It's on my mind...
Plenty of people live without dogs. Plenty of parents of toddlers live without dogs. I just don't know how they do it. Really, how do they do it?
Why I love having a a dog and a toddler:
~ Cleaning the floor: Buddy gladly cleans up after dinner every night. He licks the floor clean. I just come around behind him and wipe everything down. He also happily snarfs random bits of food off of the toddler- you know the sticky ones stuck to his clothes? Those.
~ Learning to share: Buddy has toys too. Sometimes Billy wants them. But, since they are Buddy's, Billy has to wait or share with Buddy. And sometimes Buddy wants Billy's toys too.
~ Learning to be nice: Buddy will take plenty of toddler abuse and still love Billy. But after being hit so many times he refuses to play along and leaves the room. Billy has learned to not hit, not bite, not kick and to be gentle.
~ Entertaining the kid: Buddy is hours of endless entertainment. He's the toy that plays back. Fetch you say? Sure!
~ Big protector: Buddy guards Billy with his life. I like that.
A friend once told me she read that dogs provide a moral compass to children. I believe her. We're not born with one- we have to learn. Certainly, you don't have to have a dog to teach morals. But dogs are a huge teaching aid in this endeavor, at least in my humble opinion. Dogs are tolerant, have unconditional love, but will growl when you overstep your bounds.
Okay, let's be honest. Buddy is a special dog. He is better behaved than any dog I have owned. He has the sweetest temperament of any dog I've owned. His personality is something even people could aspire to. I don't talk a lot about him, but it's true. Don't get me wrong, his snoring last night was no fun and he has his annoying habits just like anyone. But if there's a creature out there to help teach my child how best to behave, two-footed or four, Buddy would be at the top of the list.
I just can't imagine raising a kid without a dog. And I can't imagine myself having grown up sans dogs. They are amazing creatures.
So, I'm giving mine his due. Buddy, steak tonight!