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 | biologicalclockie.com

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.)

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Parenting: You’re doing it wrong

My maiden name is pretty common.  So common, in fact, that I’ve often received emails (both personal and professional) for other ladies with the same name.  I try to handle these graciously – telling the sender that they have the wrong person and suggesting they check that email address again.

Of late, I’ve been receiving email for two different people – one college student and one woman with children. (The latter illustrated by the various websites the woman’s child seems to sign up for.)

The most recent installment in this saga is a doozy.  I received an email from who I assume to be the dad of the college student. I learned the following things: (1) he is writing her papers for her (there was an attachment as proof); (2) he informed her that “paper #3 you will have to write because your class has a mandatory attendance to the MLK convocation and paper #3 is on that”; and (3) he will provide her with highlighted journal articles that he has read when she comes home next time.

I mean… what does one do with an email like that?  Even better, the attached paper was a “think paper” for an education class, in which the “author” claims that she will be able to help shape students to become better model citizens. She/he also notes that she will always take a stand for teaching right from wrong. Um…

Parenting: you’re doing it wrong.

Anyway, I told Tavish about this incident.  In response (and thanks to the recommendation of a friend), Tavish decided to channel his inner Ryan Dogsling:

Tavish Dogsling via wantmorepuppies.com

I could be a meme, right?

Who could argue with that?

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I bet you didn’t think dogs could write headlines. This post will seriously change your mind.

Last night, I was watching TV (a rerun of The Mindy Project, if you must know – seriously, though… how great is The Mindy Project?).  My local news ran a preview during one of the commercial breaks, as is wont to happen.

In the span of thirty seconds, they delivered one of those “X happened – and you won’t believe what happened next!” headlines. So… basically, it felt like I was watching some sort of Upworthy network. (Maybe they just used this handy headline generator?)

Listen, I know that this sort of sensationalized teaser is nothing new.

(Fun fact: I still say “is it peas?” on what seems to be a weekly basis.)

However, cramming two of those similarly constructed headlines into one short preview was more than I could bear.  It was (almost) as bad as the time that I saw this on the Huffington Post:

Journalism! via wantmorepuppies.com

Yeah… that happened.

You can’t put emoticons in your headlines. You just can’t, HuffPo. Get it together.

Anyway… today’s post is inspired by the Judgy Bear stare and epic amounts of shade I directed at my television last night.  In an attempt to make the best of a dumb situation, I present to you… Dogworthy headlines. Just imagine them being delivered to you by Walter Cronkbite, Dan Cather, or Barbara Pawlters:

  • Fido sniffed a fire hydrant – you won’t believe what happened when he tried to pee on it.
  • I used to hate going to the vet. Then I saw this powerful video by a celebrity dog.
  • Some call it bath time. We call it freedom’s worst enemy.
  • This dog’s family named him Rover. Then they found out just how fitting that name was.
  • You will shudder when you see what this Corgi’s person made him wear.
  • A flea bit Fifi on the leg. It ended up changing her life for the better.
  • Peanut thought that finally catching her tail would solve all of her problems. If only she’d known what would really happen.
  • You never thought a cat could inspire a dog. This video will change your mind.

You’re welcome, canine journalists.  I’m totally helping you take it to the next level. Instant click bait. It’s the human equivalent of “squirrel!”

I’m seriously tempted to start using Dogworthy titles on all of my posts, just to see what happens. I’ll try to resist.  If I cave in, I promise to give myself a Judgy Bear Stare in the mirror every now and then.  You have my word.

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#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

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Nic Cage’s Easter advice: Put the bunny idea back in the box

Blog the Change

Okay, users of the Internet… it’s time for some real talk. I know that Easter is right around the corner. Your head is filled with visions of adorable bunnies (or chicks and ducks, depending on what your particular brand of cute catnip is – the post below is applicable to all categories). You’re tempted to bring one home.

I get it. They’re cute. They’re cuddly. They win first prize every single year in the Cutest Way to Eat Lettuce Contest.

via giphy.com

As the proud aunt to several bunny nieces and nephews, I’m not immune to their charms. However, I’m going to give it to you straight. If you’re thinking of bringing home a baby bunny for Easter, stop.

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How much is that doggie falling out of the car window?

Once upon a time, I was not aware of the many options for restraining your dog in the car. In fact, the idea of getting a seatbelt or other restraint for Bella never even crossed my mind.

