I love dogs.
I like kids too. Only if they are my nieces and nephews. The rest can go climb a tree. Hey, before you judge me, I’ve done my share of baby-sitting. Fine. At least for a few days. And, I realised, kids are cute only while they are sleeping. Once they wake up they’re no longer kids, but erupting volcanoes of vomit, poop and chaos.
So when I got married, apart from all the things we agreed on, one common ground was that it’s better to have a dog than a baby. Yes, we are more dog-loving than baby- loving, but that’s no crime.
You know what is a crime?
When you go for a movie and you a family with kids sits right next to you, howling away because they are afraid of gunshots in Neerja or don’t really understand what a mountaineer is doing dealing with child trafficking and Russian Mafia in Shivaay. Alright, kid, we admit – that bit made us all go a bit cuckoo.
But are you getting our point? It’s a crime to get small kids to cinema halls for films which are of no interest to them. Just leave them at home.
You know what else is a crime?
It’s having people talk about their kids all the time and sharing their pictures. My husband and I usually stare at each other, ’cuz we know the drill. We look at each photo and say the standard “aww” or “so cute”...
Theek hai yaar, baby hai! They can’t do much in photographs anyway. And mind you, what you’re looking at is not a kid, but a drawing pad with kala tikka smeared generously over its face.
So my husband and I came up with a perfect rebuttal – we started talking about our dog, Zuluk, Jolly the IV – a cute, champagne Cocker Spaniel – and started sharing his photographs. We do get sinister looks from a lot of parents but, hello, Zuluk is our baby and if we can sit and hear all your ‘awle’ baby talks, it’s time you return the favour.
Sorry mommies and daddies, but having a dog is far better than having a baby. And I have my reasons...
Can You Leave Your Baby Alone?
Can you leave your li’l munchkin alone for three to four hours?
Of course not. Ha Ha Ha. We can!
Zuluk can stay alone for more than three hours and the best part is the boy is potty trained. Paw-wow! So we don’t return home to a smelly diaper smeared all over his furry bum.
My Dog Can Be Distracted With a Chew Bone
All I need to do to ‘shush’ Zuluk is to throw him a chew bone. A chew bone is all you need to put the fellow in his happy place. Or even a worn out plastic bottle. Can you do that with a baby? You constantly need baby toys or adult accessories (dupatta, spoon, bangles etc) or gibberish conversations to keep ’em entertained. So that you can have 10 minutes of ‘me time’.
Food For Thought
Thank god Zuluk is not a fussy eater. He gets the same food everyday and he loves it. Or at times, he gets to feast on what we eat. But I can’t even imagine if it was a child. We would have to come up with some exotic dishes for the baby and some innovative way to feed him/her. Maybe even fool the li’l one by feeding him fake meat in the form of Nutrela.
Dogs are Low Maintenance
We are so glad that Zuluk won’t grow up and demand high-end watches or a fancy car to impress the girls. All he needs is his chew bone and his bowl of Pedigree to keep him happy and our wallets amenable to his little needs.
Dogs Listen to You! Period.
Zuluk knows who the boss is. He’ll never yell at you or throw a fit. Try doing that with your child and lemme know how many chocolate bars you had to eventually buy to make him/her stop screaming blue murder.
(This story was first published on 13 November 2016 and has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark Children’s Day.)