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Friday, January 9, 2015

Dog's vs. Children

Dog's vs. Children

Back when I was dating the question was, "So when do you think you'll get married?" Once I was engaged everyone was trying to slow us down because "We hadn't known each other for long enough." And then this same crowd turned right around after we were married and the new question became, "So when are you having kids?" AUGH! I guess I'll never understand people...

Well hate to break it to ya, but we have four. 

Merlot - 5 years

Merlot's ambition is to someday rule the world! He is often found perched on various different things he has deemed to be thrones.

Belle (Think Beauty & The Beast) - 4 years

Belle is a chatter box who loves to be the center of attention. She's a total drama queen and loves to sleep under the blankets with me.

Dante 2 years & Ziva 1.5 years 

If you were to compare the hubby and myself I would say I'm the stricter parent, but really we both have high expectations from our furry kids *cough... dogs, I've given up trying to train the cats.

Now don't jump all over me, when I say these guys are our kids I mean it! What really is the difference? We know that they are dogs, but they are more than just dogs - they are family.
I worry about them when i'm gone, and I fuss over them whenever I have to leave them with a friend or family member.

Kids & Dogs are Constantly Wearing Out their Clothing.

Thank goodness for the great coats we purchased from Ruffwear! Just like kids my dogs get their clothes really dirty even after being outside for just 5 min! They rip holes in items that aren't tough enough, the roll in their clothes, sit in the dirt, and grab a hold of each other's clothing during play even though they aren't supposed to and whoops! A rip for mom to fix...

Traveling Out of Town with Kids can be Challenging -
  • Parents bring their children on trips usually if they can, and adjust accordingly. Beach? Better find a place where you can clean up! Visiting family - will you have personal space (i.e. a room to perhaps put your child for a nap?)
    • Is your travel destination child friendly?
    • Pack their clothes, and other child necessities.
    • Pack toys.
  • If you leave them at home.
    • Overnight babysitter at a family/close friends' home.
    • Or a babysitter spend the night at your home to keep the kids in their home surrounded by their comforts and toys - this is sometimes easier.
Traveling  Out of  Town with Dogs can be Challenging - 

Unfortunately people aren't quite as accepting of bringing pooches along, even if the dog is better than most kids. Allergies, not wanting to watch the dog, no place to put the dog, no dogs in the house, fear of dogs, an unfriendly family dog, are all reasons you may not be able to bring your pup.
  • Can we bring them? If we take a trip to the coast we find a nice spot of beach where we can bring them to play too, and most restaurants have good outdoor seating.  Hiking - is the trail dog friendly. Out of town - can we find a hotel that allows dogs (size/breed restrictions?).
    • Is the travel destination dog friendly - just because we find a hotel doesn't mean they can go with us. Are their places we can walk the dogs, outdoor places we can eat and bring the pups, if visiting family - are our dogs welcome? Will they be allowed indoors? Are their other pets to consider?
    • Pack our pups coats weather depending, shoes also weather/terrain depending.
    • Pack leashes, bowls, food, treat bags, poo bags (because we are responsible owners), towels for cleanup, beds, etc...
    • Pack dog toys
  • Leaving our pups at home..
    • We prefer to find a house sitter who can spend the night if that is at all possible. We have a few family members and friends we can call.
    • Worst case scenario - They can maybe stay overnight at grandmas house.