(Hey, back in the day people didn’t even use car seats for their kids. A friend’s mom once told me that she brought her infant son home from the hospital in a drawer. Like an actual drawer removed from a dresser. Strapped into a car. With a baby inside. It was a different time. I bet if you told people in the ’70s that the future would include seat belts for dogs, they’d have laughed you out of the room.)

Anyway, when I was a kid, we never restrained our dogs in the car. Our Chihuahua rode in my mom’s lap, while my Toy Fox Terrier rode with my sister and me in the backseat. Maybe on the seat itself, maybe on the floor… wherever she decided to nest. Sometimes our Chihuahua would even take a nap in the back window. I even remember taking a trip in my parents’ Datsun – the back seats were folded down, creating a giant playpen for me and one of our bigger dogs. (Needless to say, we were lucky that the years passed without incident.)

When we adopted Bella in 2002, it didn’t even occur to me to restrain her in the car. We took a few local trips, which went as well as possible considering that she managed to get carsick on all of them. Then, we piled into the car to go visit my parents. That’s when it all went downhill…

We were driving down the interstate in my oh-so-stylish Dodge Neon – a fetching gold color, no less – when the following scene ensued…

Bella in Window via wantmorepuppies.com

Bella decided that she really needed to see what was happening outside. Not only did she need to see it, but she needed to see it from the back window. So, our not-so-graceful pup decided to scale the backseat like a mountain range.

As she scrambled her way up the face of Mount Backseat, the humans in the car began to panic. We were barreling down the highway at sixty-five miles per hour while our new dog decided to perform her own stunts. Surely, this would not end well.

And it didn’t. After grabbing at the edge of the window as if she was Wile E. Coyote hanging on to a cliff, she eventually plummeted towards the back seat. Like so…

Bella proving the theory of gravity via wantmorepuppies.com

By this time, we’d managed to find a place to pull over and assess the damage. Luckily, no Bellas were harmed in the making of this anecdote (although my nerves were).

We purchased a canine seat belt shortly thereafter. (To learn more about securing your dog in the car, click here.)

So, tell me… have your dogs ever pulled any crazy stunts in the car?

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Top 10 reasons to ask your dog to be your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is almost here. Considering that it’s a day all about love, a lot of people don’t exactly love the holiday. In fact, some of you may be a bit anxious about it.

via giphy.com

Listen, my friend… there’s no need to fret. I’m going to let you in a on a little secret. Humans are fine and all, but they’re totally overrated.

The best Valentine is the canine kind. Seriously, canines are where it’s at. (To paraphrase my favorite fashionable movie, Valencanines are so hot this year.)

Still not convinced? That’s okay. I’ve got ten reasons that dogs make better Valentines than their human counterparts…  Continue reading

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You know you’re a crazy dog lady when…

Sometimes, I almost forget that I’m a crazy dog lady.

Almost.

Then, something happens that reminds me just how nutty I truly am. This past Friday, I received one of those reminders when I took Tavish to a new groomer. We had the first appointment of the day, so I got up early, tossed on a sweater, and loaded Tavish in the car. It was only after the groomer pointed it out that I realized there was a siimilarity between our respective ensembles.

Not Tavish the fox

Tavish the fox

 

That’s right. I inadvertently dressed like my dog. I went out in public that way.

I met new people who surely think I’m not quite right in the head, including Tavish’s new groomer. (Between the outfits and my overly detailed instructions, she probably made some sort of notation in our file.)

Crazy dog lady achievement unlocked. I’ve totally leveled up.

(Oh, and this experience has given me some insight into what the fox says. I think the fox would tell me to be thankful that Tavish is a dog – rather than a child – who doesn’t realize that he should be totally embarrassed to be seen in public with me.)

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Are dogs furry kids?

I (somewhat) recently read a piece from Smithsonian Magazine that posed the following question: Are Dogs Now Just Furry Kids? I figured it would be your typical article about how people spend a lot on their dogs, dress them up, and do crazy things like blog about them.

I was wrong.

Instead, it was all science-y and stuff. Researchers have found that the human-dog bond is in some ways very similar to a parent-child bond.

Now, I’m not one who considers myself a mom to my pups (I don’t really know what word I’d use), but I thought I’d do my own non-scientific analysis as to whether dogs are simply furry children. (Being an English major, my “scientific analysis” is really just an imaginary debate I had in my own head. Just roll with it, okay?)

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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

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