If You’re Thinking of Having a Child… Get a Puppy

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My fiancé and I are recently engaged.  We actually just hit the three month mark.  I feel that she is starting to get that natural itch for having a child.  That’s normally how things go, right?  You get engaged… then married… then babies.  Then we live happily ever after.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?

I like to consider myself a pet person.  I currently own fish and find them to be great pets.  I sprinkle some food in the tank, clean the water, and watch them swim around in circles.  Best pet ever.  I’ve also owned lizards and creepy crawly things; just like any other kid growing up.  I even enjoy decorating my house with plants.  Even though most of them don’t live long.  Who knew having a green thumb was so difficult? 

Both my fiancé and I are dog lovers and thought that it would be a great gift to each other to bring a puppy into our family of two.  I think this was her way of tricking me into practicing for a child.  Either way, I bought into it.  We decided on a German Shorthaired Pointer who melted into our laps when we first saw him.  He was the cutest dog in the litter and we just had to have him.  Then we brought him home…

Fish and dogs are completely different types of pets.  This was my first attempt at taking care of something that needs LOTS of love and attention.  To say we were a little underprepared would be an understatement.  All of our friends warned us that bringing a puppy into the house was quite similar to having a child.  I shrugged off the comments because, a child just sounds like much more work. 
We are over a month into this journey now and the puppy and I are learning new things about each other every day.  Unlike children, puppies do not wear diapers.  They also don’t speak our language.  Thankfully, however, our puppy sleeps in his crate.  I’m not sure, but, I don’t think I am allowed to crate train a child.  I would imagine that isn’t allowed, right?  Like children, however, puppies make a mess, they whine, and they put EVERYTHING in their mouth.  And yes, they want to be the center of attention.  They require both mental and physical exercise, food, water, and overall time / effort. 
You have to teach a puppy the differences between right and wrong.  You have to show the puppy which behavior is acceptable and which is not.  If your puppy grows into a well behaved dog who is a great addition to the family, you can pat yourself on the back.  At the same time, if your dog needs a few visits from Cesar Milan, you only have yourself to blame.  I would imagine this is quite similar to raising a child. 
Of course, I understand that raising a child is slightly more involved than raising a puppy.  But, the same rules apply.  Patience and dedication are qualities that are absolutely necessary in order to be successful.  You need to be nurturing, yet stern at the same time.  You also need to possess the skill of good time management.  I am currently working from home so I have taken on the role of “Mr. Mom.”  Results do not come easy but it is all worth it in the end… so I’ve heard. 
If you are thinking about having children in the near future, maybe a puppy is a nice trial run.  I’ve come to the conclusion that dogs are like children.  They are AWESOME… when they are somebody else’s responsibility.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the little guy.  But, there are those days where he really pushes my buttons.  This, I assume, is the same with having a child.  My parents love me more than I can explain in words but, I did get luggage for Christmas one year. 
If You’re Thinking of Having a Child… Get a Puppy
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