Dogs and Kids. They’re alike.

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?


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Comments (11)

  1. DeLoris Musick

    I whole heartedly agree! Although I’ve never had 2 dogs at the same time. But the border collie I had when the kids were growing up (Patches), treated my girls like her pups. She watched them like I did. If they got to close to the street, she would pull their clothes to bring them back into the yard. My youngest would crawl in the doghouse and take naps with her. They had a bond I had never seen before between dogs and humans. My cat Heidi is so funny. I give her kibble to eat all day and recently started giving her a can of wet cat food too. She bugged me all day sitting and staring at me to feed her. I have an Amazon Echo. So I set it to play Tom Jones “What’s New Pussycat” every day at 3:00 PM. She bugs me some times to feed her and I just tell her “It’s not time yet” and she goes away. When the song starts playing, she runs and meows to my Echo and then I go in to feed her while she meows every step of the way! I agree, I just think we humans and animals share the same traits. Your story and pictures are just wonderful and I have enjoyed reading it.

    February 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm
  2. Amazing story and while I’ve not had any kids, I’ve friend who did and I have owned dogs! Personally I think you’re 100% right!

    February 29, 2020 at 9:38 pm
  3. Sonya Robinson

    It couldn’t be more true! I’m way older than you but my G-grandchildren and dogs are proving it never changes.
    We always ‘refur’ to our ‘furbabies’ as our children.
    I love how you can put my thoughts into your words (and pictures)
    Thank you.

    February 29, 2020 at 10:49 pm
  4. Faith

    Oh my goodness, Owen and Ella are gorgeous and I mean GORGEOUS children! Just so precious! And Riley and Stella are just so cute! Beautiful Bichons! I love how you describe how Owen & Ella and RIley and Stelle interact with each other. Like you, I have long felt that little children and dogs are alike – in the nicest way, of course. They are both adorable and endearing and fill our hearts with a love beyond words.

    March 1, 2020 at 2:54 am
    • Karen

      You’ve stated it so perfectly, Faith!

      March 3, 2020 at 12:03 pm
  5. sherry pennington

    Having had both ….I agree Kids and Pets are the same 🙂

    March 1, 2020 at 5:58 am
  6. sherry pennington

    I guess I should amend this to “Having had both ….I agree Kids and Pets are alike :)”

    March 1, 2020 at 6:02 am
  7. Deb Case

    Loved your observations,and YES so true that kids and dogs are very much alike.

    March 1, 2020 at 3:48 pm
    • Karen

      I’m so glad you agree, Deb!

      March 3, 2020 at 12:02 pm
  8. Jan

    I agree totally. I always say that having my dog (7/8 poodle rest is shi tzu and maltese) is like having a permanent toddler!

    March 3, 2020 at 11:37 am
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