Why my dog is not a child

Recently while I was strolling for a family walk with our new puppy, a stranger remarked, “Three kids?! You must be busy!”

For a moment I paused, thinking this man knew something I didn’t. I quickly realized he meant that the puppy was my third child and a definite part of the parenting handful.

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Admittedly, I was once a person who thought having a dog was just like having a furry human baby. I honestly did. I wasn’t making a political or philosophical statement. I had even been a nanny. I just couldn’t have known what I know now. This shift in my mind about children and dogs post-parenthood has been on my mind, as we have added a bouncing, baby livestock guard dog to our humble home.

I’m 100% an animal person; I love them. I have a veritable menagerie! (#CatholicArk) Even with my great affection for animals, I still must relay what the experience of having a puppy and small children at the same time has highlighted for me. They are not even close to similar.

You cannot feed kids from a bag that requires no cooking or preparation, three times a day. Good luck cooking a meal and getting your toddler to eat it on a day they’ve sworn off eating. Or, to wear pants. To the childrens’ credit, I’m sure if I made the puppy wear pants he’d rip them off, as well.

More or less, the dog is super stoked to find crumbs on the floor. (As will be a child if it’s in public, only in public!) He never complains or gets picky, nor does he have special allergies that require hourly consideration and planning. It is frowned upon for you to put your children in a crate. It is also frowned upon to put them on leashes.

You cannot send kids to the family doctor when you want to go on vacation, and pay a nice, low, daily fee. I’m certain my family provider would break up with us if we tried this. Anyone want to try this for science? Let me know.

You cannot just give them something to chew on and leave the house anytime you want to go out with friends. You cannot watch whatever movie or say whatever you want around children. While the dog won’t repeat that you think Bob down the street is a “darned hippy,” your kids will. They will do it in front of Bob, obviously.

My puppy likes to drink out of the toilet bowl until empty or chew on a bone for extracurricular activities. His literacy prowess is not of concern, and worrying about his second language development is not high up on my list of concerns. If he understands “sit,” we will be doing well.

While the puppy may need a quick potty run in the middle of the night for a few weeks until he matures, the baby I had four years ago is still iffy on potty training some days and definitely, does not sleep in a crate, unable to wake me in the night with her concerns about unpainted finger nails or looking to be serenaded.

The dog also never says, “MOOOOOMMMMMMMM! WHY?!” 😂👏🏻

To some this will probably seem like I’m saying, have a dog instead of a child. That is precisely not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that the experiences are not interchangeable, and they do not fulfill the space the other leaves. Man’s best friend is not a human child, and a human child is not man’s best friend. They are both distinct and wonderful relationships worth experiencing. Dogs have been domesticated and bred to serve alongside man and to serve him loyally. Children are the absolute greatest good and the future of our species.

I hope this reaches someone who believes owning a dog fills this void or informs them anything about the life of a parent. It does not. It may be a nice appetizer to prepare you for keeping someone alive, but it is not similar.

The complex and natural, lifelong relationship I have with my children is completely indescribable and dissimilar to having a dog, no matter how wonderous your puppy may be. (Ours is THE BEST!) The love and joy I have found in motherhood is not something I can convey to someone who has no children. It is something that has to be experienced to understand. All I can do is try my best to explain that you truly cannot know what you are missing until you have a child. It is not something you will regret. You cannot know this level of fulfillment and joy until you experience it.

I know that sounds convenient, like we’re a child cult trying to convince others to join our misery, but surely there would be a whistleblower somewhere? Wikileaks? Bueller? Consider how many people there are who have only dogs that believe dogs are like children versus the amount of people who have both who believe dogs are like children. Would you trust a person’s opinion on two experiences if they had only experienced one? It’s like getting that annoying dating advice from Suzie who never has a boyfriend but totally knows all the answers to your relationship problems.

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A dog will never have my eyes or make the same strange gestures as me or laugh over shared memories at family holidays. He will never make me examine just how difficult I can be, by acting just like me. He will never make me relate better to other humans as I realize that everyone I encounter is someone’s baby. Ask anyone about feeling emotionally “re-sensitized” after the birth of their child. It changes you and for the better. I will never want to put my dog before myself and in doing so, become a more selfless person. I will not grow old seeing him flourish before me, because he will be in an urn in my library.

