I would by no means say owning a dog is the same as having a child. It obviously is not. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly similarities between caring for a child and having a dog. Pet owners absolutely go through “child-like” experiences with their pets. My baby’s name is Coco. Coco is a Chug and was welcomed to our family on Mother’s Day of 2008. When I brought Coco home to my daughter, Jennifer, just like a jealous sibling, she did not welcome Coco with open arms. In fact, she wanted me to take him back. Her arguments were that dogs are A LOT of work and that I did not know how much time and effort there was in raising a puppy. Coco is the first dog I have ever raised. I finally stated to my 21 year old that if I could raise her I surely could raise a dog! Upon the realization that Coco was here to stay, Jennifer gave a disclaimer that she would not be picking up dog poop or walking him. This reminded me of the grumblings of an older sibling who would protest to babysitting.
When Coco was a puppy, I woke up in the middle of the night to have him use the facilities. I actually set my alarm every day for 5 a.m. The time that Coco’s bladder had to be emptied. This process continued for 6 weeks until he was potty trained. No, it’s not the exact same as midnight feedings, nonetheless I did loose A LOT of sleep. And just like an infant, I had to provide toys for him to play with, feed & bath him, and most importantly offer a safe & loving home.
Yes, I often put Coco’s needs before mine, just like a parent does for their child. I may not always have the money for a monthly pedi, but I make sure Coco gets his nails trimmed monthly. Yes, it is socially acceptable to leave ones pet home all alone. A parent would NEVER leave a child home all alone. When I leave the house without Coco I feel guilty. I refuse to leave Coco unattended for more than 5 hours. I actually will drop him off at my parent’s house for them to babysit their Granddoggie. I look forward to picking up my baby! No, Coco doesn’t need braces or a college education, but we do provide for him.
Just like parents loving their children and children loving their parents, We love Coco and Coco loves us! I give Coco unconditional love just as I do for my daughter. Similar to children bringing joy and love to their parents, my dog has brought much joy and love to my family. I’m proud to admit that Jennifer did come to love and adore Coco. We often squabble over who Coco sleeps with at night. And yes Jennifer does pick up dog poop and has taken Coco for walks!