Bedtime with Kids - 
  • Depending on the kid this can involve a lot of fussing...Sorry kid, "Time for bed!"
  • Wash your face and brush your teeth!
  • Snuggle them into their blankets.
  • Maybe a story before bed.
  • Send the child back to bed and re-tuck them in if necessary.
Bedtime with Dogs - 
  • Rather than a story we have snuggle time watching a show on Netflix or reading a book. Sorry no T.V. in our house!
  • Bedtime routine - we send our dogs out to go potty every night before bedtime.
  • Our dogs sleep with two blankets, one on top of their bed, and one for snuggling. If it's a particularly cold night we bury the pups under a blanket and they love it! They end up sleeping all curled up in snuggly balls next to each other.
This was before I picked up the XXL bed.
Visiting Grandma's House with Kids - 
  • I don't know about your childhood but I loved visiting my grandma growing up! We were guaranteed to come home dirty, we played outside most of the time - she lived out in the country on a few acres. We climbed trees, built forts, played on the swings, in the sandbox, and stomped our way through puddles, and swim in the river nearby.
  • Mom always packed us extra clothes and shoes.
  • Usually we'd come home with at least one new scrape or bump, sometimes even poison oak! ACK! 
  • But we loved it and were always tired and sure to sleep all the way home in the car.
Visiting Grandma's House with Dogs - 
  • My mom now lives on 40 acres, several of which are fenced in fields by the house. One of the fields has a pond.
    • Both dogs love visiting! They always end up dirty, wet, and muddy after running around up and down the hills. And are usually so tired that they collapse in the car and sleep all the way home - something unusual for Dante as he likes to look out the window.
    • We have to pack multiple towels, attempt to clean up before re-entering the car, and it's bath time when we get home.
  • Their other grandma's house has a bigger yard than us, and both dogs love to run, chase, and tackle in the backyard. They even have squirrels that they sometimes can chase - we try to prevent this but inevitably their is a stupid squirrel with a death wish.
    • After visiting both dogs are content, happy, and tired.

Tackle Time!!!
Car Rides are a Production with Kids - 
  • I watch with amazement as my neighbor with 4 kids corrals her bunch and gets them in the van. Between forgotten coats, putting on shoes, carrying drinks, snacks, sticky hands, buckling takes a few minutes to get everyone settled in. And then it goes one of two ways, a happy and loud van drives away...OR...a grumpy mom with a full van drives off with at least one of the kids screaming about something they want or forgot in the house.

Car Rides are a Production with Dogs - 
  • Thankfully I only have 2 kids, but my kids love car rides! This means me opening the front door with two kiddos crashing out behind me to rush up to the car eager to go! Unfortunately this means they temporarily dart out of sight, we're working on this...Dante..*cough. We're working on both dogs exiting the house slower and sitting on the front porch while I lock up. I don't want them being rude and interrupting someone walking on the sidewalk who may or may not have a dog, and I don't want them to see a squirrel and dart into the road.
  • I hate taking multiple trips from house to car, so I try to get it all in one go. This means balancing doggy leashes, poo bags, water bottle or coffee, my purse, keys, phone, etc..all while I lock up the house and unlock my car. I finally got smart and have a doggy backpack, inside is two leashes, a toy for each dog, poo bags, water, and treats. This is my "visiting anywhere" bag.
  • But the thing I never leave home without are the dog leashes. Even if we are driving into town just to pick up the hubby and go back home, I always bring the leashes. You just never know when you are going to need them. And we have an emergency leash in the trunk with our emergency car kit.
"Can we get going already?"
Puppies just like Children, Get Grumpy When they are Tired.
  • Turns out puppies get grumpy when they are tired too! This grumpiness manifests differently for different dogs, some get mouthy, snarky at their siblings, pick on the other kids *cough dogs, become more stubborn, push boundaries, etc... That would be my Ziva.
  • Well just like kids this means they need a break, in most cases a nap will solve the problem nicely. When Ziva starts getting grumpy it's usually because of being over tired and so we send her to her bed for a nap.

And just like human children, I love my kids and want only the best for them. We are constantly playing a different game,  research their food, maintain a healthy diet, regularly groom and trim their nails (much to their dismay), we exercise their minds and bodies, are actively involved with positive training methods and we would never harm our kids or do anything to put them in danger.

We look out for their well-being, are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
We work hard to build them up where they are weak, and try to set them up for success in all situations.

We will never give up on, or abandon our children.

SO again...what if anything is the difference? As far as i'm concerned my dogs are my kids.

Leave some comments! We'd love to hear what you think!

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  1. Great post!! We've had the same questions thrown at us by unsupportive family members. They don't get that our pets are our kids and sometimes that can really suck. It's been very frustrating. :(

    1. I can totally relate with the frustrating aspect...we don't want to have human children at this point in our life and some people are rude and nosy about asking! So my new standard comment is, "We have 4 kids I don't need anymore." :-)
      It's none of their business.


