lies around, putting up with the constant squeals of adoration from a 16-month-old toddler who loves him to death. In his advancing years, he's found a friend who will feed him from the table, snuggle with him, share (sometimes unwillingly) toys with him and, above all, keep him active.
It struck me as I was changing my second dirty diaper of the morning that having a baby is exactly like having a puppy. Actually, thanks to insurance, the whole bringing-home-a-baby deal was cheaper than the adopting-a-dog deal. (Thanks, Obama.)
So, my younger Millennials, if you're not sure about the whole "having a baby" thing, get a puppy first. Trust me, it's almost exactly the same. Here are the reasons why:
- From the moment you bring that new bundle of joy into your home, it needs nonstop attention.
- It pees everywhere.
- It poops a lot, and you have to clean it up.
- You will be woken up several times a night because it needs to eat, play, cry or poop. (Did I mention poop?)
- No, really. You actually have to wipe sh*t from the floor (if you haven't stepped in it first).
- Random people will stop by your house to see the cute new addition to your family.
- Everything you Google will start with “Is it OK if ... ?”
- Your budget will take a serious hit for, like, the rest of your life.
- It wants to be held all the time.
- If you put it down, it will just knock over your glass of water. (OK, your glass of wine.)
- You and your SO will become great at making deals. “I cleaned up its mess last night. So now, it's your turn.” “Yes, but I need to make it breakfast, so you have to clean up.”
- You spend a lot of energy trying to get it to crap in the appropriate place.
- When you take its stuffed animal away, it's literally the end of the world.
- At some point, you give in and let it sleep in bed with you. Then, you can never get it out.
- You can entertain it for hours by showing it videos of animals on YouTube.
- It will cry when its toys roll under the couch. Then, once you retrieve the toys, it will roll the toys under the couch again because now, it's a fun game. Don't create fun games. That is a parenting rule.
- If Mom says “no,” it sneaks off to Dad. He always says “yes.” (Until Mom tells him to say “no.” Then, he says “no.”)
- It will become overconfident in its couch-climbing abilities, but then it will end up in a heap under the coffee table.
- Thunderstorms are the devil.
- After about a minute, you won't be able to imagine life without it. Your love for it is unconditional. Even if it breaks all your stuff, poops on the floor, eats everything you own, scares you to death, keeps you awake for hours at night, doesn't listen, demands unlimited attention and effort and drive you f*cking crazy, you love it so damn much.
If you can handle raising a puppy into a dog, then sure, go ahead and have that baby. Soon, the baby will become a toddler, and that kid and your dog will become best friends. What's better than a house full of love?