My (Son’s) Life as a Dog

Can someone please tell me the difference between a dog and a two-year-old?

This is a serious question.

dogs, toddlers, kids, dads, fatherhood

It’s easy to compare your kids to animals, especially when they’re first born. There’s not really much of a difference between a pet and a baby, except one carries all of your hopes and dreams and the other gets neutered just so he won’t hump the furniture every few months.

Obviously, caring for a baby and a puppy is different, although, again, it’s not that different. You feed them both; you clean up after their bowel movements until they learn how to do it themselves; you try to get them to sleep without making lots of noise in the middle of the night, etc. If you have one of those werewolf kids that were on Oprah that time, I’m not sure there’d be any differences at all.

oprah, pitt, werewolf
Not actually a werewolf

The similarities don’t end in infancy. In fact, during the toddler stage, your son’s doggie-style behavior can even be an advantage.

One of my responsibilities as a father is to teach my son some responsibility of his own, and to develop his work ethic. Just shy of his second birthday and still figuring out this whole language/communication thing, the easiest way to start instilling these values in my son is by giving him simple tasks to perform. Kind of like a dog.

So I’ve been teaching him son to listen and respond to my voice, to come when I call, even to fetch. And I’ve figured out how to put some of these new skills to good use. Two birds, right?

Here’s a list of the tricks I’ve been teaching him:

  • Grab me the remote.
  • Put your toys away.
  • Sit in your chair.
  • Get me a beer.
  • Eat your dinner.
  • Go to Mommy.
  • Find Mommy.
  • Go bother Mommy.
  • Give that to Mommy.
  • Go ask Mommmy.

Granted, he’s only mastered a few of those. “Eat your dinner” is proving to be especially problematic, but, like any good dog, he’s always happy to steal a few bites from your food. He’s particularly responsive to Mommy-centered commands; when it comes to tracking her down, the kid’s a regular bloodhound.

dads, toddlers, pets, dogs, Triumph

I’m not sure how much longer this phase is going to last. As he gets older and learns to talk, it will be harder to compare him to a dog, except maybe for Teen Wolf, but that’s only if he gets really good at basketball. I’m guessing that as he enters his teenage years he’s more likely to remind me of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and if that’s the comparison we’re making, our problems have gone well beyond his refusal to fetch me my the newspaper.

But until he starts hanging out with Stiles or picks up cigar smoking, I’ll be milking his doggie-style for all it’s worth. The few orders he is capable of following are at least allowing me to be a little bit lazier, and that’s a big plus.

Unfortunately my wife still won’t let me put him in a cage.

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8 thoughts on “My (Son’s) Life as a Dog

  1. My 2 year-old plays fetch with me. It’s awesome. I don’t even have to throw anything; she simply fetches whatever I tell her to get. And she turns off all the lights and the tv before we leave the house. In fact, she’s kind of obsessed with it. Too bad she still won’t change her own diaper or use the toilet. Bummer.

  2. Ok, PLEASE don’t teach your child to “fetch” you a beer. It’s tacky. It’s degrading. My neighbor does this with his daughter (ever since I’ve know them he’s always told his daughter “get me a beer” and it’s gotten to the point where she actually asks “anyone want a beer?, she’s only 11”. Sad. In his day and age of teen alcoholism, I can see this becoming a train wreck. You child is not a slave. If you want a beer, get it yourself.
    Now teaching your child to change his own diaper or wash his own bottle…that’s a good thing!

  3. On the downside, dogs and toddlers whine. Usually, for no reason at all. It was easy to get my kids to break that habit. Our beagle? Not so much…

  4. if this didn’t happen to me I would NEVER believe someone who told me (and I don’t think it’s tacky. it’s cute at this age and my older kids did it too, but my 10-yr-old daughter Moo isn’t asking all of our guests if they want a beer–that’s a little creepy and not funny):

    Yesterday morning I was getting something out of the fridge for breakfast. The Geel (14 months old, remember) says “juice.” I re-open the fridge to get her sippy cup and hand it to her. She pushes my hand away, steps past me, grabs a can of beer and promptly walks down the hall to give Daddy (still in bed) his “juice.” I almost peed myself laughing, but needless to say, now I know what The Sarge does when he’s watching the kids…..

    1. Ha! I doubt your husband was all that interested, still lying in bed.

      The “fetch me a beer” part was a joke (obviously?), but the scary thing is that whenever my son sees a beer bottle he points at it and says “Daddy!”

      So there may be some aspects of my life I need to re-evaluate. 😉

  5. I got my tonsils out a few weeks ago, requiring medicine, and my husband told my three-year-old son that they were going to Walgreen’s to get mommy something. Hastings, my son, piped up and said, “Is it red wine?”

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