I have never liked it when people treated their pets like children. Dogs are not humans - let's not pretend they are. Sure, a pet can become a beloved "member" of the family, but it's still an animal. And the thought that you need to practice being a parent by having a pet first - ugh! I feel fairly strongly about this, and it drives me crazy when people compare pet ownership to being a parent.
So you can imagine my disgust when we got a dog seven months ago and I accidentally started referring to my husband as "daddy." I tried to avoid it, but it just came out so naturally. Since we were hoping to start a family soon, I decided to let it slide, though I was very careful not to say it in front of anyone else. And even though I was referring to us as parents, I still maintained that the differences between owning a pet and raising a child were incomparable.
And yet, the closer we get to having our baby, the more I see how having this dog has started to prepare us for her. I cringe just saying it, but it's true.
Yesterday, on our anniversary, we woke up to doggy diarrhea and vomit. My wonderful husband, now mostly immunized against the smell, cleaned it all up and walked her. I got to do the same after another blowout at lunchtime. Then last night I woke up at 3:00 in the morning to hear my devoted husband putting the dog's blankets in the washing machine after yet another episode. An hour later, we had finished clean-up, another walk, another accident, another clean-up, and a call to the emergency vet. This morning I'll be missing a meeting I've been looking forward to all month to take her in and have her checked out.
We are getting plenty of practice with self-sacrifice and bowels, and I hear those are mandatory when it comes to babies.