Does that thought insult you? That I think dogs and kids are alike? If so, I apologize. I don’t mean to put them in the same category of importance, really. But I do mean that having kids and having dogs can sometimes feel the same to me.
I’ve had this thought for several years now, but hesitated to “put it out there.” I didn’t want to offend anyone. But something happened this week that makes it impossible for me to hold this in any longer. But let me start at the beginning.
Our grandson, Owen, is now 6 years old, and his sister Ella is 4 years old. We also have 2 Bichons; Riley is 13 years old and Stella is 3 years old. I visit our son’s family (Brian, Melissa, Owen, and Ella) every 3 weeks. It’s a 3-hour drive to their house, so I go on the weekend and spend anywhere from 1-2 nights there. My point? I’m around little people and dogs a lot!
- I call Ella my “baby girl.” I also use the same endearment when I talk to Stella: “How’s my baby girl this morning?”
- Ella adores her big brother, Owen; and Owen loves his little sister, Ella. I love their relationship. While they will occasionally have their little conflicts, in general, they are kind to one another and take care of each other. Riley and Stella are like that too. Riley doesn’t like to go anywhere unless Stella comes with him. But if they are outside and Riley gets hot, he will come into the house. If Stella doesn’t follow him, he will stand at my office door and whine at her. Conversely, Stella doesn’t like it when Riley goes into the house without her. She will stand outside and stare at him, willing him to come back out.
- When Owen and Ella are served a meal, they glance at one another’s plates, to see if they have the same thing. That is exactly what Riley and Stella do too!
- When I am taking care of Owen and Ella (if their parents are gone), I want to know where they are at all times; even in the house. The same goes for Riley and Stella. It’s a safety issue in the case of Owen and Ella; and more of a I-want-to-make-sure-they-don’t-get-into-trouble issue with Riley and Stella. Well, when I stop and think about it, the same principle could be applied to my need to know where Owen and Ella are too.
- If one child gets a snack, the other child wants one. Even if they’re not hungry. Same with our dogs.
- Dogs and kids both seem to have an internal clock and want to eat at the same time each day. When I am sitting at my computer working, I can tell when it’s 4:15 PM. Riley and Stella both come over to my chair and stare at me. If I don’t get up to feed them within 5 minutes or so, they start whining. Owen and Ella don’t whine, but they do ask me if I heard them ask for their snack.
- There are more Things. If you have kids and dogs (or a pet of any kind I guess), you can probably think of other things I’m not listing.
But The Thing that happened this week… my husband, Rick, and I were trying to find a particular item at Walmart. We were walking up and down aisles, sorta lost, when Rick said, “Oh, here are the baby things.”
Uh, no. Those were the Dog things. Outfits and toys and treats. It did look like a baby aisle. I laughed and laughed, because it just proved to me that I wasn’t crazy!
See? Dogs and Kids are kinda, sorta the same, right?