Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ghost dog, originally uploaded by estacey.

it's really remarkable how much having a pet (or in our case, lots of pets) is, like, parenthood. mini-parenthood.

the reasons i know this?

well. first of all, chris is a really good dog & cat daddy. really. chris is just.. he's just the best. i cannot complain about anything. he is uber-responsible in all areas of life. back when oreo used to insist on getting up at 6 a.m. on saturday, he would get up and let her outside. (on the days i was awake to witness this, i would just lay there and think, oh my god, he's doing this for MY cat?! not just nudging me and saying, "your cat wants outside, get up.") really, really a good dude. i have no doubt about what kind of dad he would be. when i hear the "my husband does nothing" stories other women tell, i know for a fact that would not be my chris.

and then there's the fact that we actually argued the other day, over buddy and all this peeing. and that we were not seeing eye to eye on how to remedy it. chris is the strict one, see. i felt he was punishing all the dogs for what, in fact, was just what really buddy was doing. we both needed to calm down, and we did, but not before we both got mad at each other for not listening to or appreciating the other's point of view. and really, when you think about it, we have a really good thing going on: he's the strict one, and i'm the softie. isn't that usually the way it is in the mom/dad dynamic? we temper each other. if we can think of solutions that make us BOTH happy (and they are there), we'll have a really good thing going on. that got me to thinking how similar this must be to raising a kid... you gotta trust your partner's sensibilities, and you gotta give a little.

then last night, this pet/parenthood point was driven home. i went in to kiss chris good night, since i was staying up late to study. maggie went with me, since wherever i go, she goes. she jumped up on the bed and gave chris a kiss, too (of the french variety, which is maggie's specialty). only when i went to leave, she stayed planted on the bed, in a little ball, looking up at me. i came back in twice, asking, "maggie, you coming?" nope. she wanted to stay in bed with chris.

going back to the living room, i'm like, "OH MY GOD. it's happening." since i've been home for the past week, i've had to be the disciplinarian. especially with maggie, since if she's not wearing her muzzle, i make her stay right next to me if sebastian is out. (the muzzle is a new thing we're trying out so she doesn't have to be outside all the time when the other dogs are in.) and since daddy chris is just home for mealtime and kisses, now HE'S going to be the favorite... now i'm just a nag. i see how it is. and i felt really guilty for having to discipline her, even though i love on her 50x more than i make her "sit" or "stay."

then again, maybe she was just tired.

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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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