Tag Archives: kids and dogs

“Don’t French the dog!”

There are certain phrases that, before you have kids, you can’t imagine you’ll ever say, like “Stop goosing your sister,” or “We don’t flush underpants down the toilet.”

“Don’t French the dog” is one of them.

Bennett and Piper share a special moment. Again.

Bennett and Piper share a special moment. Again.

Lately, whenever the room goes eerily silent, it’s because our son is making out with the dog. I’ll find him crouched down by Piper, mouth open and tongue out, soliciting slobbery kisses.

Their puppy love began several weeks ago, after Bennett had warmed up to our family’s newest member. He discovered that she liked to lick things — hands, fingers, feet, his neck; it was all fair game. It soon progressed to Piper licking Bennett’s face; specifically, his lips. And, just like two teenagers caught in the act by disapproving parents, the more we yelled, “Ewww, gross! Bennett! Don’t kiss her like that!” or “No, Piper! Stop it!” the more they tried to do it, to spite us.

Conversations between Blake and me about this particular topic now go something like this:

Me: “I can’t believe Bennett has gone to second base with the dog.”

Blake: “I thought second base was feeling boobies.”

Me: “Oh yeah, you’re right. Well, he has touched her nipples when he rubs her belly.”

Blake: “And nipples are like the gateway to third base.”

We all know what base comes last, so let’s not even go there.

When we got a dog I knew we’d have to police her around furniture and shoes to prevent her from chewing them. I knew we’d have to make sure Bennett didn’t pet Piper too roughly, or pick her up by the neck. I did not foresee PDA patrol between human and canine.

I’m sure Bennett will eventually tire of trying to play kiss tag with his new best friend. My only hope in the meantime is that he doesn’t get worms.

We put down a deposit on a dog (gulp!)

Our neighbours brought home a black lab puppy last winter and Avery fell in love. Whenever she saw Mack out with his owners she would run outside to pet him, play with him and, as he got bigger, walk him and throw balls for him. Thus began the never-ending plea: “When can we get a dog?”

We’ve put down a deposit on a Brittany puppy. ETA: April or May.

Life is already complicated with two little kids, so surely I must be crazy to even consider adding a puppy to the mix? This is what friends-with-dogs tell me, anyway. “Are you sure you’re ready for that? It’s like having another child,” I was warned just last week. A puppy chews on shoes, pees in the house, cries in the night like a baby and needs to be taught obedience. It’s a lot of work, so why would I want to go there when my youngest pup (Bennett) is — almost — finally trained up?

Taking care of a fish, on the other hand, is so simple. We purchased our betta, Blue-blue, on Jan. 25, 2010 as a reward to Avery for giving up her soother. Blue-blue just floats there all day and doesn’t complain about going hungry or his filthy bowl. Against all odds he is still alive. Yes, Blue-blue is boring, and I think Avery realized what a lame pet a fish makes after a couple months when she started asking questions like, “When Blue-blue dies can I get a hamster?”

Our fish is sure lame but he’s so easy to care for.

If there’s one thing I learned from my childhood: don’t let kids have rodents as pets. Or birds. Cleaning out those cages is disgusting. Before Blue-blue we had a cat named Moggy. Moggy was an okay pet until I developed an allergy to her, at which point we kicked her out of the bedroom and she began the annoying habit of standing outside our door meowing mournfully in the night. By the time we moved into our current house and Avery was born, we were locking Moggy down in the storage room when we went to bed. When I was pregnant with Bennett we shipped Moggy to Arkansas to live with my mom.

Aloof and with an insanely loud meow, Moggy went from cuddly cat to pet pariah in the span of three years.

That, dear readers, is our track record with pets. We exiled a cat and neglect our fish.

I should confess up front that I am not a dog person. I grew up with cats and so developed somewhat of an aversion to slobber and stinky dog fur. Any yet. I see the amazing bond that families develop with a dog. I marvel at the lengths (and expense!) my friends will go to to keep their dogs healthy (knee surgeries, etc.). I get excited thinking about our future dog curled up at my feet while I write, I fantasize about hiking with her in Fernie (she won’t complain about the distance like our children do), and I get weepy imagining what a good friend she’ll be to Avery, and especially Bennett. Our family doctor says dogs make great companions to children with autism.

So (gulp!), we’re getting a dog. Am I crazy? Or will this be the best thing ever?