What am I saying? I’m saying I love dogs. Truly. They are helpful, joyful, excellent company, and loyal, but they are not even close to the experience of having a human child, another experience, I highly recommend. This juxtaposition of relationships begs the question,  if someone claims to want to be child free, why would this same person want to pretend a dog is a child. Doesn’t that defeat the child free plan?

If you need further proof of the trouble with pretending canids are hominid offspring, look to all of the dogs harmed by being treated like a baby. Forcing a dog to fill a natural human void, denies them their right to be a dog, something we literally created them to be. Instead of being lead by a strong master, they are left to mow over their owners and rule their homes creating anxious, insecure environments where they feel obligated to step in as alpha. Ask any obedience trainer what causes dysfunction in dog obedience and behavior. They need order, and above all, they need to be dogs. (See Cesar Millan)

Of course after a long day raising the future citizens of the world, it’s nice to snuggle a fluffy dog who doesn’t talk back and just wants a butt scratch. I highly recommend both experiences.

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Concerning the battle to be the most Catholic blogger…

RosalieContrite
January 22, 2017

Fellow Catholic bloggers can vehemently disagree on topics, and it can often turn into a pissing contest. I have certainly partaken in the past, but we must resist the urge to be “more Catholic than the Pope.” 

Here are some of my thoughts. 

If we do not eat with the sinners and the sick, they will not know of the Lord and it will be our fault. We will have robbed them and failed Him. 
The cause whatever it is, should never become more important than treating others with dignity and respect. 
If you dismiss or turn away everyone who doesn’t agree with you or see the fullness of truth, you will have no one left with which to share this truth. We are one body, not a bunch of single cell organisms. 
Love one another as I have loved you. Go like Christ, to the lepers and be unfraid of catching leprosy. The Lord did not isolate himself, and so neither should we.

Offer it up, Buttercup. 

R O S A L I E  C O N T R I T E

Let’s be honest: social media isn’t reality.

RosalieContrite
January 7, 2017
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I am guilty, just like many other social media personalities. I only post the funny, the adorable, the pretty. My intention is to uplift and connect with others who are sharing similar experiences, but this comes at a risk.


I wish to mitigate this action today, with an ounce of honesty. I look like Helena Bonham carter in Sweeney Todd most mornings. My wardrobe is shoddy, my skin is bunk, and somedays, I feel like a crazy person. I get nervous and unsure of myself, too. I’m nothing special aesthetically or intellectually.

I don’t tell you this, so you’ll pity me or send me compliments. Please don’t. I’m OK. I tell you this so you never look upon me or any of my profiles and think, “She looks like she has it all together. She’s always put together!” This is false. It’s not reality and do not ever compare yourself to unreality.

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Do not ever think less of yourself on my account or any other person on social media. I promise that they are not showing you the less pretty side, the truthful side. No one is witty, beautiful, and put together all the time, and you should never feel less because another paints themselves as such.

May you always seek and find Him,
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Top 3 Myths Christians/Catholics Wish You’d Stop Believing

RosalieContrite
October 18, 2016

Myth#1: We hate science. For some Christian denominations, I have no doubt there exists a hatred of science, but for many mainstream groups, including the Catholic Church, science is beloved.
The Big Bang Theory was hypothesized by a Catholic priest. The father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, was an Augustinian monk. The first doctor of computer sciences was a Catholic nun. Louis Pasteur, who laid the ground work for vaccines, was a devout Catholic dedicating his life’s work to the mother of Jesus. Heisenberg, the Nobel Laureate in physics, can be quoted saying, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” I can’t speak for all denominations, as I am Catholic, but I can tell you, some Christian denominations embrace science.