  2. I love this post. :-) As someone with a large number of kids and dogs, I can say that the exhaustion levels are different with kids than with dogs. My kids exasperate me far more than my dogs do. My leather sofas have never been touched by dog teeth yet my kids have ripped them up from jumping on them. :-/ I think the kids create much more of mess, but if we're talking about Cairo, well... ;-P

    1. Thanks! Hubby and I get tired of being bothered about the subject of kids. They're definitely messier and more expensive than dogs and people give us comment over what we spend on our dogs! Oi.
      My living room tends to be littered with dog toys and chews but it cleans up so easy! My only issue is Ziva eating my rugs, hence back to crate training - something you can't do with kids. ;-)

  3. Hit your late 30s, and you don't hear the question nearly as much ;) I really wish that people would also understand it could be a painful point - some people *can't* have them.

    That bi-directional unconditional love is all that matters. I'd protect my dogs like a mama bear and I screamed and paniced when Mort hit a car in the same way I probably would have were he a furless kid.

    Personally I'm a bit averse to personally using the "parent/son/daughter", for whatever reason I can't explain it always makes me flinch, but they're just words and I truly believe people can say whatever they please in that regard. It's really not important (words, nor what other people think), the love is. The protectiveness is. The caring is.

    1. Agreed!
      I am hoping as we get older people will stop asking. LoL

      I too would do anything to protect my kids (we call them our kids all the time but never son or daughter..that just sounds funny.) the closest I came to panicking was when Ziva had a stick stuck in her throat. Definitely scary, and I nearly cried when I had to take her into the emergency vet due to giardia - she was soo sick,scared, and dehydrated but I knew I had to hold strong for her because she needed my support.

      Thanks Jen! You're a great mama for Mort!

    2. Oh man, yes the vet stuff is the worst. Trying to hold it together for them is one of the most difficult things to do!

  4. My newest child I received on Dec. 23, 2014 from the humane society after I had to put my last fur child down. She was 20 and my new baby is just 4. This post just says it all. Thanks.

    1. 20 that's amazing! So sorry for your loss, give your new addition a kiss for me!

  5. Great. I often think that having dogs is easier than having kids, unless you're doing it right. And then dogs and kids are a pretty close comparison, just like you pointed out in your post.

  6. I agree 100%! My dogs are my kids. I don't have "real kids", and for that I am extremely grateful. People just don't seem to grasp that I am perfectly happy with dogs instead of kids! IMO, dogs are better. ;)

    1. Exactly! I don't need human kids to be happy, or fulfill my life. My dogs are all I need and I couldn't imagine life without them. :)

  7. When I was younger I used to say that I'd rather have goats than children, and that's exactly what I did. Now I've narrowed down my household to 1 dog, 1 cat, and a Bearded Dragon lizard. Oh, and a boyfriend. That's all we need. We care for them, pamper them, sleep with them, go on trips with them too. It's what we're for. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Jeanne! I love all the variety in your home, sounds like a lot of fun! I never grew up wanting children, just animals so I can totally relate!

  8. My husband and I have been married for two years now, and children are (so far) not on the radar for us. We are perfectly happy having furchildren instead of actual children - that's what nieces and nephews are for! ;) Next time our family members ask us when we're gonna start having babies, I'll just show them this list! :D

    1. Absolutely! And we can be the best aunties ever!

  9. We dogs are jealous of all those acres to run and play in when visiting.

    1. It's definitely awesome, I'm hoping to have room to run at our next house!

  10. Our dog is our kid too. I can so relate to all of this. Loved it.

    Have a woof woof day. :)

  11. You do indeed have beautiful kids! Their Grandma's house sounds like so much fun! I like at the beginning that you mention each stage of being an adult and the preconceived notions that come along with them. What if I don't want to get married? Why is it your business how long we've known each other? I wish more people would think before they speak.

    1. Thanks Amanda!
      I definitely wish people were a little more sensitive regarding topics that are personal.


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