I have a very sweet and lovable 10-year-old mutt named Riggins. I love him to the moon and back again. He is my adorable baby boy, and he is better than your child.
Before you get angry with me for even suggesting such a thing, let me tell you the seven reasons why!
The “terrible twos” and the “snarky teenage years” don’t exist for Riggins. Sure, he doesn’t know English beyond the basics — food, dinner, and treat (obviously eating is very important to him) — but that means he will never use it against me.
Instead of a “but moooooommmmm, you said …” I get an inquisitive held tilt that is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
I’m a dog sitter, and during my meet and greet with a prospective client, I let them know that three or four days a week I go to a “humans only” exercise class. That’s my “me” time. As a single parent, this would be very difficult to manage if I had a human child. I couldn’t put little human Timmy in my bedroom with the air conditioning on and promise I’d be home soon. If I did, there would be a good chance that my post-workout time would involve a discussion with child protective services.
Riggins, on the other hand, is more than happy to jump up on my bed and snooze away an hour our two without having me in the house with him.
As a single dog parent who lives in a neighborhood where tagging is seen as a competitive sport, I like the fact that Riggins’ has a bark that can scare men of all shapes and sizes.
Our UPS man is the toughest-looking guy you have ever seen. Imagine if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mr. T had a baby who grew up to proudly wear a brown uniform while easily carrying 100-pound packages up multiple flights of stairs. THAT guy stands about 10 feet from my front door and flings packages at my house while running backward toward the safety of his truck. All because Riggins is barking hello from behind the screen door.
Do strangers flee from your human child? I think not.
When I babysit my niece and nephew, they take over my living room. Pillows instantly become the walls for a fort, and the floor is a battlefield of discarded dolls and Legos. All of that is manageable, but what becomes a real sacrifice is when the TV gets turned on. Not a single one of the shows on my DVR can be safely played until after 9 p.m., and even then it’s a gamble since little eyes and ears see and hear everything. While the kids are in my house, the TV is safely left on stations that focus on singing animals, brightly colored ninjas, and magical fairies.
Riggins, on the other hand, loves Game of Thrones and can’t get enough of Naked and Afraid. It doesn’t matter how many characters get their head chopped off or run around the wilderness nudie, if I love it, Riggins loves it and will happily watch with me as we share the sofa and some popcorn.
At what age does your child no longer want to hold your hand, or be walked to class, or (gasp) be kissed on the lips? I’ll tell you the answer for Riggins – never.
Riggins always wants to be right next to me, and if he isn’t, well then he isn’t happy. When I ask if he wants to go for a walk, he makes a mad dash over to where his walking harness and leash are kept.
If I want a kiss from my baby boy, I just ask for it. I put my face next to his and exclaim, “kisses,” and he is happy to supply me with as many as I want!
Just stop for a second and think about all the time and money spent on clothes for your child. There are back-to-school outfits, play clothes, nice outfits for going out, bathing suits, and uniforms. Don’t forget those shoes that get worn and grown out of every six months. Your wallet has to be exhausted from all that use.
You know what Riggins wears? A collar.
Whenever there is a breach of personal data, there is an outcry from the masses, “What now? Are they just going to chip us so they know where we are all the time?” You know what my answer is to that? Go for it. I’m a very active klutz and wear an identification tag on my shoe that includes my name, emergency contact information, and the name of the dog that will most likely be by my side if I’m found unconscious. If I’m lucky, I’ll be wearing the correct shoes if that information is ever needed.
You know who doesn’t have to rely on luck? Riggins! He has a little tiny chip that has been placed right under the skin on his back. With one swipe of a magic wand, a vet can tell you his name, my name, and how to get in touch with me. That magic chip is with him all the time, not just when he is wearing a specific garment.
I bet there is more than one parent out there who wishes she could put a chip in her human child without being judged, mocked, or jailed.
So you see, your darling human child is pretty great, but my furry baby boy is better!
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About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of “always be closing” to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy’s new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.