10 Reasons Everyone Should Have a Dog Before a Child.

Via Lindsey Block
on May 17, 2012
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I can’t imagine being thrown into parenthood without a little practice & a responsibility reality check first.

Here are 10 things my dog has taught me which will come in handy as a parent.

My dog has taught me:

1. To control my angereven when my favorite shoes are chewed to bits.

“My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ” ~ Unknown

2. To explore the outdoors.

“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.” ~ Milan Kundera

3. To love. And be loved.

“The dog is the only being that loves you more than you love yourself.” ~ Fritz von Unruh

4. To be selfless—it’s not just about me anymore.

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” ~ Roger Caras

5. To deal with poop.

“Sorry about all the poop.” ~ 10 Canine Commandments

6. To be silly and let go.

“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” ~ Samuel Butler

7. To clean up after myself and others.

“When we clean up after ourselves, we have nothing to blame. When we begin to live our lives in that way, cleaning up after ourselves, what is left is further vision and further openness, which leads to cleaning up the rest of the world.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

8. To forget about sex a lot of the time. Or make it a threesome.

“For women the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time.” ~ Isabel Allende

9. To appreciate every day with him—he grows up so fast.

“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” ~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull

10. To budget money and worry less about material things.

“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich.”
~ Louis Sabin

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About Lindsey Block

Lindsey Block spends her weekdays as part of the Elephant Journal crew and her weekends hiking or picnicking at the park with a book. She's been a vegetarian for most of her adult life and delights in cooking up a new recipe (even though she really just wants to make tacos). She currently lives in Southern California.


11 Responses to “10 Reasons Everyone Should Have a Dog Before a Child.”

  1. […] sheepdogs, Carlos Santana and Sammie. However, most people don’t think about the actual cost of owning a pet, and they tend to make emotional decisions when choosing one. (People do that with investments, […]

  2. Johan says:

    Ha! I said exactly these words earlier today to a wonderful meeting with a total stranger (another perk of having a dog, meeting people in a cloud of positivity) I said: "I feel very grateful having a dog before I have any kids, since it has learned me a lot about being consequent, loving and to experience great joy almost all the time from another individual.

  3. […] dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves […]

  4. Heather says:

    Beautiful piece, and couldn't agree with you more. Our dog is one of the best parts of our world, and she has taught us so much. Thanks for writing.

  5. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you Lindsey, this is so wonderful – both as an Ode to Dog, and as a very sensible piece of advise that all would-be parents would do well to heed.
    I had a dog first (and always).
    I hate to think how much of a crappier Dad I'd be if I hadn't.

  6. […] They like to eat things off the counter. […]

  7. […] in meditation, He sits with me. Then eventually, The tired takes over and he lies down, Resting his beautiful soft head On my lap; Closing his eyes He begins to snore […]

  8. Joie says:

    LOVE IT! each and every line, so true so real yes I'm a dog lover too! 😉

  9. SLC says:

    So I agree with all of these, but I just read another post about why NOT to get a dog before having kids. The write told a lovely story about how much she and her husband lived their dog, took him everywhere, brushed him daily, and poured their lives into him. Then they had kids. She told a story then of how the dog was under foot, begging for attention, shedding everywhere and gaining weight for lack of exercise and too many treats given so he'd go away. I suppose the lesson to be learned is to have a dog but then not have kids until the dog is gone? That's a long time… I don't know what the answer is. Maybe not practicing on the dog and instead getting one when the kids are a little older and can help take care of it. Or wait until after the kids are grown. I don't think I'd enjoy a life without a furry, but then I've also never had kids.

  10. Penny says:

    True. I lost my beloved Rizzo after 15 beautiful years together. The energy of my house feels SO off without him. I learned so much from him. Hug your dogs ♡

  11. melina says:

    Well, sad is just that many dogs get kicked out as soon people become a child , or encounter problems because the dog got treated like a child