I remember the day we brought our puppy Marley home. I had a very bad day at work and came home crying into my husband’s arms. In the middle of hysterical tears and suffocating hugs, my husband said the magic words, “Let’s get a puppy.” These words automatically stopped the flow of tears as I looked hopefully up to him and said, “Really?”
My desire for a puppy started several months prior to this incident, but it was always met with a rational explanation of why it was not a good idea. I guess the tears sealed the deal! (I made a mental note to use the tears strategy in the future too.)
Puppy life was blissful yet challenging. Potty training was a marathon but we eventually made it to the finish line. Soon after, we adopted our dog Ziggy.
M & Z were spoiled beyond measure. My husband cooked them gourmet meals every day and I made sure they had their daily walk, in addition to a doggy play date. They were bathed in dog toys, treats, visits to the spa and vacations. The dogs were our number one priority, receiving endless love and affection. M & Z were our little babies; that is until we had a human baby.
The day our son was born changed everything; our dogs went from number 1 to number … not even on the list.
Don’t get me wrong, we love our dogs, but keeping a tiny human alive has shifted our focus. The dogs barely make the list of priorities. At the end of the day, my focus is making sure that my human baby is fed and taken care of.
The dogs go days without getting noticed or receiving affection. They are fed, but for the most part that is as far as it goes. I hate to admit it, but they are not a priority and that makes me feel super guilty, and along with mom guilt, that is the last thing I need. I often think another family would love the dogs better than we can now.
On an average day they are tortured by a toddler, ignored by the adults and not taken for walks. This repeats itself day in and day out. Sometimes they follow me around the house and after being followed around by a toddler all day, my patience goes out the window. I tend to feel annoyed that they are following me around demanding my attention because I have none left to give, and then I feel guilty for being annoyed, start thinking they would be happier with another family and the cycle repeats itself.
For these reasons I advise you to not get animals until you are done having children. I could see the dogs being great assets when our son can care for them and give them love, but for now they are more of a nuisance, one that I feel guilty about.