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Parenting Imperfect

September 15, 2012

Lessons learned from puppy a lot like those from kids


Lesson Four-and-a-half:

Unless you like explaining to folks why you lost that important piece of paper that had that important information on it because the cat knocked it on the floor and the dog promptly ate it, start keeping that stuff someplace safe, like the freezer or your underwear drawer.

Lesson Five:

Like children, dogs always know when you are about to unwrap a piece of candy, take an important phone call or sit still for 30 seconds. Accept this and only do these things when you aren’t in your house. 

Lesson Six:

Unlike children, an exhausted puppy is a very good puppy and one who is too worn out to get into too much mischief. You will never have to say to your dog, “Yes, it is naptime, Mr. Cranky-pants,” then listen to 45 minutes of whining about how not tired he is before he complains himself to sleep. Your dog will simply fall asleep when tired. Prepare to be astounded by this.

Lesson Seven:

Puppies are like toddlers, in that they will put every blessed thing in their mouth just to see if it’s food. And by “everything,” I do mean everything, from rocks to sticks to dirt to underpants to baseboards to soap bars to Wiffle balls. Your hands will almost always be covered with dried dog saliva from prying these treats back out of her mouth. 

(Yes, she does know the “leave it” command. She also has selective amnesia when the purloined object is something really good.)

Lesson Eight:

Housetraining will take longer than you’d hoped. The upside is that you’ll get to revisit the sense of existential despair that you felt when you were convinced that both of your children would be going to college in diapers. The downside is pretty much everything else.

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