Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Puppy Parenting

I guess it's no surprise (especially since a lot of people call a dog a "practice baby"), but I sort of feel like raising Hank is giving us a glimpse of parenthood.  And actually, for that reason (and many others), I'm really glad we got a puppy instead of a dog.  Even though potty training is annoying (I can't wait for the day when he just waits at the back door when he needs to go & we don't have to worry about him roaming the house); the chewing is annoying (because again, we have to supervise him in the house to a certain extent or he'll start chewing furniture and/or rugs); and the shyness/timidness is frustrating - the whole thing is also really fun.  It's fun to see his little personality develop as he's with us longer.  It's fun to see him get bigger - because seriously, he is already getting bigger.  And it's fun to see him try new things.

But then reading through that list, I realize how all of those things are the exact reason it's fun to have a baby.  And even though things suck about having a baby (the sleepless nights, the constant feedings & diapers, etc.), I assume there's more great than there is suck.

I can totally see, though, how parents become overwhelmed when they're first getting into their routine.  With Hank, it's like all of a sudden we're responsible for someone other than ourselves.  So we have to wake up early to take him for a walk, and feed him, and take him to potty.  I go home at lunch to let him out.  When I get home from work, I feel this weird guilt if I want to, say, get on the treadmill, since the dog has been in his kennel all day and he wants to play.

We're also both trying to "learn as we go" to an extent.  So we're trying to come up with the best little solutions for the problems we're facing with him.  Some of it feels instinctual and some of it is internet researched.  But I imagine this is exactly how it is with a first child, since you've never done it before, you have no idea how to do things.  He's not eating?  Let's look it up and see what we can do.  Let's try wetting his food to see if he likes that texture better.  Stuff like that.

It's been a fun little journey thus far.  His adorable-ness certainly adds to that.


Mary said...

I like the "practice baby" theory....we didn't get a dog first ourselves, but I'm an indirect beneficiary of the theory. When my parents first got married, my mom wanted a baby right away, and my dad talked her into getting a dog first instead. Good thing he did, because she took that dog right back to the breeder a few weeks later! Glad you are having fun w/ the adorable Hank. :)

Team DesGranges said...

I wonder if having the internet to rely on for information is making parents better (because there's less trial and error) or worse (because they're not really figuring much out on their own)?