"Yes, I do love my dog as much as you love your child!" one of my Facebook friends posted this week, perhaps to counter the endless pictures of children and grandchildren, their every birthday and life stage catalogued online. In the dogs vs kids rivalry, where do you stand — if, just for the sake of argument, "I love both" weren't an option?
Sharing your life with either has advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a closer look:
ON THE CANINE SIDE
Pros of a life with dogs, not kids:
- Never suffer labor pains or have to change diapers!
- Even when they're puppies, you can leave them alone without a sitter
- Child Protective Services will not arrest you if you stash them in a cage for a couple of hours
- Easier to housebreak than humans
- Dogs don't have an awkward stage or get unsightly pimples
- You never have to cook for them, and they happily eat the same thing every day
- Ever know a dog who wasn't completely honest?
- Dogs are never in a bad mood
- No back talk or excessive phone usage
- One trip to the vet, and never worry again about unwanted pregnancies
- Will never ask to borrow money, and there's no need to save for college
- Givers of unconditional love.
ON THE KIDDIE SIDE
Pros of a life with kids, not dogs:
- Unless they are oddly hirsute, children are unlikely to shed
- Children somewhat less likely to pick up fleas and ticks
- The stage when kids bark at every sound usually passes quickly
- It's physically more difficult for children to lick their privates in company
- Unless you're raising a cannibal, it's unlikely your child will strut around with a bone in its mouth
- Kids rarely resort to scooting across the carpet when plagued by an embarrassing itch
- Childrens' opposable thumbs and willingness to be bribed mean you may actually get them to do a chore
- Bringing home an A on a report card is more of an accomplishment than getting one in obedience school
- Possibility they will care for you in old age.
It's a draw: Dogs vs Kids
Let us not overlook the commonalities between dogs and kids. Both:
- Are resistant to baths
- Willingly put disgusting things in their mouth
- Look stupid in frilly hats
- Will hang out with undesirable acquaintances unless supervised.
The bottom line: Love is love — and whatever brings love into your life is a gift to be treasured.
Love dogs? Read on...