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 grandchildren...at least until we get some of our own! (No pressure intended, kids) Share your pet exploits or grandparent stories below.