Thing 3

A Boy And His Dog


If there’s anything my kids have taught me about the innate nature of humans, it’s that you’re either born a dog person or you’re not. I believe you can learn to love dogs at some point in your life, but if Nikki and Wes are any indication, you are born one way or another.

Nikki has never given two flying craps about our pets. If anything – they annoy her. The older she gets, she recognizes that we love the animals and she tries to be affectionate towards them. But, she is still naturally annoyed by them. She’s pushing Sweetie away more than ever giving her attention. And even when she gives them love, it’s only if she’s sure we’ll see her.

Wesley, on the other hand, is a natural dog lover. He will seek out Sweetie to give her attention and loves meeting new dogs in in our everyday lives. He even still mourns the passing of Lil’Girl who died in October. Just this morning he started crying saying, “I miss Lil’ Girl!”

It’s funny though, because the more we dote on Wes for being so good with Sweetie, the more Nikki reall tries to be attentive to her as well. But it comes off hysterically fake. She pets her like she’s covered in filth and really would rather not have to be close enough to her to actually touch her. She tries, which is good to see, but it’s obvious she’d rather be doing just about anything else. And, while I know she was sad to lose a member of our canine family, she’s never shed a tear over either of the dogs we’ve had to put to sleep. And she was much older when we lost Lil’ Girl that Wesley was.

It’s just an interesting thing to observe – the natural tendency two people have to be either Pro-Dog or Anti-Dog in the exact same environment.

Have you noticed anything similar in your home? Were you a dog person growing up? Were your kids? Did you ever see what we’re seeing – two kids in the same home but having two totally different reactions to animals? I mean, I know I’m a dog person, but I didn’t really grow up with one around that often so I’m not sure how I would have behaved at a younger age.

13 thoughts on “A Boy And His Dog”

  1. Absolutely!! My brother and I both love dogs, but he definitely loves them more. Growing up I would play with the dogs and even had my own dog that I trained for many years, but I always maintained a very strict “no dogs in my room” rule and have always despised the shedding. Now that I’m grown up and on my own, I still love dogs and I love playing with other people’s dogs in other people’s homes, but I have exactly zero desire to have a dog of my own. My brother, however, used to let the dog sleep in his bed with him when he was still living at home (well…rather…the last time he was living at home, but that’s another issue) and at certain times when he was out on his own has owned a dog. Same parents, same household, very different feelings about pets.

  2. We had dogs and cats when I was growing up, but they were never allowed in the house. My parents believed that animals were animals and they belonged outside. I grew up thinking the same way and was never overly attached to any of my pets. But when I got married, my then-husband was a dog lover and he made me have a change of heart. Over the years, we ended up with four cats and two dogs and they became my children. they were my saving grace through some hard times; the death of my mom, loss of pregnancies, divorce. I have become an animal lover and I feel bad for people who don’t know that kind of generous, freely given love that a dog or cat offers.

    My little boy loves the two cats we still have (out of the original 6 mentioned above). My second husband (and the father of my son) is not an animal person. He grew up like I did and was allergic to cats when he met me. So our son has learned his love of our cats, and his appreciation for animals in general, from me. He donates part of his allowance to the local humane society. He is looking forward to being old enough to volunteer there. I don’t know what would have happened if we had two or more kids. But the one we have loves his pets!

  3. I come from a family of animal lovers, animals of all kinds. My husbands family is the same way, We both grew up with dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, fish, turtles…we both were the one rescuing injured birds and nursing them back to health. My husband will pick up every stray dog he sees and try to find the owner. He is the one called to any scene at work that involves dogs. (hes a cop). Both of our boys are the same way now. And it seems that we are not only drawn to animals but they are drawn to us. When we took our one son to the NOLA zoo, the n=animals would come over to where he was standing and look at him. It was so weird. Camels, zebras tigers, monkeys, even the turtles… Both my boys have brought home stray cats, and our cats love them both more than anyone in the family.

