Never work with animals and children.

I haven’t yet introduced you to my other family member and sometimes the one who gives me most of the guilty feelings. My downtrodden, gorgeous and amazingly tolerant whippet, Sophie. If you are contemplating getting a dog before having a baby or maybe adding to the family by getting a dog then please read below.

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Five reasons not to have a dog with children.

? both need exercise, but entirely different sorts. The dog wants to go for a long walk through fields and sniffing hedges, the child (and me sometimes) doesn’t want to and starts whinging approximately 15 steps in that they’re tired or need a wee. The child wants to go to the park, which nowadays are usually fenced with barbed wire just in case a dog ventures anywhere near, so you have to push your child on the swing whilst pretending the howling dog trying to hang herself with her leash isn’t yours.

? a child can go in and out if shops with you, however usually, a dog cannot. Either there is nowhere to leave the dog safely outside the shop, or, see the howling/hanging comment above. Therefore no shopping gets done, just lots of longing looks into the windows, seeing what you could have had had you left the dog at home (howling).

? as soon as a baby comes along, your quiet well behaved dog will become a guard dog. She won’t like the squawking, pink bundle much and looks at you like she’s wondering when your taking it back, but she will also not let the baby out of their sight and will growl or bark at anyone who ventures anywhere near you on the off chance they will snatch the baby away. The postman, the builders a block away, someone coming up the stairs past your flat etc. This includes that time you’ve just got the baby to sleep and your edging away slowly in the hope she’ll stay that way for more than 20mins this time.

? she will find any nappy that you have not stashed at the bottom of a locked bin and destroy it all over your carpet or bed. You will then accidentally step/lie in the wet gel crystals after creeping into your bedroom in the dark so as not to wake the said baby.

? they will decide to find the invisible fox pooh to roll in, on your busiest or most stressful day. Babies nappies have nothing on that shit, literally. I have never gagged over a smell before then.

? not only does your daughter decide to join you in bed half way through the night and try and push you out, the dog will too and will work with the child to give you as little space as possible. And they are dead weights!

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But the the flip side is that…

✅ dogs seem to sense when you need cuddle and I honestly think stroking my dog’s ears is the best therapy in the world.

✅ watching Charlotte and Sophie can be utterly heart melting sometimes. They play, they cuddle, Charlotte loves helping to feed her etc. I’m sure it’s a good life lesson for her.

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✅ they do get you out of the house. Those days when you feel rubbish is when you need a brisk walk and some vitamin D most and I love the quiet, contemplative time I get when walking her on my own.

✅ I never have any food waste!

✅ I’m never cold in bed (if I’m allowed to stay in it).

✅ she never judges me on my parenting skills.

I keep swinging back and forth about whether I should make my life easier and find Sophie a new family who has more time and effort to give her, but she is part of my family and, at the moment, my heart won’t let me. However, if anybody’s interested in dog sitting some evenings and weekends please let me know!! Thanks.

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