A Toddler's Guide to Pet Care

Between our home and my parents', we have collectively, three pugs, one mastiff, a cat, and a handful of fish. All of these pets, excluding the fish (they do enough damage to themselves) have aged considerably due to the trauma that has been inflicted by a toddler – and now a toddler in training.

In case your children have yet to explore the joys of pet care and maintenance, I have compiled a list of ideas that will keep your little lovey and their favorite fuzzy playmate busy and entertained for hours.

1. Boot elderly dogs in the tushie to check reflexes and muscle tone.

2. When you receive a new toy medical kit, check the cat's temperature…rectally, while she sleeps – just to keep your skills sharp and the cat on her toes.

3. At least once a week, jump off the couch like one of the “Flying Franconi” and flatten Mommy's mastiff, just in case Barnum and/or Bailey ever knock on the door and need a tumbling temp.

4. Steal the dog's rawhide bone, place in mouth, laugh maniacally and run off – just for kicks.

5. Please feed any and all animals loitering near the dining table; lima beans, broccoli, cooked carrots, bell peppers and any other food that no human child could possibly consume – except boogers – those are a delicacy.

6. Use the dog's water dish as a Barbie sauna/GI Joe sneaky swamp.

7. When all the bathrooms are full, tinkle on the dog – no one will notice, and the dog could use a bath.

8. Put Mommy's good heels on the dog – just to keep him humble – and because a dog on stilts is free entertainment!

9. Go from hugging to choking the cat with no transition – just to keep her surprised.

10. Head-butt the biggest dog frequently to show dominance; then fall backward crying that the dog attacked you – to divert attention from the wanton violence enacted on the snoring dog on the couch.

This list represents a combined total of at least three days spent in time out; meanwhile, all our animals wander around dazed, like twitchy POW's. Every time they hear a child's voice, they whine and piddle themselves. At bedtime, however, when I can't find Emma, my mastiff, chances are, she is lying in bed with Sloan, snoring happily. I laugh at my 7 month (75 pound) puppy and my 3 year old daughter sharing a twin bed. It's like a game of Twister hosted by Dr. Moreau.

*No animals were injured in the writing of this column.

Boise City News
P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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