Little difference between a dog and a brother

My kids want a dog. I tell them they have a brother.

Really, there’s not a whole lot of difference. They both go around on all fours and eat things most of the time. If you drop your food, they will both zero in on where it is and eat it (and my kids drop a lot of food). Unfortunately, we have to worry about the brother choking. Thankfully, this has not happened. However, his immune system is probably pretty good by now by eating things off the floor.

Both dogs and little brothers cry at night. However, my wife feels legally obligated to stop little brother from crying, which means I get to sleep. This would not happen with a dog. She would leave that dog howling until 2 a.m., at which time I would get up to yell at the dog, which would prompt it to howl even more.

And a dog would dig holes in the back yard. I’m sure little brother will someday dig holes in the back yard too, but right now he’s too small to hold a shovel.

As you can see, I much prefer little brother to having a dog. My kids don’t care what my preferences is. They are so desperate for a pet, they put bugs in plastic containers and give them names like “Fido” and “Rover.” One of my daughters is opposed to me spraying ants near our house, feeling that any animal that chooses to live by our domicile is our responsibility to nurture.

My other daughter insisted that we build a “house” in our backyard out of sticks last fall so that any wandering animals could have a warm place to stay for the winter. Fortunately, no animals took up residence there. It’s what a real estate agent would have described as “breezy.”

My kids would be content to even have a fish. There is one reason we don’t get a fish: fishes die. They die like nothing else. And if you have a sick fish, you can’t take it to the vet. You can’t give it mouth to gill resuscitation. And then it dies. And all my kids cry for two days.

Although the death thing might be good for them to get used to. But with fish, they might get a little too used to it. I could hear them now.

“Archie the fish died again,” I would say.

“Great! Flush it down the toilet! This is our favorite part; just like ‘Finding Nemo’!” they would say.

So we don’t even have fish. But what they really want is that holy grail of petdom, the dog. There seems to be no end to T.V. shows and movies that imply that dogs are children’s best friend. It never works that way in real life though. Even the best dogs are somewhat annoyed by the other small creatures that surround it and usually tries to pay them no heed.

What dogs do like, is mommas and poppas. They have this incredible honing instinct that quickly narrows down who is providing them food, and instantly, they want to give those people all the attention.

No thank you, have three little sisters and a little brother already vying for attention. Though I don’t know what to do when little brother starts talking, because he will want a dog too.


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