Human puppies visited our home last week.
Standing now, in the rubble - shaken, and shell-shocked - I reflect on the advantages of a "furry family".

Doggie "terrible twos" don’t last for 16 years. You will live to see them be productive adults.

Dogs never repeat embarrassing details of your life. They may drag some out into the yard...but they won’t say a word.

Dogs do not (generally speaking) tie up the phone. (Of course, they may become tangled in the cord and tumble down the stairs, yanking the receiver from your hand just as you are about to tell that prospective employer why you are just the person for the job…)

Dogs are happy with whatever you get them for Christmas - no bothersome lists.  They are often happy with what others receive as well…

Dogs have short memories. They are already forgiving you as you are yelling at them. Human children have memories slightly longer than the radioactive half-life of plutonium.

Dogs do not outgrow their clothing. Dogs don’t care what their dogfriends are wearing this year. Year after year, that rumpled doggie sweater can be yanked out of storage to annoy them. This is why the doggie fashion industry is rather limited.

Dogs don’t bring their friends home, have slumber parties, or date. (Again, we’re talking generalities)
You will never stay up all night baking cupcakes for their classmates or spend weekends entertaining their scout troop.

Dogs seldom drive your car. True, the occasional slip of the paw allows a dog a "driving experience" for a harrowing moment or two. Ultimately, your car keys are much more interesting to a dog than the vehicle itself.

Dogs never choose music or lifestyles you find objectionable.  They seldom fall in with bad company or experiment with drugs. They cannot name even one Heavy Metal band. If you give them a radio, they just lick the knobs - quietly.

Dogs are cleaner. Sure, they lick their butts, but they lick their butts directly.  Kids end up doing much worse than that in a round-about fashion!  Watch a five year old’s hands for an hour - you’ll be too nauseated to reach for the disinfectant.

That said, it must be admitted that we live in an unfair world where dogparents are denied the common courtesies those with human puppies enjoy. My husband was clever enough to spot this disturbing inequity on one of our vacations. Parents of human children never need to leave their kids in the car when they stop at a restaurant. Oh, no…they are allowed to bring their kids inside - no questions asked. Our kids can’t walk on certain beaches, even though we carry clean-up supplies. All but a select few museums are right out. Even picnic areas are often off limits. Hotels wave us away. People ask if our kids bite. You never hear anyone ask the proud parents of a human child if it bites -- and yet, so many of them do.

Ok, so our kids pick up stuff they shouldn’t and put it in their mouths. They sometimes choose inappropriate times and places for various bodily functions. They occasionally steal something that doesn’t belong to them. They are periodically destructive. They can be stubborn and willful and difficult to train properly. They will never take care of us in our old age. Are we that much different after all?

just for fun...
reasons from my readers...

Brandon Smith's Reasons
I am the proud parent of a two year old black Chow. Grizzly (my Chow) is better than a child because when he stinks or gets dirty he is always very willing to receive a bath and doesn't complain or get upset at you. When it is time to go to bed he doesn't want to stay up and watch television, he just lays next to our bed and goes to sleep, no questions asked! He was much easier to potty train than an upright child ever would be and he never wets the bed.

Chuck's Reasons
Dogs don't run up massive phone bills calling 1-900 sex chat numbers.
Dogs housebreak easier; they generally figure out a dog door by 10 weeks of age.
You don't get lectures from your dog's teacher about "lack of self-esteem."
Dogs don't wear baseball caps backwards unless you glue them on (and why would you want to?)
Other dogs don't call your dog at 1 a.m. to ask your dog what he/she is wearing tomorrow.
You seldom have to fight with your dog for possession of the remote control.
Dogs seldom prefer junk food to a 5-course meal.

Liese VanderBroek's Reason:
Dogs never call you at work to say "Mom, I've had an accident with the car."
They never, ever call you at work. They never, ever drive the car, well, almost never . . .

