Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...


"Say: Buh-Bye...."

All Right. It's hard to be the bearer of bad news all the time, but I guess somebody has to do it. And, although it's not my place to take the narrow views of the innocent and turn them inside out until their world's implode - I don't see anyone else here to do it. This is a very delicate matter, one that will make local dog "boutique" owners bitterly angry with me, but here goes...

Hey you, with the Pomeranian dressed up like he's Baby Huey, guess what, he's not your frickin' baby, and in some countries, where daily survival is still an issue, they call him dinner. So wake up! And, don't even think of trying to argue with me about it...I have eight years of working in the pet industry under my belt, and I can see your kind coming from a mile away. Problem is, much to your poor dog's chagrin, you don't see the error of your ways until it's too late- until after you have real, honest, human children of your own. And who pays for it- your stupid, prada wearing, gold encrusted, leather studded, collared dog. That's who.

Why does everybody always think they're re-inventing the wheel? You see a young couple buy a puppy, as a kind of precursor to parenthood, and all you can do is shake your head knowing what's coming next. First they buy about two-thousand dollars worth of useless crap that they could have gotten used on Craig's list for $150 bucks. Next they pay thousands more in training classes, and specialty leashes, and collars, and special foods , and special dishes, and special costumes for Halloween. And before you know it, you've wasted a few grand on an animal that is so far removed from nature it wouldn't be able to survive ten seconds on the streets. And, that cute puppy is now a 150 lb. dog that no one, including you, wants around  because he's no longer cute, and he drools, and he sheds, and he bothers the crap out of everyone, especially all the people whose houses you take him too because he's "your baby" and you can't leave him alone at home. NO! He's a dog, and in some countries, they leave them tied out to stakes in 30 below weather... and they don't mind. But what does bother them is being replaced... and although few young couples can see it through the credit card payments for doggy spa days, the second they have a child, a "real" boy of their own, little Pinocchio, the Doberman Pincher with the long snout, is S.O.L.

Any experienced parent will tell you, once you have kids, your dog becomes a second class citizen. And not only that, but the dog that you once revered and adorned with gifts like it was an Egyptian God, suddenly goes from "totally sheik to totally geek." Yep, when you have your first child, your dog becomes persona non grata. And if he barks, or growls, or does anything to either threaten the well being of the baby, or your well being by affecting the babies sleep habits, he'll be one step out the door before you can say Iams. If your baby develops an allergy - gone. If your baby develops an irrational fear- gone. If you and your wife continually forget to take him out to relieve himself outside, like you had five times a day before the baby came- he's gone. Once a baby arrives, it doesn't take long for your dog to get the picture - you used him. You used him for practice, and once the real thing arrived he was no longer necessary. And, let's face it, once you have a kid, you begrudge your dog's very existence. You hate walking him, and feeding him, and remembering to put water in his bowl. You have disdain for his need to scratch at the door, and lick himself only a few inches from your head while you sleep. You fume about every accident he has on the rug (even though they are always your fault), and you forget that you pledged a responsibility to care for this animal- til death do you both part.

So what do you do now? You let the nanny walk him, and feed and water him too. Or, you just open up the back door every morning and hope that he gets the message and just runs away. He was your first "baby" but he's now obsolete... and no one saw this coming, except every family member that told you not to treat your dog like a baby, knowing full well the day would come that you'd ignore the crap out of him, only caring if god forbid something terrible happens and he needs to go to the vet to be put down. Otherwise, you'll treat him like dirt, because all he does is make more work for you as your try to manoeuvre around the tiring world of real baby crap. Ah, the human condition. If only dog's were smarter... they would eat us. For now, they're relegated to responding to our whims, both good and bad.

So, to all the young couples thinking about getting a dog as a kind of practice run for having children - don't - the two aren't even remotely the same, and the only one that suffers will be the dog. Why don't you do it the logical way- have the kid and wait until he or she is old enough to ask you for a dog, only to have to explain to him or her that dog's are too much work and goldfish are the way to go. Now that's intelligent.

And if you want to inappropriately dress someone or something up in rhinestones, watch Toddlers & Tiaras... now that's creepy. 

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