My kids were recently fighting over who was the favorite child. The fight escalated and I decided to give an honest answer. The dog is by far my favorite child. Oakley is 120 pounds of pure chocolate lab love. He’s hard to complete with. There are so many different reasons he is my favorite. Mostly, he does not talk and he poops outside. Of course I can think of a few more convincing arguments.
There are actual classes to take your dog to that train them to behave how you want them to behave. Sit, lay, stay, fetch me a beer, etc. The dog can start classes as early as 8-weeks old. Within the first class period my dog was a rock star and eager to obey my every command.
In my experience at 8-weeks old my human children were completely running the show. Everything was on their schedule and I was stuck catering to their every need. My oldest is 5-years old now and God knows his version of following directions is open to interpretation.
Oakley loves attention. But when the time comes he is 100% fine entertaining himself. He’s been rather independent since puppyhood. He has a free range of the farm and can be trusted home alone for hours.
My children still talk to me through the bathroom door while I’m trying to poop. They even have the audacity to ask me to get up and get them snacks while I’m on the pot. I am unable to take out the garbage without constant questioning of “How many minutes will you take?” My kids will be doing nothing and scream at me to watch.
Conversations with my dog are pretty one-sided. He’s a great listener. He makes his few needs known by sitting by his food bowl or sitting by the door. Food and toileting, I can handle.
It takes my 3-year old up to 10-minutes to get to the point of a conversation. Sometimes there is no point and she just trails off. My children have also been easily confused when I tell them I cannot read their minds and if they need something they actually have to ask.
My dog has an underground fence, obedience collar, and a portable kennel. All of these items are incredibly useful in keeping his behavior in check and my sanity at an acceptable level.
For some damn reason these same items are considered socially unacceptable for children. Could you imagine a world where you could have electric boundaries for your yard, small shock collars when the kids cock off, or legally lock your children in a kennel for some much-needed adult time?
I love all my children. The one with four legs will always hold a special place in my heart.