Doggy Daycare

Big news in the dining room office this week: We got a puppy.

In the coming months and years, I fully plan to regale you with stories about the trouble she gets into, my misadventures in training her, and so on—sort of like Marley & Me if it had starred Michael Cera instead of Owen Wilson. And even though she won’t be making her official debut on the blog until next week’s Hump Day Inspirational, she’s already given me some food for thought in the form of a question:

How the hell do people have kids?

Let me back up. Since Sunday, the majority of my waking hours have involved keeping at least one eye on her as she ambles around the house or takes naps. Not only do I want to make sure she’s not getting into trouble, there’s also very little advanced warning when “I’m cute and cuddly playing with my stuffed fox” (yes, that was purposeful) is about to turn into “This looks like a good place to pee.”

Sleep has been at a premium for both my wife and me, as the puppy isn’t nearly old enough yet (eight weeks on Wednesday) to make it through the night without letting us know she needs to go out. Multiple times.

All in all, it’s been somewhat exhausting.

And yet I know in a matter of a couple of months, she’ll understand where and when to use the bathroom, not to mention the various commands we’ll teach her. The nights might not be perfect, but I suspect all three of us will be sleeping pretty regularly.

How long does it take a human being to master this stuff? I for one know I was still pooping in corners even after I could walk.

Chill out, I had a diaper on.

Nevertheless, my number ones and twos weren’t self-sufficient for quite some time, and, despite being an only child, I have no reason to believe I was unique in this respect. (Sidenote: Let’s not think about what implications this has for our intelligence relative to the canine community).

A more glaring difference? This dog is two months old, and we’ve already left her home alone three times; not even Macaulay Culkin pulled that off before turning eight. True, he didn’t have the benefit of being crated, but then again, he did have that Lord of the Rings-looking old guy watching his back, so I think it’s a wash.

The point is it feels like this dog has pushed any nurturing instincts I have to the limit of what they can handle. And it’s a dog.

Not a human baby. A dog.

Therefore, I can’t conceive how those of you who are parents do it and still manage to look like normal, functioning human beings to the rest of the world. One thing is for sure: You have my respect.

And I have my dog. For as overwhelming as it was the first few days, and for as tired as I still am, it just feels right and good and comforting to have her around now.

Huh. Maybe if parenting is that much more demanding, the payoff is that much better. That would certainly explain a lot.

Whoa, when did this become all “The More You Know”?

I think I need to go throw a ball.

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3 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Oh, Ted. I'm shaking my head at you. Exhausted?! Unless you're having to get up every 2 hours to breast feed the dog, I'm not buying it. I do appreciate the respect, though, and look forward even more than before to the two of you having a baby. (And hope this didn't sound to snarky! You know I love you.)-Molly

  2. Anonymous

    The whole baby versus puppy comparison is really funny. It's a challenge to raise a child but kids finally DO grow up and learn how to use the toilet, fix their own breakfast and refrain from slobbering on the windows. And dogs, well, you know.Have fun with your new puppy!

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