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Posts Tagged ‘benefits of pet ownership’

In the Dog Person versus Cat Person war where you have to CHOOSE YOUR SIDE (in the tradition of Transformers), I fall on the side of the dogs. I mean, what’s not to love about a dog? I’d get a puppy in a heartbeat –  if the thought of toilet-training another creature didn’t chill me to my very core, that is. Oh, and if I didn’t think Genghis Cat would eat it in another heartbeat.

However, as much as I love dogs, I draw the line at this: whenever I tell an amusing parenting anecdote to a dog owner  – whether it be about how clever Mr Justice is or what a cute thing The Pixie said the other day or the time I caught Mr McGee’s vomit in my hand – they’re always quick to say “Aw! That’s just like [insert dog’s name]”.

For the record, here are a few of the key differences between children and dogs that I have identified:

People do not look kindly upon you letting your children piss or shit on their front lawn, even when you are carrying a little plastic bag.

You have to take your kids inside shops full of precious breakable objects. Tying them to a pole outside is not an option.

When you are ever-so-slightly hungover and about to merge onto a busy freeway and your daughter insists on “singing the song in my heart, Mummy!!” very loudly, you can not put a muzzle on her. You can merely request that she “sing on the inside of her head”.

Dogs are good at coming when you call them. Children are not.

Dogs, for better or for worse, tend to eat whatever you give them. Children do not.

You can exercise a dog just by simply taking them for a walk. No activity they do requires you to endlessly trek from shop to shop in search of size 4 flesh-coloured underpants for the ballet concert or to stand next to a muddy field in the freezing rain for three hours on a Saturday  morning.

Child-worming tablets are far more expensive than dog-worming ones and there’s apparently not a single louse collar commercially available that can prevent your children from getting the itches.

Children, if they come into your bed at night, will not lie at the end of the bed and keep your feet warm. Instead, they will stick their cold pointy toes into your tender bits and/or will insist on holding onto both of your ears while they sleep so you can not escape.

You can say whatever you like in front of your dog without fear of them later repeating it ad verbatim in front of the person you were bitching about.

You can’t ask your neighbours to drop by and feed the kids while you go away for the weekend.

Dogs will take the rap for your farts. Most children will not.

Children don’t tend to scare off would-be thieves and door-to-door salesmen, unless said thieves and salesmen have the same aversion to being touched by sticky-jam-hands or human snot as my husband has.

If you’re a single woman, taking your dog to the local park can be a great way to meet single men. But taking your children to the park? Not so much.

Finally, dogs don’t insist on saying “Hello” to everyone you ever speak to on the phone, answer back, tell lies, wipe snot on their bedroom wall, hide the TV remote, colour in your passport with permanent marker, hassle you to go to McDonalds just so they can get another piece of plastic shit for the toy box or ask for iPhone for their eighth birthday when you yourself don’t even have fucking iPhone.

I rest my case.

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Here’s my confession: the joys and benefits of Pet Ownership are somewhat eluding me right now.

Let’s put it this way: if you were to get all the Happy Pet Owners of Australia and gather them together in the Melbourne Cricket Ground, I would not come along to your little pet-lovin’ shindig. So don’t bother inviting me, okay? Look, don’t even talk to me about it. Sheesh. 

And before you judge me too harshly, let’s just say that Genghis Cat (resident pet) represents just another member of this household who:

a) follows me around the house, hassling me to give him food;

b) turns his nose up at whatever food I give him;

c) wants to sleep in my bed;

d) wakes me up by crying loudly when I won’t let him sleep in my bed; and when I do let him sleep in my bed…

e) keeps me awake by biting my toes (admittedly the kids do it by jabbing my kidneys with those pointy toes of theirs)

f) unexpectedly shits, pisses and vomits in equally unexpected places around the house; and 

g) gives me worms. 

To add insult to injury, the cat makes a point of sitting right in front of me and licking his anus for, like, 20 minutes while I’m trying to eat my chocolate brownie and then leaping over and running his tongue across said brownie the minute I leave it unattended. At least the kids don’t do that – if only because it’s physically impossible for them to lick their anuses. 

Experts say: pets make good friends.

I say: even my worst enemies haven’t thrown up on my bed.  

Experts say: pet ownership has many health benefits.

I say: as long as I don’t eat that brownie. 

Experts say: pets are good for stress-relief.

I say: as long as they don’t create more stress than they relieve. But then again, I sure feel much better after shouting “STUPID CAT!” at the cat. And it certainly feels way more comfortable than shouting “STUPID KIDS!” at the kids. Plus I can lock the cat outside when he’s really pissing me off. Or I can even lock him outside when the kids are really pissing me off. I mean, better the cat, right?

Shit, no wonder he’s so unreasonably angry. And I can’t even blame the cat for that one. Which makes me unreasonably angry. 

Stupid cat. 

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