Kids and Dogs Make the Perfect Home

Lifestyle.Relationship.Kids and dogs make a perfect home.8.1.2016_kids and hom final-12 Loading

Sure! My home is perpetually dirty. And when I say dirty I mean I can’t remember floors free of muck and furniture free of belongings of my two and four legged kids —we have two sons, 3 dogs, 3 turtles and a house full of fish (eels and sharks and goldfish to name a few).

Every time I pick up some, others magically appear. Every time the floor is mopped, tiny human and dog foot prints materialize out of nowhere. I have given up my dream of a picture perfect home, like in those magazines. These days I am overjoyed if I am not stumbling over a forgotten toy or sitting on a couch with stuff poking into my back.

And the noise level in the house is a whole other story! We have moved  twice to find the perfect house next to a jungle where no one complains about ever-excited screaming kids and over-energetic barking dogs. Sometimes when I return from work a little later than usual, I hear the cacophony from a block away — the strong voices of my lovely kids. The house seems to sigh in relief every evening when the kids go to bed and the dogs settle down in their respective corners for a snooze.

It sounds like a lot of work and it is.  Kids don’t grow up on their own and dogs don’t look after themselves. But with the right motivation and under supervision, beautiful relationships grow between dogs and kids. Being with dogs makes kids kind, caring and perceptive about animals. They start understanding early on that they too must take responsibilities. Helping around the house and taking their duties seriously come naturally to the kids.

The dogs feel a sense of belonging and responsibility towards their human family. When my elder son was born, I would be updated regularly on the need for a nappy change from my eldest dog. He would tag along, barking, till the baby was changed. Quite recently, my boys got sick in the middle of the night. The youngest dog barked and nudged me awake and led me to the kids’ room, only for me to discover that both the children were burning up with fever. They wait by the gate every day when it’s time for the kids or us to get home. If someone is late they don’t give up. They show their worry just like humans. These are just a few incidents among many.

But a word of caution, in case anyone reading this is thinking of trotting out and getting a pet right now. Dogs need your time and attention just like kids. They need their food on time and their checkups and vaccinations done regularly. If you can’t afford it, don’t get one. They don’t give up till they are taken for their regular walks. If you don’t have the patience, think twice before getting a dog. They will have their good days and bad ones. They need your hugs and cuddles. They understand when you speak to them. If you couldn’t care to treat them like family, don’t get them just for the cuteness factor. Take care of your dogs, train them, love them and treat them well and you’ll have lifelong loyal and loving members of the family. Even though the craziness gets to you from time to time, the happiness is infectious.

The dirty house, noise decibel and craziness apart, there is no greater fun than a house full of kids and dogs doling out great big dollops of fun and laughter. Beat from work, when I sit with a cup of tea, listening to the day’s adventures punctuated by hugs, kisses and licks and some fighting for mommy’s attention, I forget what I was worrying about. There is no space to worry when there is so much happening all the time. This is what your kids will remember when they grow up and think of their childhood.

Never a dull moment!

Read Who Stole Popsie’s Lunch? for a funny anecdote about bringing puppies and toddlers up together.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shrimoyee Mukherjee Sen, 37, is a professor of Marketing at Stamford International University, Bangkok. She is the proud mother of 2 boys, three dogs, three turtles and several fish. She loves to travel, read, listen to music and write; among other things.

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