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Home April 2012 Quadruped View

Quadruped View

The roles in the house are simple: Zev plays with the baby. Hubby and I feed, clothe and hold the baby when he cries.  And Sketch, well, she is supposed to clean up after he eats.
Those familiar with toddlers’ eating habits know that parents feed baby, and baby feeds the floor.  That’s why God created puppies.  When Zev learned to eat table food, Sketch positioned herself directly under his high chair, practically guzzling the falling food off the tap.
But now that Ozzy has joined us at the table, Sketch is proving herself a deadbeat dog.  Even some of her favorites – cheese, chicken and Cheerios – stay piled up on the floor.  After a full week of sweeping up carrots and broccoli from under the kitchen table, I realized that Sketch isn’t shirking her responsibilities because she’s full or dissatisfied with the menu options.  She is protesting.
Ozzy just turned a year old, and Hubby is already talking about Kid Number Three.  While I know that it’s physically impossible, every time the subject of a third child comes up, I swear I can see my dog roll her eyes.
It is clear from Sketch’s Scrap Strike that while God might want me to “be fruitful and multiply,” my dog is firmly against it.
She was only 1 when we brought Zev home, and she acted just like a bratty toddler at the mewling little interloper.  She even nipped at him once.  We very nearly gave her up, but she learned to play nice.  Now she is slavishly devoted to Zev, sleeping under his bed every night and following him around the house.
Sketch tolerates Ozzy – no growling or nipping, even when he pulls her hair.  But she has made it clear that she is not interested in him, or his falling cheese cubes.  Even when I call her over to the baby’s fallen scraps, even when I hold them in my palm and offer them to her, she turns her nose at them.  And at me.
“No one consulted me before inviting Señor Schmutzy to live with us,” she seems to be saying.  “So don’t you even think about bringing a third one of these things into this house.”
Zev is really angling for another sibling.  Hubby definitely wants a third.  I thought I was on board, too, but this Sketch thing makes me wonder: I know I shouldn’t take reproductive cues from a quadruped, but maybe she knows something I don’t.  Maybe this family has reached critical mass.  Maybe the piles of food on the floor are a dog’s way of saying we’ve bitten off more than we can chew.
Hubby says I’m being silly.  Of course we could handle a third child.  We ain’t the 1 percent, but we’d figure it out.  We have plenty of love to give, not to mention enough toys to fill a preschool.  Plus this hypothetical kid would have two adoring siblings.  Of course we can have a third child.
After we get a second dog.


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