What to expect when you’re expecting a puppy – Part II
Hopefully last week I convinced you that puppies are just exceptionally hairy babies with a bit of a biting problem. But since human babies really are the D-students of the baby mammal world and take a freakishly long time to master even the simplest of tasks, there are some important differences to keep in mind between raising a puppy and raising a baby:
- Although it can keep a dog quite content, a small tiled area of the house with a bed, water, chew toys, and a box for going to the bathroom in is NOT an acceptable form of daycare for children.
- Since children do not come equipped with their own coat, they should wear clothes most of the time, while dogs should not. The only exception for dogs is outdoor performance clothes worn for truly practical reasons (no, bows are never practical). Ideally the clothing should be made out of Gortex or other highly technical fabric to clearly indicate its advanced outdoor capabilities.
- Getting your dog tattooed with a number that links them to you is a good idea for safety. If you do this to your children they probably won’t appreciate it later (ungrateful brats) and may demand that you pay for their counseling.
- Although dogs can learn an astonishing number of commands and are great at picking up non-verbal cues, they will never be able to understand your conversations. So you are free to make jokes at their expense right in front of them to your hearts content without endangering their self-esteem. In fact, if you say it in a high-pitched, excited voice they’ll think you are praising them and will start to wag their tail and lick your face. Do not do try this with your children, well after the first few months anyway.
- Apparently you shouldn’t ask for maternity leave when you get a puppy. Yeah, I was surprised too! You can thank me later for that little nugget of wisdom.
- Teaching both puppies and babies the proper place to pee and poop takes a great deal of time and effort. Both require patience and some training as a cheerleader. However, the techniques do differ. Do not – and I really cannot emphasize this enough – crate-train your infant (there is a bit more wiggle room with toddlers). For the uninitiated, crate-training is the training method of confining puppy to a crate for periods of time in order to control when and where it goes to the bathroom.
Now yay for Friday! I wish you a fantastic weekend of kissing your babies, be they of the human or animal, little or grown-up variety.