I feel like this entire month, I should start my posts off with “I’m sorry if this makes you angry.” But let’s be adult here, people. I love a lot of stuff you probably hate. I hate a lot of stuff you probably love. And for one month, I get to spew the stuff I hate. If I hate on something you truly love, it is what it is. I don’t think you’re awful or a demon, I just hate that one thing you love. So this is my very last apology for possibly offending or hurting your feelings. We can still be friends. I hope anyways…
So I’m going to say it: I hate when people who use the term Furbabies. That’s quite possibly the worst term ever. Isn’t it? Wanna see my furbabies? Hell no I don’t. Get that shit taken care of. Oh you mean your dogs… I guess.
When I first had Coop, our good friends didn’t have children. I had lots of discussions about him and I’d hear, “Not that I’m comparing my dog to your kid.” And I waved it off. It wasn’t offensive to me in the least because for a short period, their dog was like my baby. We had our dog, Charlie, for almost 2 years prior to having Coop. She prepared us for parenting better than any book I pretended to read. I’d nod agree and we’d compare parenting notes. I believe it was Charlie Harper on Two and Half Men who said, “Having a kid is like raising a dog who slowly begins to talk.” It’s true. You praise the same way. Gently steer out of trouble the same way. Half laugh when you get pee’d on. Fall hopelessly in love with those big goo-goo eyes. But then my kid started to talk. He started to interact. He started to have opinions that I couldn’t gentle steer against. We had to meet in our house as humans. And that’s when having a dog isn’t comparable to a kid. My dog is my dog and my children are my children. And it’s 110% different. If you disagree, you don’t have human children.
When my kid destroys the couch, I can get angry and say some form of “Bad Kid.” But I have to adjust my parenting because I can’t put him in the backyard to ignore him. I have to forgive, move on, and teach respect. And prepare for the next action that tests my patience. My dog does it and I say some form of “Bad Dog.” But loving her is easy because she’s a dog and probably didn’t know any better. And let’s be honest, if we’re starving in my house. All of us are hallucinating from starvation. If I was watching my children twist in pain, I would cook up my dog and give us a couple more days. I can’t cook up my kids. We’d all die. Hungry and alone. I can say this because I doubt it would ever happen, but it could… And I would. I’ve watched people treat their pet horribly because they’re just animals. That’s not right, they do deserve respect. But I’ve also heard non-kid parents give their discipline advice to a kid-parent because they’ve had to correct Sparky. That’s not right. Until you’ve had to deal with a screaming four-year-old while reminding yourself that walking out the door isn’t an option, keep your discipline advice to yourself. Telling Sparky to not jump on the couch is completely different from trying to stop an irrational kid’s need to throw books. And you have to stick around. You can’t bail. I’ve never wanted to jump in the car and drive for hours because of something my dog did. But I’ve had those moments with my children. I’d probably take the dog with me.
I’m not saying that someone’s love for their pet isn’t strong. I will cry like a baby when our dog goes. She was our first “kid”. But the minute Coop moved beyond his “Dog Phase”, she became an actual dog: a much-loved dog, but a dog. When you’re pregnant, people always laugh and say “I can’t wait for the cat to become a cat.” You tell them with all your heart, “That won’t happen. I love her like a kid.” I honestly believe you do. But she becomes a cat. Trust me.