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What did your pet teach you about child rearing?

 
 
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 02:47 pm
Okay, an old question. It is often said that a pet is a 'primer' for having kids. I'm not looking for any crappy "Chicken Soup for the Soul" style internet lists about "Everything I need to know I learned from my..." I am much more interested in real, personal experiences with your pets that changed your perspective on things like child-rearing, or even how you treat people at large. I'm still young, and no kids yet, but a fine little dog indeed. I find myself thinking about what sort of parent I might be, based on how the dog reacts to me. I wasn't sure whether or not to put this in 'Parenting', but it is really about the pets, and what instinct/knowledge people get from them. Smile
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George
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 03:01 pm
Dogs make a mess. It's what dogs do. Your job is to teach them to make less of a mess. That takes time and patience. Meanwhile, the dog's mess is your mess. Deal with it.

Same is true of kids.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 03:12 pm
Hey, my dog is totally trained, George. You wanna take it outside? Laughing Oh, that's just what I did with his poop. See...our dog is now 35 in human years. Kids turn into teenagers....that to me is scary. I remember my teen years all too vividly.
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doglover
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 03:14 pm
I had a dog when I was a kid. Having her taught me responsibility...I had to feed her daily and give her water. If I forgot to feed her, I didn't have dinner that day. Of course I was hungry...just like she was because I didn't feed her. It didn't take me long before I made sure to feed her every morning.

I had to pick up her poop out of the yard. That helped me develop a strong stomach. It was a primer for changing my son's poopy diapers!

She was a great companion...somebody who I could laugh and cry with when I was a kid. When friends scattered, she was always there to play with and talk to. I'll never forget her.

When my son was seven, we got him a dog. And the lessons I learned from having my dog were repeated with him.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 03:21 pm
Hmm...maybe it's because I work at home, and the dog is with me constantly...it's like a psychic connection. I can predict his behaviour, what he wants, and everything. However, he has a tendency to accept being spoiled, and I'm strict about not doing that. It's more than just the poop...
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doglover
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 03:27 pm
Our dog is spoiled rotten and I'm proud of it. She's the queen of her castle. My hubby is her favorite of the two of us. I think it's the male/female thing. If I get out of bed in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, when I come back to bed...there she is in my spot laying right up against my hubby. When I move her, she snaps at me! He wakes up and says you made her growl...be nice to her. Jeesh!

Before our Cocker Spaniel, Kody, died last summer, I was his favorite.

cav...I agree. There definately is a psychic connection between pets and their humans.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 03:42 pm
I would say that Pavlov would have been proud of our little beastie. When I get a phone call, it's a single ring. If I get a double ring, it's the doorman calling to buzz someone up, and he always goes nuts at the double ring, because he just loves everybody, even if it's just the pizza delivery guy.
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Individual
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 03:52 pm
I hope my children don't jump up and bark at the door every time someone rings the bell or enjoy eating dog chow. Laughing
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Individual
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 03:52 pm
But then again, I used to put my cereal on the floor so that I could eat it like a dog. I also slept outside on a little mat and ran around the house naked.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 04:21 pm
Feral child...I like it, Individual.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 05:27 pm
Consistency. I had three dogs growing up, one arrived when I was a baby, then two more later that I was mostly in charge of training. My dad didn't have the same ideas about dog training as I did -- "Ah, it's fine" -- and I saw how that would completely undercut what I was trying to accomplish. Informed two important aspects of child-rearing, for me -- 1.) be consistent, in and of itself, 2.) have the authority figures agree with each other. If E.G. does makes a parenting decision I disagree with, I don't say so in front of the sozlet, I wait 'til I can tell him privately. United front.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 05:52 pm
Good point soz. Dogs, and children, left to their own devices will make decisions of their own.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 05:57 pm
Yeah... more that they like to have consistency and order and routine. Not, like "OK it's 7:00 so you shall now fall asleep immediately. Go." But chaos/ inconsistency is deeply upsetting to kids and also dogs.
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coluber2001
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 08:29 pm
I used to keep snakes and fed them mice once a week, but I don't think that applies to child rearing; children should be fed something other than mice more than once a week.

One cat I had would **** in the bathtub if I didn't keep her litterbox clean, but I can't see how that relates to children either.

I know that the way cats react to you is a direct reflection to how you treat them. If you're mean to them, they'll avoid you like the plague, but if you're nice to them they'll want to be around you. I suppose rearing kids is something like that.
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Individual
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 08:36 pm
Yeah, most people tend to stay away from you if you're never nice to them.
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littlek
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 10:12 pm
Well, you have to try and understand your pet in order to keep them happy. Same with kids. The whole "because I said so" only holds so much water if you don't try to understnad why your kid is peeing on the carpet when you leave the house..... um, well, you get what I mean, no?
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Eva
 
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Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2004 10:49 pm
When I was pregnant (at age 39), I had this overwhelming fear that I would be the world's worst mother. I knew nothing about babies. I had never spent any time around them. I had never even changed a diaper. What really scared me was how mothers always heard their babies cry and immediately said, "Oh, she's hungry." Or "Oh, he wants me to pick him up." Or "Oh, she has a dirty diaper." They always seemed to innately know what that cry meant and what to do about it. All babies' cries sounded alike to me. I was thoroughly intimidated.

Until I told my husband about it, and he laughed.

He said, "Do you realize that your cat can walk through the living room and meow, and you'll say, "Oh, she wants some fresh water." Or "Oh, she wants a game." Or something else. And you're always right!"

Well, I said, that's because she wants certain things at certain times of the day. I'm used to her routine, that's all.

"Same thing with babies," he smiled.

He was right.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2004 09:26 am
Smart guy. :-)
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2004 12:26 pm
Aww, great story Eva. One thing having a dog taught me, who of course is cuter and smarter than all the other dogs on the block Smile, is that there really is such a thing as unconditional love. I see that in my parents now, regarding us kids, but damned if I recognized it when I was younger.
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2004 01:05 pm
You get the love and trust you give your cat or dog they give back. I found this to be true with my daughter. I loved and trusted her and she rewarded me with her love and trust.
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