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Rhonda Robinson

5 Reasons Why a Dog Should Be a Family’s First and Last “Child”

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Posted on November 18 2010 8:00 am
Rhonda Robinson is part of NewsReal's editorial team. As a columnist, Rhonda has provided readers with thoughtful insight into social, political, and parenting issues since 1995.

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4. You and Me and Baby Makes Three

I have seen it time and time again. First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes the two of them with a dog in a baby carriage.

Dogs make great first babies for young couples. We are hard wired to connect and procreate. However, babies are not always an option. Pets in general, and dogs in particular make a good second.

They bring life, laughter and energy into a home. Adopting a dog, like having children, is an individual decision. However, the responsibilities are universal. You might be surprised to learn about your own natural parenting skills (or lack thereof) with a new puppy.

When a puppy comes into your home, he must learn how to interact and behave. He has to learn the rules. Otherwise, you live in a home where the dog sets the stage.  Sound far- fetched? Have you ever been to a home where the dog barked at the owner while you were visiting, just to get her attention?  How about a home where the child screamed at his parents? Or a home where the dog never got house broke or a child was still in diapers at age five.

All these issues have one thing in common. The people that are responsible for training are not following through. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that if you can’t house break your Chinese Pug, you’ll never be able to potty train your child. I’m saying, both take time, energy and unconditional love. Both stretch your patience to their limits. It’s good exercise.

But then so is…

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