I swear, this blog isn’t just going to be about puppies. But the dog is new and the blog is new, so this is what I have.
It’s no secret that Eric and I want to have children, but haven’t been blessed with one yet. I guess that’s a very short and compact way of summing up a much more complicated reality. But anyway, that’s not the point of this post. The point is that I used to mock people who treated their dogs like children, talked to their dogs like children, and behaved as though their dogs actually were children. Now that I have a dog, I’m starting to understand why this is so easy to do.
It all started at Marshall’s when I was shopping for a dog bed and various other accessories. I started perusing the dog toy section and thinking, “Ooh, this one’s cute. Should I get the wittle bitty lambie or the wittle bitty lion? Oh my, but then there’s a giraffe, too!”
Yeah. It felt suspiciously like shopping for a small child, and the similarities were not lost on me. Plus, from the moment we brought him home to live with us, Eric automatically became daddy and I became mommy. Ryder’s new tag bears our last name. It’s like we effortlessly adopted a very furry child.
And like having a new baby, I feel desperately guilty every morning when I leave him and anxious to get home to see him. The romanticized notions are basically gone, and he gets in my way and annoys me daily – you know, like when you have a kid. I’m proud of what he has learned so far – you can already tell he’s getting more comfortable in his own skin and he’s even learning how to walk properly. Our little boy is growing up so quickly…
One non-baby related thing that makes me very happy about Ryder is that he has forced me into exercise. For the past year I have made up excuse after excuse to go back to bed for an hour after waking up at 7 to pack Eric’s lunch. Every night I would go to be saying, “Tomorrow will be the day. I will stay up and do my Pilates video or maybe even go for a run. I will not go back to sleep.” And then morning would come and the bed would look so inviting that I would abandon exercise in favor of sleep. But now that I have this very active pup, I’m guilt tripped into walks in the morning. Well, the first morning was a guilt trip. Now I actually enjoy these walks, probably as much as he does. I actually have more energy during the day, and I feel just slightly less guilty about crating him all day. Eric and I even started taking evening walks, too, rather than flopping down on the couch the minute we get home from work. So all in all, this dog has improved our lives and given us a pseudo-child.
Don’t get me wrong – we still want a real baby. But he’s a nice distraction in the meantime.