​7 Ways Dogs Are So Much Better Than Our Kids


Back in 2011 we said goodbye to our wonderful yellow Lab, and while I initially thought we wouldn't wait very long to get a new pet, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I wasn't ready. I missed having a dog, but then I'd think about the mess, the responsibility, and the overall work it would take to add another needy creature to my cacophonous household. No thanks.

We finally adopted another adult Lab a few weeks ago, and here's what I've realized: I had it ALL WRONG. Sure, dogs can gunk up your carpet and hose your vacation plans and charge up millions of dollars in vet bills, but they also serve the purpose of being incredibly rewarding in nearly every area of life your children are not.

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For instance,

Dogs will eat anything. Okay, I realize the things I'm stating here aren't necessarily true of all dogs, but generally speaking, dogs will in fact eat anything. My personal dog has, in the last 24 hours, eaten a crayon, a piece of paper, a small Lego block, and 400 mushy apples that have fallen off our trees in the backyard. Also ... well, I don't like to tell you this because it will surely make you think less of her, but I stopped her from eating a piece of her own poop once. Which is incredibly gross, OBVIOUSLY, but when you have two kids who turn up their noses at anything that doesn't come in a wrapper, having an omnivore around is weirdly satisfying. I could feed her anything -- literally, even a piece of FECES -- and she would be the happiest creature on the planet. Every time she eats she's like, "OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING SERIOUSLY WHAT DID YOU PUT IN THIS HOLY SHIT IT'S SO GOOD JUST COSTCO DOG FOOD YOU SAY WELL IT IS ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS I HAVE TO SAY YOU HAVE REALLY OUTDONE YOURSELF TONIGHT."

Dogs are always thrilled to see you. If I leave the house for 30 seconds, my dog greets me at the door like I just got back from a 9-month combat tour in Afghanistan. My children, on the other hand, might briefly break their gaze from Wild Kratts to acknowledge my presence, but no guarantees.

Dogs clean up their own barf. I'm not saying their method is without its downsides, but, well.

Dogs pretty much always have a clean break. My dog has never once left a skidmark. I can't say the same for my children.

Dogs don't care where you're going, as long as they're going with you. My kids, after hearing they have to come to Safeway with me: "Not the grocery store! Ugh, the grocery store is so boring. Do we haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave to?" My dog, jumping in the back of the car: "OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY WE'RE GOING SOMEWHERE YAY YAY THANK YOU FOR BRINGING ME THIS IS SO EXCITING GOSH MY WHOLE BUTT IS WAGGING!"

Dogs get happy every single time you make eye contact. Seriously. They're just constantly all, "It's YOU again!" While children can sometimes be like, "It's you again."

Dogs are fantastically, wonderfully uncomplicated. At least my dog is. She follows me around hoping for attention or a dropped cracker, and when it looks like I'm going to be mired in a boring activity for a while, she lies on the floor near my feet and falls asleep. Her Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid is basically one big blurred-together section of food and belly rubs. She isn't loud or crazy, she doesn't need to attend soccer practice, and I don't constantly wonder if I'm fucking her up by being her owner. In the sometimes overwhelmingly complex world of parenting, it turns out that despite the extra work, a dog was just what I needed.

Do you have both dogs and kids? Do the dogs often seem WAY easier?


Image via Linda Sharps

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