Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pets are Better than Grandkids (Right?)

"Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled" ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

When many people see the odometer of their life roll over from the 40s to the 50s, they get to enjoy the new addition of grandchildren. Not so with my husband and me. Our kids are young and in less of a hurry than we are. So what we have are pets. I've decided to look on the bright side of this instead of pouting and complaining. There truly is a silver lining. Our pets are awesome! If we ever feed them late, yell at them or swat them for bad behavior, nobody calls the police.

Our Rottweiler, Ziggy is very smart. She knows many commands and is fairly obedient. Rocky, the yorky-poo knows fewer commands and has selective obedience--but what he lacks in smarts he makes up for in cute. The tom cat (who looks like Sylvester) is smarter than all of us but completely oblivious of our expectations--or even our existence, unless his dish is bare. But he is soft and cuddly (when he wants to be), which satisfies my need to hug something small and warm.

Once Ziggy ate a full pound of M & Ms. (I've tried this and it isn't a good idea.) We were unaware of her culinary adventure but noticed she was acting a little sluggish. Soon a strange odor permeated our house, but it was impossible to locate the source. After searching tirelessly for the mysterious stench, we picked up the sofa cushion and discovered that she'd performed a new trick. She'd lifted the cushion (presumably with her nose) and barfed on the lining of the couch, put the empty bag on top and set the cushion back in place. We had to throw the sofa away. How many grandchildren are this creative?

Grandchildren are often very choosy about their clothes. Our dogs go naked or wear any stupid thing we put on them (football jerseys, Halloween costumes, sunglasses...) Grandkids can be picky eaters. Our dogs will eat anything and they are very helpful about cleaning up. When I drop food while cooking, it usually doesn't even hit the floor. Now, that's a clear demonstration of ambition and dexterity.

Rocky can do a few tricks. He swims with the big dog and retrieves balls, he can dance and walk on his back legs (if I lead the way with a cookie), and he does heiny scoots on the rug sometimes. This last one was learned on his own and earns no rewards when he performs it. I have yet to see a grandchild with such natural talent.

If a grandchild wakes you up in the night, it means you have to take care of him. If my pets wake me up it means there is an intruder lurking nearby;they take care of us. Each time we come home (whether it's returning from buying milk or a week-long vacation) our animals are delighted and enthusiastic to see us. I've seen grandchildren run and hide—or at least do eye-rolls—when grandparents show up. Oh, and saying, "my grandchild..." makes you sound old, saying, "my little doggie" doesn't denote your age.

I believe I'
ve made a good argument for my position: It is much better to have pets than least until we get some of our own! (No pressure intended, kids) Share your pet exploits or grandparent stories below.
Diane Markins


Anonymous said...

Very funny! This gave me a lot of laughs thismorning!

Anonymous said...

Delightful post Diane. . . I do have grandchildren and no pets at this time in life (live in town & don't like animals in the house-allergic to cat hair too). I must say that I have exceedingly well behaved grandchildren (really I do!). The thing us 'grannies' are fond of saying is "the great thing about grandchildren is you can love & spoilem - then send them home!" Love it!

I'm glad you enjoy your animals & I know your post will get Anita's attention with her 3 very large dogs (or is it four now?). But I must admit, the neighbor's yellow lab, as well as youngest daughter's delightful golden lab (Georgia) make me almost want . . .

oh no never again!

Have a great day & thank for such a great chuckle!
Linda F.

Just Breathe said...

First, thank you for stopping over at my blog. I appreciate your comment. I love this post. I feel the same way. I post about our little Cairn Terrier Skye often. She is bringing us so much joy. Our kids are 28 and 30 and have to plans for kids anytime soon or at all. I have grand puppy named Charlie who is a Westie and is 5.
I always wanted grandchildren but I find that I am okay without them right now. I did want to be a younger grandmother but God has other plans for me. Your pets sound awesome. Skye is just 10 months old and so much fun.

Diane Markins said...

After a valiant fight for life, and never compromising her dignity, Ziggy's life on earth came to an end February 13, day before her 11th birthday. We will cherish the memories of fun and love we shared with her and will miss her terribly for a long time to come.