While I know raising a baby is much, much harder than raising a puppy, I think this past week I came the closest I’ve ever been to knowing what it’s like to have a child.
I love animals. I’ve had them practically my whole life. Whether they were fish, hermit crabs, dogs or cats, I loved them all the same.
I’ve never been so challenged, however, as I have been this past week. Having a puppy is a whole new ball game.
While this puppy is technically my husband’s, working different shifts means daddy isn’t always around. That leaves lots of mommy time with the puppy, a 4-month-old boxer mix.
Boxers typically are very high energy dogs, and very smart. This puppy is no exception.
And like most mommies of human babies know, you can have high expectations of what you want to accomplish that day, but most of the time, reality sets you straight.
The first full day I had with the puppy, I had plans – plans to knock out a bunch of work and cross off things on my to-do list. Let’s just say that to-do list stayed intact for most of the day.
I truly felt what it must be like to have a child – I spent the whole day cleaning up pee and poop, planning out meals, soothing him when he wouldn’t stop crying and following him around taking foreign objects out of his mouth.
More importantly, though, one little 10-pound being became the most important thing in my life at that moment. He needed me, and that was OK.
Many of my friends have children, and while I want to say that I can only imagine how challenging it must be, I can’t.
Having a puppy, at most, only gives you a small taste of the challenges of taking care of something that relies on you for food, water, love and guidance.
Though each day presents its own set of challenges, if having a puppy is only a quarter as rewarding as having a child, I look forward to the day when I hear the word “mommy.”