12 June 2006

Having dogs is not like having kids
*warning: no real knitting content today

My little sister was in town visiting for a family function (a quinceanera for one of our cousins). It was really good to see her but in some ways it was weird. She kept asking if hubby and I were going to have kids. I think she was trying to understand why we're not currently planning on it. She is 19 and has all these big plans for the future that include her first real boyfriend. When I was 19, I definitely had not imagined that I would be where I am today so I understand that my idea of fulfillment does not match hers. I'm guessing that she is parroting my mom's concerns as well since my mom often makes comments like the dogs are just like kids. (I reserve the right to change my mind but as of today, not going to happen.) Since we have two dogs, she was saying that she figured having kids was similar--you have to look out for their welfare and they are dependent on you. Now, I have heard many people say that having dogs is like having kids or a trial-run for having kids. This is strictly my opinion, but I'm thinking having kids is at least 10 times harder than having dogs. I have helped take care of my siblings and various other children throughout my life which is exactly why I don't think I want any of my own. The gut-wrenching emotions I have when I know that one of my brothers is hurting or that my sister is going down a path that will only bring her heartache are so hard that I cannot imagine how much worse it would be if they were my kids. My dogs on the other hand, need to be fed, walked, and played with. They give me immense pleasure and can be a huge pain but nothing like the sacrifices that you have to make for a child.

Now, to amuse you and get off my soap box, here is a fine example of what it means to own a dog. Our first dog, Genny, is afraid of many things, plastic bags snapping, any sudden movements (like something getting knocked over by her tail), and thunder among others. As you may know, tropical storm Alberto is moving through Florida and we are getting a ton of rain and thunder. Genny goes into panic mode and wants to hide anywhere near me. So, we're in my room (where Genny's crate is located, where there is a dog bed, and there is a coffee table that she fits under) and thunder starts. With all the options open to her, where does she go? She decides to hop into the laundry basket with *clean* laundry in it. I, of course, get mad and yell at her to get out. Now, I know better than to try to pull her out because that will only frighten her more. So what does she do? She pees on the laundry because she is scared by more thunder and my yelling. She finally hops out of the laundry basket and immediately comes to me and lays on my feet/under the coffee table. Although I'm still mad at this point, what can you do? She works strictly by instinct when she's scared. Of course, if this had been a kid, the baby would have had diapers to prevent my having to run the load all over again.

Just so you don't walk away without anything knitting-related, here is some yarn for your viewing pleasure:

Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace on sale at 50% off at Patternworks in Turquoise and Pewter:

(Actually, I need to return the Pewter one because it is faded on the ends to a more purplish color making my solid yarn look variegated when I put it on the swift.)

Rowan's All Seasons Cotton in the discontinued colors Purr, Dusky, and Peaches from Jannette's Rare Yarns:

I know, I need to stop buying yarn. I was never this bad when I only bought yarn at the LYS. Now that all my yarn shopping is over the internet, I can't seem to stop myself from buying all the "good deals".


chamomile said...

Your post really made me think - I've been thinking a lot lately about having children, especially since my break-up, and am just not sure if it's what I want.
Besides that, I hope you're doing well despite the tropical storm!! I've seem a little bit about it on the news - I hope it doesn't get any worse than it is now!

twig said...

I don't know. My dogs are my kids. They're very much like having children with a few good points. I love them as much as I would any child (probably more heheheh). But they are a bit easier because they are potty trained a lot faster, you don't have to get a babysitter for a quick trip to go out to eat, no labor and delivery. They don't borrow money, get weird piercings or listen to music too loudly. So in those ways they're easier. But I have the same commitment to them that others have to their children.

I take into account that they *are* a different species but at the same time, it always surprises me when I actually contemplate that they aren't human.

betzig said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that dogs are not the same commitment in emotional terms. My dogs (like kids) are dependent on me for their well-being. I know that on a bad day, nothing helps more than my two dogs wanting to play. However, as I often point out to others, they will never talk back to me and tell me that their lives are ruined because I don't understand. I will never have to plan to take a second mortgage to cover their college tuition. Like with human kids, I will bask in their love and accomplishments. My sister (and my family) just got on my case over the weekend and it probably sent me over the edge. The two are not the same, but Genny and Cam are my furrkids and I love them.