Adventures in Fur-tility: Pets as practice for children?

(Alternate post title? What to expect when you’re deflecting.)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

At the dog park |

Courtesy of my new webcomic – click to check it out!

I’m not going to ask for a show of hands, but I have a feeling plenty of us have been on the receiving end of this sort of comment.  After all, there are people who think any plans for your uterus are fair game for conversation.  (It’s called uterUS because we’re all in this together. As a society. Or something.)  And obviously any and all choices you make in life are geared toward your eventual role as parent.  (Ladies and their universal desire for babies, am I right?)

When you put those two together, the only conclusion is that you adopted a pet to practice your nurturing skills.  Sort of a placeholder until you can fulfill your biological destiny – keep a plant and a pet alive, and then you’re obviously ready for parenthood.

I’m often at a loss regarding how to respond to this sort of nonsense. (Or I think of the perfect Jerk Store comeback later, a la George Constanza.) A withering stare is always appropriate.  I’d also vote for a blunt and snarky comment about how rude this whole topic is.  Or perhaps one of these?

  • “You’re right.  Having a pet really has prepared me for parenthood.  If crate and clicker training worked for Spike, it will work for a baby.”
  • “Not only am I getting some practice in, I also have a reliable vet and groomer already lined up for my baby.”
  • “Oh, crap.  I think I did this backwards. I had a kid for a few years as practice for my pet, but I gave her up when I got the kitten. Wonder what happened to her.”
  • “So many good lessons.  If my kid cries when I leave the room, I’ll just toss him a Kong filled with peanut butter to distract him.”
  • “I figure I should practice it all – so once Fluffy turns 18 and can finally move out, then I’ll be ready for kids.”
  • “How dare you!  That’s not a dog. It’s a kid wearing a designer faux fur bodysuit.”

Anyone have a good response to this question? Share yours in the comments!

(Don’t forget to swing by Biological Clockie and check out my new comic!  You can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter.)


#BtC4A: Dogs aren’t perfect… but neither are you

Blog the ChangeI’d be lying to you if I said that I knew what I wanted to write about for this edition of Blog the Change for Animals. However, I recently read a story that supplied the thesis* for today’s post. That thesis?

Don’t be an idiot.

(A secondary thesis? Don’t do things that make me roll my eyes. It makes my eyes hurt. I don’t like it when my eyes hurt.)

So, let’s get to it. The story that inspired today’s post sounds too stupid to be true. Our tale begins with the return of a dog named Misty to a high-kill shelter. Want to guess the reason? I bet you can’t.

Continue reading


In 2013, you wanted more puppies, more puns, and… more cats?

Today, on the last day of the year, I’m taking the totally original approach of reflecting on 2013. I don’t see a lot of this out there, which I find surprising – I mean, you’d think it would be a natural fit. I can only hope that my trailblazing example will inspire more reflection in the future as one year passes the torch to the next.

Sarcasm duly noted? Good. Because I know every website on Earth (and perhaps Mars?) is doing the same thing… and I don’t care. Nostalgia is my absolute favorite kind of -algia, and I finally put down a deposit on a nice little bungalow on Memory Lane. (It just makes good financial sense.) Let the reflecting begin! Continue reading


The right way to ask people when they plan to have kids

Okay, students. Professor Judge E. Dog is back today with another useful lesson. You may have friends or family members who seem stubbornly unwilling to shout their reproductive plans from the rooftops. When interrogated asked, they give “cute” answers such as “When we’re ready, we’ll let you know” or “I just want more puppies.”

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There are countless articles out there advising people how to evade your questions and hide this important information. These devious masterminds have a host of skillful dodges at their disposal. What’s a Nosy Parker to do? It’s just not fair. You’re just embracing your inner Mary Worth. Where are the tips about the right way to ask this question? (Here. Those tips are here.) Continue reading


Do you have to choose between having a dog and having kids?


*declares post completecloses laptop, goes to the kitchen, eats a cookie in celebration of a job well done, eats a second cookie in celebration of how good that first cookie was, reconsiders answer, returns to computer*

Here’s the thing. The answer is really that simple… and yet, it’s not. All at the same time. Allow me to explain.

I don’t believe that “you” (in the broadest sense) have to choose between kids and dogs. I don’t think it’s a zero sum game. At the same time, do “you” (in the narrowest possible sense) have to choose between kids and dogs? I can’t answer that one. However, I have thoughts. Lots of them. Continue reading


Down with doorbells & beeping smoke detectors on TV!

