Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That's the dog's toy, and that's not a belly button

I grew up with a lot of animals. You name it and I probably owned it at some point in my youth; and it's now buried in the side yard of my childhood home (note, if you buy a house in Long Beach and go to plant a garden in your new side yard, don't be alarmed by the mass grave - it's mostly hamsters). Because of my experience I think it's extremely beneficial for children to be around animals, and extremely beneficial for animals to be around children as well. But this also brings unexpected conflict at times. For example, the girls (especially Genevieve) think it's hilarious to stick their fingers in other peoples belly buttons. I think we are at fault for turning it into a game of sorts; "where's you're belly button? Now where's Momma's belly button?" But now we're on damage control trying to convince Genevieve that the thing that looks like a belly button just below the cat's tail is not actually a belly button and she should keep her finger out of there. The thing that frightens me the most is the cat doesn't seem to have a problem with the prostrate exam. Then there's the sharing of toys. Dogs (for the dogless out there) are a lot like children, just hairier and a little less slobbery. They have their own beds, their own toys and they throw tantrums too. We've done a pretty good job of keeping Karma off of the girls toys - she's a smart dog and is able to differentiate between what's hers and what's theirs. Now we're trying to teach the girls what's theirs and what's Karma's. ... that's a harder task. Last night they got in to Karma's toy bin (which is hidden behind the couches near the litter box and the cats food). Karma was stressing out, not sure what to do as she sat and watched them go through her treasures. She's a good dog, but you could tell she wasn't happy about it. When we strapped the girls in for dinner Karma then went around the house collecting her stuff - to which Genevieve got mad and a bit of a stare off ensued. As soon as dinner was over we moved straight to baths so the girls kind of forgot about the secret toy bin, but I have a feeling Karam's going to be hiding a few of her favorites today while the rest of us are gone. She may just be a dog, but she's figuring out what it's like to be a big sister.

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