Raising A Puppy Is Not Raising A Baby

I think I understand why couples who want a baby jokingly-but-not-really say that they’re going to get a puppy first and see how that goes. The idea being, if you can handle raising a puppy and being responsible for its well-being and care and general “not dyingness” then you have a better idea of what you’re in for as opposed to caring for a bag of rocks or something.

lots of rocks

Rocks these days. No respect for their boulders.

But we all know that there are people who are fabulous parents and terrible dog owners and people who are terrible parents but fabulous dog owners (hopefully you don’t know too many of those) and raising a puppy doesn’t mean you can raise a kid.

collie dog lassie kid

Unless you can keep them in a strictly controlled environment, like a 1950’s television show.

So I’m going to propose something. Instead of testing your parenthood on a pet, take in a stray teenager instead.

vintage teens 1940's


Because I think that what a lot of couples forget when they say “We want a baby” is that they’re also saying, “We want a toddler” and “We want a teenager” and “We want a 30-year-old.” And beyond. Babies grow up! No, for serious! They do! It happens really slowly, you can’t look directly at them while they do it; if you try to watch them grow up, it doesn’t really work – you have to turn your head for a few days and then turn it back quickly, and boom, you’ve got a 6-year-old staring back at you who wants a snack even though dinner is in 40 minutes but they don’t care because¬†time is a concept they don’t understand.

you're tacky and I hate you

One thing this kid understands? Fabulousness.

Borrow a teenager. You can find them in lots of places. Go into a Starbucks at 3:30 PM on a weekday. There are loads of them there. Or be more practical about it and ask a relative or friend if their teen wants to stay with you for a weekend. Explain that you want to have children and while you could get a puppy to simulate the baby experience of what it’s like to have to deal with a small living creature that does absolutely nothing for you but demands you do everything for it when it can’t even do anything awesome like make you a drink or talk about who is better in Dylan Vs. Cohen, what you really want is to experience what it’s like further down the road, because you realize that having children is for life.

wallflowers jakob dylan

And that’s something Bob Dylan has to deal with every day.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

If your friend says, “Yes, but that’s not for 13 more years!”, you say, “Are you insinuating that my husband/wife and I won’t be together in 13 years and that we may as well just forget it and pretend like that’s not on our radar? Because let me tell you something, the moment that one of us is pregnant is the moment we open up a college fund for our child’s future education because education is expensive and we need all the time we can get to save up because oh my God why don’t people understand that this little blob of flesh and beating heart is going to have to get an education one day because it is going to turn into a person?”

newborn baby

“I can’t wait for this to embarrass us on YouTube in 13 years!”

Puppy or baby, whatever living thing you get, please be responsible and make sure you have enough money, time, and love to give it for the rest of its life and yours. If you can’t, get a blog. Blogs are cool. And you can do anything with a blog. A blog can be anything you want it to be. If you want to make a blog based on cocktails you invent named after Nicolas Cage movies, you can do that. And no one will stop you.

nicolas cage wicker man

The Wicker Man: bourbon with 6 tablespoons of honey.

Images via Shutterstock, LIFE photo archive, and Know Your Meme.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522094871 Lindsey Schwarte

    I’m not seeing any relevance to anything for this article. It’s just a mish-mosh of spewed together sentences with no real thesis. I’m usually a fan of the Hello Giggles posts, but this one is extremely lackluster. Not to mention, the reason most people get a dog before having a baby, is not so much to test the “not dyingness”, its so they can make sure they can handle caring for something TOGETHER. Its an excellent way so make sure that you are going to be able to handle responsibility as a team, and not kill one another. When you have to take the puppy out at 3am to make sure it doesn’t pee in your bed, making sure it gets attention and has food. Its not supposed to emulate having a baby, but having responsibility for another living thing, and tackling that responsibility together.

    • Apocalypstick


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529913140 Reema Abi-Akar

    I agree to an extent with my fellow commenter below, but I liked this article (despite its meandering nature). It was funny, and the use of pictures and captions was clever. Surely there are more scientific, informative articles on the subject, but this was meant to be lighthearted and cute, and that’s what it was.

    • Apocalypstick


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1718185769 Andrea Martinez

    This article is pretty much fantastic. But as is such with basically every single thing Almie writes. Please keep on writing forever.

    • Apocalypstick

      Thanks so much for the high praise!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1832117364 Sammy Vongsa

    Almie – haters gon hate. I love your style of writing, and that’s a totally biased statement because I like to write in a similar fashion. Sometimes, I’m afraid people will be offended and/or critical because they just don’t understand. But I guess there will always be people who won’t understand. Also, I love you, and sorry for going off topic.

