29 October 2005

Should I be offended, annoyed, or just puzzled?

A couple of days ago I was asked a very, very strange question. It is still bothering me. A co-worker asked, "Now that you have the baby, what did you do with your dogs?" HUH??? I must have mumbled something unintelligible. I was really too stunned to put together a coherent sentence. The person seemed to sense my confusion but continued, "I mean, now that you have a baby, you got rid of the dogs, right?" I was floored. I managed to say "no, we still have the dogs," but not much else.

This is one of those times when you think of all the snappy comebacks well after the window of opportunity has slammed shut. I wish I had said something like, "Well, the dogs were there first. If it hadn't worked out, the kid would have to go." While that's not exactly true, we did make a committment to the dogs to care for them as long as they live. We made every effort to ease the transition of adding another human to the household. I think we did a pretty good job.

I know people who have had trouble with their pets after having a child, and who have taken the painful step of re-homing them. What I don't understand is how the assumption that one gets rid of a pet simply because they had a baby became mainstream. Is my threshold for such things unreasonably high?


Melissa said...

I know your puzzlement. I have 4 cats (and 2 dogs!), and when people hear I kept the cats even after my son was born, they are shocked. It's like some bizarre urban myth that animals and babies can't co-exist. I always get the question, "Well weren't you afraid the cats would suffocate the baby?" I can't tell you how many times I have heard that question, and I am shocked every time!

Sherman n' Luka's 2 Legged Momma said...

I am just stunned at people's stupidity. But maybe we can turn this into a positive - when people ask us why we're NOT having kids, I can say "Oh, NO, the (2 legged) boys don't like children at all. We couldn't bring any kids into the house." Which, of course, is totally untrue, the boys LOVE kids, but it certainly would shut people up. But you're right, people would think it was absurd to NOT have KIDS for the DOGS sake, but to NOT have DOGS because of the KID is perfectly NORMAL??? Oy vey.

Kim said...

Here's a very appropriate and classic bit of dog humor:

Click here

Matt said...

Nyah, go easy on the poor schmendrick. People who don't keep pets don't really know, people who don't keep babies don't really know, and there are indeed a number of pet-baby combinations that are not compatible (don't get me started about the poor kid in SF who was killed by the dog this year because his mother was too much of an idiot to recognize the signs of an aggressive dog penned up with a bitch in heat). I am not puzzled; I am ignorant, say, about how people of different political persuasions can live in the same household happily, but I know they exist in the universe....

Having owned an aggressive dog pre-baby, I can tell you that the last thing I would've wanted was to have to manage the dog and the baby in the same household. Not a happy prospect for anybody, and the dog is the loser. I expect your colleague's thin knowledge of infant-canine relations might have been predicated on such a circumstance.

So, on a completely different note, what's up with the ads on the blog? Is this now an advertising-supported baby? Are you taking corporate sponsors? If so, let me know how much to sponsor "Oliver James Daboo, presented by the Hoffwall Family"....8-)

Kim said...

>So, on a completely different note, >what's up with the ads on the blog?

Two words: unemployed husband

No, really, it's just an experiment. Will probably go away soon.