You hear a lot these days about young couples foregoing parenthood and opting for a dog instead. You hear a lot, too, about young couples who take in a dog as practice for when a real baby comes along.
There’s nothing wrong, in my view, with either.
What often gets ignored though — amid the kind of scoffing the dogless sometimes do at dog peoples’ commitment to their animals – is the fact that dogs, while not the equivalent of a child, do indeed prepare young couples for parenthood.
And that’s just the beginning.
After that, they go on to help those children grow up with a healthy respect for living things, teaching them about love and loyalty. And, after the kids depart, dogs help fill the void – though usually not the same dog — of an empty nest.
They, like some brands of dog food, in fact, are there for all the cycles of our human lives — including the the onset of parenthood.
Rebecca Dube does beautiful job of describing how her dog helped prepare her for parenthood in this week’s Toronto’s Globe and Mail – in a piece whose writing was prompted, sadly, by death of the family’s beagle, Lily:
“My dog was my baby; and now that I have an actual baby, I see that my dog prepared me for motherhood far better than any of those What to Expect books.”
Rebecca and her husband adopted Lily from a rescue group, altering their lives in numerous ways — from cleaning up shed hair to shifting their schedules, to dictating where to vacation and where to live — and once Lily got sick, affecting the budget as well.
Lily lived much longer with cancer than the three months her vet originally predicted, long enough to meet the newest addition to the family.
Rebecca writes that, once she became ill, they never questioned the time and money they were investing in her: “She was our baby … And then along came a real baby.
“Our son, Elijah, arrived 10 days early, and we brought him home on a Saturday night. All through my pregnancy, I’d hoped for the moment we finally got, when we introduced Elijah to Lily, and stroked his tiny baby hand against her soft fur. In my greedy heart I wanted them to have years together, for him to laugh at her wagging tail, for her to wait patiently for scraps beneath his high chair. But that tiny bit of grace would have to be enough. Lily died early Monday morning…
“My dog was my baby. She taught me that a slobbery, stinky creature could pee on my shoes, poop everywhere, complicate my life in a million aggravating ways – and at the same time inspire so much love that my heart felt like it would burst with happiness. She taught me and my husband how to go from two to three. She taught us how to be a family…
Rebecca writes that, when Elijah gets old enough to understand, she’ll show him the photos of him and Lily, “and tell him that for a few days he had the best dog a boy could ever want.”
(Photo: Elijah and Lily, Toronto Globe and Mail)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, babies, baby, beagle, couples, cycles, dog, dogs, lily, love, ohmidog!, parenthood, parenting, pets, practice, rebecca dube, relationships, responsibility, surrogate, unconditional
We told you at the beginning of this week about Ella, a young pup found wandering in Dundalk who was scooped up by a good samaritan.
We’re happy to report at the end of the week that Ella has a new home, in Baltimore’s Riverside neighborhood.
An employee of K-9 Kraving found the dog not far from her home. After knocking on doors in the area, and finding no one who claimed the dog, she took her home, with plans to drop her by a shelter.
When a friend offered to care for the five-month-old pup until a home was found, Ella, as she’d been dubbed by then, was brought to South Baltimore, stopping by my house on the way for a quick photo session.
After her photo and story appeared on ohmidog!, and was picked up by other blogs and spread on Facebook, a Riverside resident — deeming Ella too cute to pass up — contacted Ella’s foster mom.
He met Ella earlier this week, and planned to pick her up today to bring her to her new home, where she will be known as Lily.
Now, if only Miley could be that lucky.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, baltimore, cat, dog, dogs, dundlak, ella, k-9 kraving, lily, miley, mix, mutt, ohmidog!, rescue, riverside, shelters, south baltimore, stray
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, assignment america, baboon, burlington, cats, cbs, dog, dog nurses kittens, fawn, goat, horse, humane society, instinct, interspecies, iowa, kittens, labrador, lily, loeopard, mix, motherhood, mothers, mothers day, news, nursing, ohmidog!, pregnant, shelter, steve hartmann, video
Six kids from across the nation — including a Maryland girl who volunteers at Frederick County Animal Control — have been named winners in the American Humane Association’s Be Kind to Animals Kid Contest.
Be Kind to Animals Week, established in 1915, is being observed May 3-9 this year. It is the oldest event in the nation to celebrate the companionship, friendship and love that animals bring into people’s lives.
Annie Lee Vankleeck, 6, grand prize winner in the age 6 to 12 category, was honored for helping Out of the Pits, a non-profit pit bull rescue in Albany, New York.
After she and her parents, of Shokan, New York, learned that the organization needed blankets and towels, Annie went to work. She collected blankets and towels at the town’s annual Olive Day festival, then went to yard sales and persuaded people to donate. She also collected blankets and towels at school. She’s still at it: For her upcoming 7th birthday party, she is asking her guests to forego bringing her gifts, and bring towels and blankets for “the doggies” instead.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby jungers, american humane association, animals, annie lee vankleeck, be kind to animals, blankets, casey mills, children, contest, dog, dogs, frederick county animal control, kids, kind, kindness, lily, maryland, missouri, mt. airy, new york, out of the pits, pets, pit bull, rescue, shokan, st. charles humane society, st. peters, towels, week, youth