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Myth #2: Christians are homophobic. Again, I cannot speak for all Christian denominations, but from a common Christian and Catholic perspective. For Christians, sex has a function and there is natural law.  The fundamental purposes of the sexual union are bonding and babies.
Those are the recognized purposes. One cannot be divorced from the other, though taking advantage of infertile periods is lauded as responsible when having more children is not prudent. For this reason, they do not recognize naturally sterile sexual acts to be moral.  Believing an action to be immoral does not justify cruelty toward those who identify as gay. On the contrary, they are to be loved and respected.
Somewhere along the line, popular culture and media became confused about hatred and intolerance, believing any disagreement to be an issue of bigotry.
Fortunately, this is not a factual assertion. If it were, the logical conclusion would be devastating.  It would be to say every parent disapproving of their child’s actions would be guilty of bigotry or hatred. Obviously, this isn’t true, because humans can disagree or disapprove of something without hating or maligning one another. The real intolerance and hatred would be to say we must stomp out anyone who does not believe as I believe, which is happening to Christians, today.
This is not to say there are no Christians who have acted with hatred and intolerance, which must be condemned.  For their actions, I wish to offer a heartfelt apology that will fall laughably short of the penitence you are owed. No evil should ever be enacted toward another. By the very action, they have not behaved as a Christian. We MUST love one another, love being a verb.
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Myth #3: Christians only hate abortion because of the Bible. There are references in the Bible to humanity and personhood, as is the en vogue distinguishing feature; however, for most Christians/Catholics, the objection is NOT dependent upon the Bible.
I have often said, “If I became an atheist again, tomorrow, I would stay pro-life.” Embryology and other sciences have shown a distinct other exists at the moment of conception, possessing it’s own DNA. As that DNA is human, it logically follows that the life in that entity would be human.

“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization… is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.

Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Miller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

Surely, we can disagree about what this fact means, but do not assume I believe something simply “because the Bible says it.” To do so would be erroneous, an untruth. The Bible being in agreement with embryology certainly spoke to the truth of Christianity for me, but the Bible is not a stand alone reason.

6 weeks after conception.
Six weeks after conception.

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Rosalie’s Fall Favorites 2016

RosalieContrite
October 15, 2016
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Why am I doing a fall favorites? It’s fall and I have favorites?  Absolutely NOTHING was sponsored or provided. Anything was purchased with my money and made the list because I love it and want to share it with you. Fear not for my purchased favor!

Rosalie Contrite Fall Favorites 2016

1. Red hair color. There is something so beautiful about leaves turning brilliant reds and oranges, crunching beneath your boots. Whether you go for a small section or all over, I think red is fitting for fall! I use Loreal HiColor available at beauty supply stores.

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2. Essie Angora Cardi. This color is everything! It looks great on all skin tones, and I adore it for fall. Looking good on ALL skintones makes it an extra special winner for me. You will have to look for it quite diligently. It’s sold out everywhere and auctioning on ebay for over $100 a bottle!

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3. NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Cherry Skies is a blackened red and the perfect seasonal clothing for your smacker. NYX says it’s a longwear color, but it does not dry down like other longwear colors I have tried. This does allow it to be hydrating. I line mine using a darker shade, to create dimension. If you like this formula, the color Vintage is also worth wearing and is less dramatic. It’s not as bold.

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4. Fall beckons you to come to the fire and read a good book. Why not improve your mental state? I recommend this book: On the Other Side of Fear by Hallie Lord. She shares with the reader how her relationship with God changed and how she found peace in this anxious and stressful world. Thank you, for sharing your heart Hallie. The book can be readily found on Amazon.

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5. When the weather gets colder, my skin dries out and I cannot take daily showers. Dry shampoo is my best friend. I am not a friend of Batiste. I know! How uncool of me? I prefer Not Your Mother’s brand dry shampoo. This allows me to buy a little more time between showers in the dry winter months, without looking hella oily.

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6. Speaking of dry skin, I recommend the chrism scented solid lotion bar from the Catholic Balm Co. Three reasons: It smells like a baptised baby, it’s not messy and easy to carry around, and it works! I swear the scent lifts the mind to Godly things! Find at CatholicBalm.co

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7. A choker. Nothing creates 90’s nostalgia like a black velvet choker. Indulge your childhood, you milennial, you! I pair mine with a 4-way medal.

8. The Rosary. October is the month of the rosary and it’s a great time to commit to praying even just a decade. I carry it with me and find little moments here and there!

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…and that concludes my Fall Favorites! Until next time, offer it up, buttercup!

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