    • Apocalypstick

      Thank you! I don’t think anyone is hating. I do think though that babies and pets are can be really emotional topics for people and sometimes that clouds how they perceive things they read. But I’m just happy people are reading it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639625323 Emily Danielle

    I dunno…My boyfriend got a dog when we moved in together, it was something he had planned on for a while before we got our own place but he never did due to lack of funds. I do not know what I would do without my sweet little boston, but hell, am I ever a responsible pet owner! But I also have the time to put into caring for a pet. I think people who get a dog to test out parenting skills is ridiculous, But you have to see some of the positives. At least these people care enough about becoming a parent that they want some training ahead of time instead of just saying “Hey, you know what would be fun? Having a baby together. Hell, we can hardly manage to work together on what we’re having for dinner tonight, but what the hell, lets make a massive commitment.” I think if you get a dog, you should definitely refrain from having a child for a long time. Dogs need constant love and attention, and are wary of new members of the pack. What happens to that poor puppy when the child turns 3 and requires all of your attention, all the while it torments that adorable little boston terrier who is used to being your world? I don’t think it’s at all fair to the dog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=765389408 Melanie Moir

    I completely agree with everything you said Almie. I think that if someone is thinking of having a baby, its entirely unfair to get a puppy first, because the owners are going to give it so much care and attention, then they have a baby, and the dog just gets entirely pushed out, or they get rid of the dog. I’ve seen plenty of people bringing in their animals to my vet practise to have them put down, because they’ve had a baby and don’t ‘need’ the animal now, or the animal might hurt the baby, or the owners just put the dog into a shelter. I hate how disposable people think pets are, it infuriates me.

    • Apocalypstick

      Oh my God! People do that? They would rather have their dog killed than give it up for adoption??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000128187253 Sophia Mesches

    I beg to differ….I raise guide dog puppies for the blind which includes raising a puppy from when its 8 weeks old to when its about 15-16 months. I just got a new one last saturday and so far I’ve gotten to go through:
    -getting up in the middle of the night to take it out
    -getting up in the middle of the night because it pooped in its crate and I had to not only give him a bath, but also clean the crate
    -dealing with it barking 24/7 and having to just ignore it
    -feeding it
    -taking it out to go potty just in general
    -and a lot more
    This puppies name is Jeeves, and he is my 3rd guide dog puppy. I’ve learned from experience that each puppy goes through the certain stages. The terrible twos, the teenage years (which are shown through them testing you in everything you try to teach them), and then college, which is shown when we have to finally give them up to go to “Guide Dog School”. I mean sure there are the sweet moments here and there, but people always just assume its easy. People don’t realize, that as a 15 year old, dealing with school, a social life, and a baby puppy at home, whom you have to teach whats wrong and whats right in the world, can be stressful at times. I mean sure its not a baby or anything, but it definitely gives me a good idea of what having a baby is like. This is a being that I’m solely responsible for until he goes to college, and it definitely helps me learn that I don’t want a baby until I’ve accomplished everything I want to with my life. However when it comes to couples getting a puppy, I think it really just depends on how they act towards the dog. Sorry, I didn’t mean to rant there…
    -Sophie Mesches

    • Apocalypstick

      I think that’s freakin’ AWESOME that you do that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=81002953 Rebecca Shragge

    I have a puppy – or I guess, dog now…he just turned 1! – and let me tell you, it’s a LOT OF WORK but you’re right and here’s why – If you leave for a while, you can’t put your baby in a crate and leave him while you go gallivant all over town. also if you’re kid isn’t diaper trained fast enough, you don’t rub his nose in it (which I’ve never done to my puppy but apparently it’s a thing people do).

    So – I’m with ya! Puppies are hard but they aren’t BABY hard.

  • http://www.juliagazdag.com Julia Gazdag

    Dear everyone who actually thinks raising a puppy and a human child are the same thing:

    PS. at no point did Almie say that raising a puppy wasn’t challenging or time/energy consuming. Also this post was hilarious. If you can’t laugh, that must be very sad and I feel for you.

    • Apocalypstick

      Thanks! I just think that while two people being able to raise and care for a puppy is awesome, it is completely different and not at all like raising a child, and it’s frightening to me that anyone could think that it is. They are mutually exclusive. Some people are hopeless with pets or just aren’t dog people, but to say they wouldn’t make great parents is really insulting, although thankfully, I don’t think anyone is saying that.

      • http://www.juliagazdag.com Julia Gazdag

        Well and also, puppies won’t start talking, can be trained (can YOU train a tween?), won’t go to college, and won’t be around for the rest of your natural born life. I would say that’s a difference. Sometimes I wonder if people go to the internet just be contrary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1565520173 Cherie Jamison

    I don’t want a puppy or a baby. I’d prefer a cat, because I think a cat would be more likely to understand me and therefore produce a more symbiotic relationship. Dogs and babies want too much from me emotionally. A cat just wants food and a place to poop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002901477636 Jennifer Edmondson

    You are, hands down, my favorite writer. It’s hard to find others with my specific sense of humor. Thanks goodness you are here.

    I’ve been a nanny for the past 6 years and kids are no joke. Puppies can’t talk or scream in public. If you spill something on the floor, puppies won’t say “ohh you made a mess Jenny, look at the mess you made” for six minutes straight.

    So if you enjoy sleeping in, relaxing during the weekend and hate repeating yourself then do not have kids. Or if you do, just realize your life is no longer yours (if you’re a good parent).

    That said-I love my job and I love kids. I have lots of patience and also get to go home at night. I am not having kids for a long while.

  • http://diablo3gold.swtorshops.com onlinegame blog

    I have observed that in the world today, video games are definitely the latest fad with children of all ages. Many times it may be impossible to drag the kids away from the video games. If you want the very best of both worlds, there are numerous educational gaming activities for kids. Great post.

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