Raising Puppies and Kids

Last month I wrote about our grandpuppy Zane, our daughter and son-in-law’s eight-pound bundle of delight. Zane, however, is not our only grandpuppy. Our son and his wife, also have a dog, Maximus Decimus Meridius. Max for short.

Max is our first grandpuppy, a beautiful Husky. At three years old, he’s actually no longer a puppy, but a full-grown adult – though at times he still acts like a free-spirited pup. Exuberant may best describe him and at times, impetuous, too.

Last Christmas these “cousins” met for the first time.

Zane, at a fraction of Max’s height and weight, was understandably cautious. Although Max Raising Puppies and Kidslikes to play rough, he somehow knew he should be gentle with Zane and held back. It wasn’t long, however, before Zane’s confidence grew. He’d scoot up to his older and bigger cousin, taunt him, and then make a hasty retreat to where Max couldn’t follow. We had an amusing time watching their antics.

Both dogs are well loved and cared for but have been raised differently. One graduated from multiple puppy classes, enjoys carefully selected toys, and is sometimes doted upon. The other, although not lacking needed care and attention, has enjoyed a less structured life and has parents that are more tolerant.

I wonder if our kids’ present puppy-rearing styles portend their future child-raising tendencies.

When I shared this wondering with a friend, she recoiled in alarm. Her care for her dog today, she hopes, is quite different from what will be her care for her children tomorrow. Although interesting to ponder, this is more of an academic question for me.

Regardless of how our future grandchildren are raised, we will love them unconditionally, just as we equally appreciate both our grandpuppies, despite their differences.

[This is from the August 2013 issue of Peter DeHaan’s newsletter. Sign up to receive the complete newsletter each month via email.]

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