I’ll take your children and your dog.


senoritaI never believed in a biological clock until I saw the most adorable baby in Las Vegas.

To be fair, the baby wasn’t a baby. He was a toddler. And he wearing the cutest pair of cowboy boots I had ever seen — and a vest.

A vest, you guys. That’s exactly how I would do it if I had a cute little guy. A rootin’ tootin’ vest is a do for pre-fall 2013.

So I stood in the conservatory of The Bellagio and sent this text message to a friend:

My uterus hurts. And why are there so many babies in casinos?

Then I drowned my hormones with vodka.

That was awhile ago. And the child-free life has worked out pretty well for me. But I have to admit that I still look around and wonder why I don’t have any kids but so many stupid people have so many expensive, ugly, mouth-breathing children.

And little things, like a recent article called The One Thing No One Tells You Before You Have Kids: Don’t get a dog, also bother me.

The writer, Allison Benedikt, tells us that being a mom is hard. If you have more than one kid, it is ridiculous. And being a mom with a dog is harder. If you want to make life easier on yourself and your family, don’t get a dog before you have kids.

I respect the author’s exhaustion and her complete honesty about . . . no, wait, I don’t.

I know, I know, I know. I don’t have kids. I wouldn’t get it. This is what parents like to tell me. But I know something about cruelty to animals. I have four cats — each rescue story worse than the next. And there are so many dogs who are adopted and then abandoned because of women like Ms. Benedikt. (Take a spin on Petfinder and you’ll see what I am talking about.)

This article was a missed opportunity. The author could have exercised more skill and written about the challenges of being a parent. She could have discussed the complexities of responsible ownership and how sometimes being a responsible dog owner means not being an owner in the first place. Or she could have told us that managing a busy household is a challenge, of course, but worth the trouble because studies show that children raised with pets are more confident and compassionate.

Instead, she wrote this:

A friend of mine once told me that before he had a kid, he would have run into a burning building to save his cats. Now that he has a kid, he would happily drown the cats in the bathtub if it would help his son take a longer nap. Here is how I feel about that statement: Velvel, avoid the bathroom.

It’s not that I don’t love my dog. It’s just that I don’t love my dog. And I am not alone. A very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who had a dog and then had kids now wishes they had never got the dog. This is a near universal truth, even for parents with just one child, though I have more.

Jesus Christ, lady. You suffer.

Her article was beyond offensive. If it serves as a warning sign for anything, it’s not to avoid getting a dog before you have a family. You should avoid being someone who lacks empathy for other living creatures.

So how about I do you a favor, lady? I’ll take your children and your dog.

You really don’t deserve either.

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