1. General care: The base goal with a baby and a puppy are the same: keep him/her alive. Only, with a dog, it goes basically like this:
When the dog has to go to the bathroom, you open the back door. The dog poops or pees outside. No diapers, no potty seat, no baby wipes. 2 a.m., puppy has to tinkle? Throw him in the backyard. End goal: teach the dog not to crap on your carpet (ok, maybe this applies to kids, too).
My dog gets fed twice a day. I throw food in a bowl, which then goes on the floor. If any food spills onto the floor, I encourage my dog to eat it. He eats the same exact thing every day, doesn't complain, acts like it's the greatest meal ever. So not only is it easy, there's appreciation involved. When's the last time your toddler thanked you for the organic chicken paste and pureed peas?
Bath time can be a messy chore. Thankfully I only have to do it once every month or two. Given the previous discussion on bathroom and food habits of a kid, this is not recommended for your child. Plus, smelly kids don't have friends, but smelly dogs, on the other hand...
2. Hobbies/social life: Mojo will never want to play the tuba, or take ballet lessons (though, if I could teach him to play the tuba, I'd be writing this from a beach in Maui, and it'd be "Five Reasons Why Maui Is Way Better than Wherever You Are). He's never going to whine when I tell him it's time to go home. At BEST, a dog version of a social life is a trip to the dog park. And Mojo has never thrown his body on the floor and howled when I said it was time to go home. I will never have to cart him around to 12 different sporting events. There will be no roller skating 10th birthday party.
3. Moral fiber: At no point will I lie awake at night, worrying about whether or not I am raising a well-rounded, morally sound, socially profitable being. Parents worry about that stuff, particularly with teenagers. I am 100% positive that I do not have to worry that my dog will wind up in Juvie for being a delinquent. I don't have to worry about him getting some nice young girl pregnant, driving drunk, trying drugs, crashing my car. Nor do I have to worry about molding him into a fine young adult through...
4. Education: It cost something like $4 million to send a kid to college these days. There's SAT prep, constant push to maintain good grades so Junior can get into a great school. Then there's housing, and an extra year or two when Junior goes from wanting to be a lawyer to wanting to be a chef to wanting to be a scuba instructor... It's all very overwhelming. Mojo's education consists of four or five tricks, not chewing on or destroying anything in the house with his teeth (or his pee), and not chomping down on another living creature. All for the cost of a couple of bags of training treats. You do the math.
5. Lack of speech: If there's one thing kids do, especially small ones, it's that they talk. INCESSANTLY. REPETITIVELY. "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mom! Mom! Mommy!" And they can scream at decibel levels that their superior canine counterparts can hear seven blocks away.
Mojo makes anywhere from 4 to 6 different noises. But for the most part, he doesn't make any sound. It takes him about a year to make as much noise as the average toddler makes in a day. Plus, the shock collar (oh, shut up, it's totally safe and I don't even have to turn it on anymore) keeps any incessant barking to a minimum. Put a "bark control" collar on your toddler and see what happens to you.
|This face will never scream, "I hate you!" |
and then storm off and slam a bedroom door.