Dogs Are Like Practice Kids


Sadly, I am not a pet person. I spend a good deal of my time and energy herding seven people that I grew in my own belly and that, in theory, can be counted on for the occasional Mother’s Day card in thanks. I just don’t have anything left for a fur-baby. (Sorry, that probably means I suck, but, alas.) I do like chickens. They’re the pet that poops breakfast, right? Chickens are pretty low-key and easy to care for, are incredibly resilient and provide theoretically-free food, so we have chickens in our little rural subdivision.

We also have a dog. (That’s not actually our dog. He looks similar, but if I had to actually take a photo of our actual dog and upload it, these blogs would sit in the queue waiting for you for-pretty-much-ever. Stock photos for the win.) He’s a small house dog, though I’m unsure how that happened. We’ve never had a house pet in our lives until Hamilton joined our family. He’s a year old now and still poops in way too many places he shouldn’t and probably has undiagnosed doggy anxiety. (Can you give Prozac to a puppy? Asking for a friend.) He’s both endearing and a little sh*t. Though I try to stay out of it, I’ve decided that having a dog is good practice for having kids. I mean, not for me. I parent in my sleep. Literally. He’s my 17-year-old daughter’s dog, in theory, but he gifts these lessons to all my kids. (Lucky them!) He spent months as a puppy keeping my daughter up at night because he refused to be crate trained and would cry for hours on end. She finally gave up and now he sleeps with various of my children depending on his and their mood.

He also, apparently, hates taking medicine. This is a trait he comes by naturally in our family gene pool. My 7-year-old daughter has an unbelievable gag reflex. She used to make herself throw up in the carseat on the way to the grocery store or church (I avoided the scenario whenever I could), and she had to be sedated in the hospital for her dental appointments until she was around six because they couldn’t even clean her teeth properly without her threatening to hurl. Good times.

So, today, our 10-lb house dog came home from his morning romp limping and squealing. There was no blood or broken skin and nothing looked broken, but Hammy was clearly hurting. We think he maybe pulled something running for his life from a larger neighbor dog. (Poor baby. I even felt bad.) Apparently, doggy pain pills are a thing, (I honestly had no idea.) so relief was at hand. Except…we had to convince him to swallow the stupid thing. He’s small and you dose by weight, so my two oldest daughters were wrangling a crying doggy while trying to convince him that the piece of salmon on their finger did not, actually, contain a foreign object that was slightly larger than a sesame seed. (If you’ve ever tried to hide a course of antibiotics in yogurt or juice, you know the drill here.) After listening to them from the other room for about ten minutes, I walked in to find Hamilton laying on his mommy’s chest with her smiling in victory, exclaiming that they had achieved success! Until, as I turned to go, he spit. out. the. pill. on. her. shirt. (Ha ha ha ha!)

After the third, fourth or tenth try, Hamilton finally actually swallowed the stupid thing and will, hopefully, sleep a bit sounder tonight so his owie can heal. They had to change tactics to get it down, but they finally did. You know what worked? Ice cream. He swallowed his pain pill with a bite of ice cream. See what I’m saying? Dogs are like practice kids. Case closed.

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