  4. It’s the same with my two kids. Eliza loves! dogs! Daisy is a lot like Nikki. We had to put our dog to sleep last May. Eliza will still get teary when we talk about Bernice. The day we had to put Bernice to sleep Eliza was inconsolable and didn’t want to let go of her. Daisy just looked at her and matter of factly said, “Bye Bernice you are going to die now.” In her defense she was only four.

  5. I’ve never been a pet person. We had a dog when I was growing up, and I loved her. I pet her and took her on walks and things like that. But I didn’t cry when she died, and I don’t think I’ll ever have another pet.

    My sister, on the other hand, became a vet. She has a dog and a cat now.

  6. I’ve always been a pet person. My first job out of college was in animal sheltering, basically caring for dogs all day. Best job ever. And I’ve always been the person who goes right to the pets at parties to make friends with them. Nothing like chilling with the dog while everyone else is talking to people.

  7. Anyone who knows me knows I am a cat person. But I adore our dog Lucky. And my Christopher was born a Lucky person. From the time he could talk he would say, ” I don’t have a dog, Isn’t that sad?” We got Lucky when he was in kindergarten. He is now a junior in high school and he loves her more than life. She loves all of us, but she is HIS dog.

  8. My nephews are that way!! They don’t have dogs in the household but are around dogs at grandma’s, our house snd. the other aunts house. The older one doesn’t like dogs, he tolerates them, but much like Nikki acts disgusted by them. LOL When he was younger and the dogs used to try and give loves(kisses) he would actually gag. lmao. The little one LOVES dogs!! When we talk to them on Facetime, he has to see and say hi to all the dogs….sooo cute. Unfortunately, the reason they don’t have pets is because he’s very allergic. 🙁

  9. Both of my boys came out of the womb loving dogs…but I think it helps that we have two really great dogs that take their roll of “big sisters” verrrrrrrry seriously. It’s very sweet. I didn’t start out a dog person, I always loved cats but then I met a pug and every bit of that changed.

  10. I am a cat person. I love them and they love me. (My friend’s cat who hates and bites EVERYONE let me pick her up and hold her once. My friend about fainted.) I love petting/cuddling/adoring them and they like being adored so we all win.

    Dogs…enh. I mean I get it, puppies are cute and we had a golden retriever I LOVED. I’m not anti dog, it’s just that dogs tend to be dirtier, slobbery-er, rougher, and more of a pain in my ass than cats. So while I loved MY dog, I don’t really love all dogs everywhere. I guess the best way to put it is that I’m happy OTHER people have those bonds with dogs, but I have no real desire to own one. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with one someday though. I am a sucker for cute mutts.

  11. I totally agree with this. I was just like Nikki growing up. I had very little interest in our animals. My sister on the other hand was an animal lover always. I have a dog now. And I love him very much, but my family thought I was nuts when I got him. They remember how I was with our pets growing up. They didn’t think it would last, but I’m a much more patient person now and can appreciate the companionship my puppy gives. I still don’t have that same “pet loving” sense that my sister has though.

  12. We have a similar situation in our house…My older one (“beans”) is a dog lover and sometimes, we have to tell her not to smother the poor dog especially if he’s stinky b/c it rubs off on her clothes…lol My middle one (“razz”) more like Nikki. If she sees all of us doting over our Buddy, then she will try, but she’s still not really there. I think she’s scared b/c he’s 40lbs heavier than she is (Buddy is a Lab). Shrimpie, our youngest girl, I think she’s a dog lover too. She has no concept of him being so much bigger than she is. She’s only 2, but always tried to hug and wrestle him. She also gets overly excited and tries to pet him and then next thing you know, she’s pullilng his tail…or ears…she’s in her terrible 2s and she’s brought that to new heights. As for me, I got my first dog a little over a year ago. Hubby decided to surprise the girls with teeny-tiny, cutie-pa-tootie Buddy. I have my moments where I smother him and other moments where I’m all, ewww…you stink…stay away.

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