I have three kids and three pets: a dog called Tiger and two cockatiels called Pearlie and Skittles.
This may come as a surprise to longtime readers of Mamamia, but I think I understand dogs pretty well. I grew up with a lovely Labrador – his name was Ben (not co-incidentally, that’s also our son’s name) and in my late 20s I had another, equally lovely Labrador – a black one called Jonah.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Revolution. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Tiger joined our family nearly three years ago and our relationship is getting better. I like having him around and even miss him when he’s not here. Sometimes.
Anyway, Tiger’s part of our family and as such he’s with us for keeps.
The birds were a sweetener offered to our daughters when we moved house. They’re great. Their chirping is soothing and they’re pretty to look at.
What has struck me since I became a parent as well as a pet-owner is that raising kids and animals is much the same. The rules (if you are the type who likes rules) are similar:
1. Start the way you mean to go on.
If you don’t want your child to still be sleeping in your bed when she’s three, it’s probably best to minimize the time she’s there as a newborn. Same goes for your Pekinese. Unless you want little Cookie there forever (and Pekinese apparently live forever) you might want to get her used to her own bed sooner rather than later.
2. You are in charge.
It’s all about the pack, you see. People and pets look for leadership and thrive when they see it. You are the one who decides who eats what where and when. When babies and animals are very tiny they want to eat pretty much all the time. Fine. Go with that or go for a schedule, whatever suits. But if you get to the point when either your teenager or your silky terrier is getting the chicken breast and you’re left with the parson’s nose then your pack structure is out of alignment.