Dear advertisers, marketers & others in charge of sounds on TV:

During a recent episode of Modern Family, there were no less than four doorbells in a single half hour of television. In my house, that translates to four instances of insane barking and general chaos. (One of these days, we’ll get over that doorbell mania.) I could barely get through the show.

Then, while I was watching the Oscars on Sunday, I saw a Hyundai commercial featuring the beeping of a dying smoke detector. (Apparently, this one has been around for a while, but I guess I have managed to skip over it until now. Thank you, DVR.) Luckily, Bella was upstairs at the time – nothing turns her into a neurotic mess faster than that beep. Tavish woke up, but then I muted it.

A tipster on Facebook mentioned that they read an article saying that marketers were including these sounds on purpose. The goal? To engage homes with dogs. Um, more like enrage. Or torture. At least in my house.

The video below is an extremely accurate depiction of how I feel every single time that Hyundai commercial comes on or there’s a doorbell on TV. (Don’t watch it where any dogs can hear it, okay?)

I used to assume that you just didn’t realize the chaos you were unleashing in my house. Now that I know your actions might just be premeditated, I’m feeling pretty grouchy. Be warned, advertisers. If you intentionally use these dog-annoying sounds in your commercial, I will remember your brands… but not in a good way.

Please. Make it stop.


A Concerned Member of the Dog-Having Public

Readers, do these sounds cause chaos in your house? Do you also wish that advertisers would just cut it out? Let’s band together!


Why don’t dogs come with a snooze button?

Apparently, dogs do not come standard with a snooze button installed. I’m not even sure if that’s an available option in the upgrade package. In any event, if you know how to install an after-market snooze button on my dogs, you might be my hero. I tried to install my own. However, as you can see, the results were not encouraging:

After-market snooze button for your dog

My husband asked why I didn’t just Photoshop the post-it onto Bella’s head… I’m sure Bella would like to ask the same question.

Oh, well. Back to the drawing board.

Continue reading


I love my dead gay dog

Bonus points if you know the inspiration for this post title. If you do, we were so meant to be besties. (For double bonus points, do you know which TV show also referenced that movie recently? It’s a good show. Add it to your DVR.)

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Today, I read a story that left my eye twitching with barely controlled rage.  Prepare to experience a similar ocular fury… this story manages to hit multiple rage buttons at the same time.

(Before we dive in, I want to let you know that the story has a happy ending. That fact may keep your despair at bay, although it likely won’t dampen your anger.)

So, there’s this guy – let’s call him Moron – who thought he saw his male dog trying to hump another male dog. When confronted with this situation, what would you do? Continue reading


Go crazy? Don’t mind if I do…

Please stand by… we’re experiencing technical difficulties due to the crazy storms on Friday night. You can’t ask for more fun than a power outage in a massive heat wave.

That's the night that the lights went out (not) in Georgia...

No electricity and no air conditioning make Bella (and me) go something, something…

This brief update has been brought to you courtesy of a local Starbucks that has free WiFi but no ice. (Oh, that’s right… we have an ice shortage here too. What’s next?) Not sure when we’ll be able to return to regular posting…

UPDATE: We finally got power back on Sunday night. Bella has her paws crossed that it stays on. She’ll keep them crossed that yours is on too.


A dog in a hot car’s just not right…

Today, we’re going with some vintage Bella from 2007 combined with a PSA from the pup herself. (She totally wrote this song.)

Hot dog, summer in the city
Whether a Beagle, Yorkie, or a Pitty.
Why can’t I just nap like a kitty?
It isn’t getting any cooler in the city.

All around people being brain dead
Even though that car is hotter than a match head.

But it’s not hard to be a pearl,
Be smart about the world.
Come on, come on, and see the light
A dog in a hot car’s just not right.

And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity,
Some people just aren’t all that bright
In the summer, in the city
In the country, or the city.

Stay cool, no need for that pity
Just remember this little ditty.
Sure enough, you’ll be sitting pretty
Looking out for dogs in the country and the city.

I’m already filled with dread knowing that the usual hot car stories are just around the corner… as usual, I’m sure the news cycle will bring out my Hulk-ian tendencies. (As in, “Hulk smash idiots who leave their dogs in hot cars.” Hulk smash a lot.)