McIntyre: A perfect parenthood test run: Get a dog

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 30, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

It seems one of the social problems we are facing is that
children are having children.

There are a lot of reasons for this I’m sure, but the fact is
there’s a lot to be learned before you take on having

My suggestion to anyone thinking of having a baby – and this is for
married couples as well as single mothers -is to get a dog

Sorry. Pet rats, gerbils, fish and birds don’t count. They can’t
look at you with sad eyes when you leave. I’m not sure cats count
either. They’re too independent.

I’m not kidding.

When you take on the obligation of having a pet you take on raising
another living breathing animal that needs attention and

Now, before anyone gets irritated, I’m not comparing children to
dogs. What I want to point out is the responsibility

This is not the same as the family pet that your mother took care
of either.

Remember the puppy you said you wanted as a kid and it became your
mother’s job to feed, clean up after and get to the vet? And dad
picked up the tab for the vet bills.

This is now your dog. It’s the dog that digs holes in the yard, and
gets out of the yard that you have to go find. And that’s surely
the same dog that the neighbor doesn’t appreciate making deposits
in their yard. If they don’t have a dog, it’s hard to claim your
dog didn’t do it.

This much beloved pet requires a lot of attention. Not just time,
but money too.

There’s food you need to buy, registration fees and certainly the
shots that they need for the proper registration.

Hopefully you have a healthy happy dog and they are not regular
visitors to the vet or you may have major medical expenses to deal
with too.

And what about that fancy free lifestyle you enjoy? Going out for
the evening or a weekend with friends? Who will watch the dog? Will
everyone appreciate you bringing your dog to the party? Will you
have to cut your outings short to go home to take care of the

What about a vacation? Can you take the dog with you or will your
dog be visiting the local all inclusive doggie resort at
considerable expense? Some hotels allow dogs if you are hunting.
Some even provide pooper scoopers and designated “walking” areas
for your dog. Almost like a playground for the kids!

You can put them in a kennel in the house or car and they can be
fed outside without too much mess.

If the dog doesn’t work out as planned what do you do? We’ve all
heard the reasons. We just don’t have enough time to spend with the
dog. The dog is not well behaved. The dog can’t be trained.

Do you find it a new home? Abandon it to the local humane society?
Placing an ad in the paper costs money.

Now multiply this scenario a thousand times or maybe a

Children can not be kenneled. Playpens don’t count. Children can
not be given back if they don’t perform as demanded and grandma can
only serve as the all inclusive resort so much. They are your

Do all dog lovers make good parents? Don’t know. I do know that
it’s a great test of patience, caring, and commitment. Call it a
test run.

One thing I know for sure is that I want to come back in my next
life as my brother’s dog.

Janette McIntyre lives in Custer. She can be reached at


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