Deb deForest's Reason:
Dogs give you a perfect excuse for having to leave a boring situation early..."My dog needs to go out; is home alone". You can't use this excuse with kids since everyone knows you have left them with a sitter. (If any of my friends happen to be reading this and may have heard me say this...don't forget that sometimes the dog really DOES need to go out!!)

Diane Sparling's Reason:
They only bring home slimey things that can legally be thrown away.
With humans, it is usually something they want to spend the rest of their life with.

Heather Noerr's Reason:
My family has almost 400lbs of slobbering dogs!!
My mother and father agree that a little slobber is a lot better than puberty!!

Helen Vnuk's Reason:
They love leftovers and food that's on the verge of going off. They eat their own vomit.

Susan Lennon's Reason:
Dogs don't go to private 4-year colleges far from home at almost $30,000 a year.
They are quite content with the local $60 K-9 School and they put their learning to use!

Gena Welch Ferrari's Reasons:
If you get annoyed with your dog & put it in the crate or the yard for a few hours, no one calls DHS on you....

My dog is not allowed to swim in swimming pools with the Upright Kids. Too nasty, they say. BUT......dogs do not pee in the pool! Kids do!

Michelle Sprague's Reason:
You can leave them at home by themselves and no one calls the police on you.
AND, after a hard day at the office, they don't pester you with questions that have no answer like: "why?"

Jon Barber's Reason:
Dogs don't try wearing everything in the drawer on the same day. Heck, no laundry necessary for a dog, they're supposed to be naked!

Ross A. Watkins' Reason:
Your children may hate or reject you; aside from food and water (and something to quietly and methodically destroy), dogs just want to get close enough to kiss (lick) you!

Robert Moore's Reasons:
They don't have smelly diapers or go through puberty. They always are cute and they don't insult you. They never get in to drugs or anything like that. They can't cuss you out or flip you off, they only bark.

Pat Palmer's Reason
Dogs are more forgiving than kids. When I spanked my first Westie she slept in the dirty laundry basket for three nights. When I learned dogs are no longer spanked, she forgave me and slept between the pillows again.

Jerri Ann Smith's Reasons

My "fur-kid" is better than an "upright" kid because:

1) She gives unconditional matter how bad I look or how tired I am, she is there for me.....cocker spaniel paw up on my lap, telling me everything will be alright. Well, no, she doesn't actually VERBALIZE the words, but I can see it in her face!

2) She travels better than kids. Sure, she leaves nose-prints all over my windows, but how many human-kid owners don't have sticky hand prints all over their windows... and food dropped everywhere? With a cocker spaniel in the car, there's never a problem with food. They're 4-legged vacuum-cleaners. My car is always free of food crumbs....a little blonde hair everywhere, but I can live with that!

3) She actually listens...and she NEVER talks back! No matter what I tell her, she accepts it. If I tell her to lay down...there she goes. If I tell her it's time for she comes. How many human kids actually do what their parents tell them to do??

My cocker spaniel, Lady Hillary Hattaras, is the perfect "kid." I don't know what I'd do without her!

Karen Bellinger's Reasons

I believe dogs are Angels from God... sent here to show us the Golden rule in action.
Dogs are grateful no matter what you do for them.
Dogs give unconditional angelic love and sincere smoochies.
Dogs are always ready to do anything you want to do.
Dogs are nicer than most people. They don't lie and they won't steal from you and they would never tell your secrets.
I'm a devoted canine fancier that thinks the world would be a nicer place if we would only take some lessons on life from our animal companions. I don't own these four doggies, they have willingly allowed me to join and become an active member of their pack...( I am not the Alpha dog, I'm not even close)


Apologies to my nephew - who will one day sue me for using his photo in an article about why dogs are preferable to children.


Copyright 1997 Elizabeth Cusulas
Tale Waggers - Stories for Dog People
All Rights Reserved. 
Reproduction without written permission is expressly forbidden.