The truth about Kids and Dogs.

"Kids:  they dance before they learn there is 
anything that isn't music."

--William Stafford

And after spending the past two mornings traipsing around the dog park in the snow (because Russ has been unavailable) --

I'd say the same about dogs . . .


In fact, both kids and dogs have it right 
in a lot of their thinking.  

They both see snow and think, "Woohoo!", for instance.  "More opportunities for play!"

They rarely worry that it's too cold.  They never wonder, "do these snowpants make me look fat?"  And they don't seem at all concerned when the first flakes fly that the snow may be around for a LONG LONG time.

They also have it right about food.  They eat when they're hungry.  In fact, sometimes kids FORCE themselves to eat just so they can have a cookie.  I'm much more likely to wonder, after I've eaten myself sick, if I can possibly squeeze another cookie in on top of it all, and perhaps a little ice cream?

Dogs accept their fate of only being able to eat what is offered them with admirable grace.  Although sometimes I wish someone else would control my diet, I feel certain that I'd probably accept most of their offerings with more of a snarl than a wag.

Kids and dogs usually tell you exactly what they think.  Cooper, for instance, is always perfectly honest about his needs and how well I'm doing at meeting them.  He has no compunction about letting out a sigh of disgust when I've been a little selfish about sitting at my desk.

And then he's greets any activity offered with an enthusiasm that suggests our 500th walk around the block is just what he's always wanted.  Likewise, my children seemed equally entertained with the 33rd viewing of their favorite Disney video as with the first, and playing Candyland EVERY DAY after lunch was a-okay with them.

They're both quick to forgive.  A nap, a little treat or a snuggle will usually erase any offense or neglect they may have suffered. Kids and dogs seem to know instinctively that nurturing a grudge would only get in the way of their own fun. Much better to just move on and look for some excitement in whatever is happening NOW.  

Perhaps it's because they know it's nearly impossible not to like them, so why worry?  A dog is only concerned with being a dog, just as a three-year-old's only purpose is to be three.  They don't really care about impressing people.  In fact, when you try to get them to perform their tricks so you can impress your friends, they rarely cooperate.  And they are equally pleased by an empty refrigerator box as by a fancy house built just for them.

In fact, kids and dogs, it seems, 
require very little in order to find much. 

My kids have grown and gone, but Cooper's demands seem to have expanded to fill all available space.  That's okay, because with kids or dogs, I think Robert Brault had it right:

"If you haven't time to respond to a tug 
at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded."


Time for a walk. 




Judy said...

I'm always amazed at the range of your art used to illustrate these fun posts. So many pieces! How are you fitting in time for so much creating with all that dog-walking going on??

Karen S said...

I love this post. My dog (and kids) love the snow. I used to joke to my dog-walking neighbors that I got a dog because I was jealous that they had to go out in all kinds of inclement weather to walk their dogs while I watched from inside my warm house.

So now I have to go walk my dog -- thanks to you, I have realized that she deserves it!

Amelia and Justin said...

Did you write this post just for me? :)

susan m hinckley said...

Is that because you want a dog, Amelia? If so, that means we will have converted half your family to our evil ways . . . bwahahaha . . .

Leenie said...

Yes, yes! Your needlework is brilliant. Way to go, You! More of those Egyptian eyes and the fun colors to illustrate the words of wisdom. Brings smiles and a reminder to worry less about impressing others and enjoy! Thanks.

Amanda and Christopher said...

:D I have been working earnestly to convert my family to the dark dog owning side! I think it helps having the cutest dogs on the planet :)

I wish I had some snow for them to play in though. Every walk is possibly the most exciting thing they have ever done, EVER so I can't imagine what snow would be like!

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