Not a child
“My dog is not a child substitute, according to its pediatrician.” — Rita Rudner
On a recent weekend visit, Drew and Megan were laughing about their having unintentionally referred to Grady as “Pasha” a couple of times. I laughed too, but before the weekend was over, I had done it myself. It’s an easy mistake to make. They’re about the same size, not too much difference in the weight, same sort of addictive cuteness that elicits an irresistible urge to talk in silly voices.
Most of us who have animals in our homes probably never realized that adopting a pet would bring out behaviors to which we once thought ourselves immune. You may have even said at some point (as I did, more than once) “I would never, ever act as foolish over a dog (or cat or bird or whatever) as they do — you would think that was a child.”
The interesting thing is, once you lose that particular illusion, you’re in. You get it. And you will usually find yourself much more enamored of animals in general. Some of my best friends are my best friends’ dogs. Take the sweetheart pictured above. He (yes, it’s a HE, and no sexist remarks about the doll please) is one of the most loveable cuties I’ve ever seen. Good thing he’s too big for me to hold on my lap.
If you are lucky enough to have an animal in your household, take it from one parent to another: Enjoy these years. They go by much too fast!