Tag Archives: gender equality

Pet Parent to “Real” Parent: Auditioning Daddy

How do you know your partner will make a good parent? Start with pets.

hi

C-Biscuit, Bob and Machu Picchu

My friend Sofia reported from the NYC dating scene that it’s hard to find a good single man who has a dog or cat. “If a guy is taking care of anything besides himself, that’s a very good sign,” she said.

My dad must agree, because when I met Bob, Dad asked, “Does he have pets?” When I said he’d always had cats, Dad said, “People who love animals are good people.”

First delivery from the stork

First delivery from the stork: C-Biscuit quickly took over our lives...and half of the sleeping bag

After watching Bob take care of C-Biscuit and Machu Picchu, I don’t have any doubts about his parenting. When Biski got spayed last year, Bob even suggested that we could keep the cone collar off of her at night if we “slept in shifts” and alternated watching her sleep. (My reaction? “Cone her. Nite-nite.”) 

There was, I admit, one set-back. When we first got C-Biscuit, before I realized she gets car sick, we were driving her to the vet. On Fifth Avenue she barfed half a can of dog food all over Bob, the seat, the gear shift… and he flipped out. To be fair, he had his doubts about my parenting abilities, too, because instead of reining her in or helping to clean up, I was paralyzed by hysterical laughing. ANYway, haha, these things happen.

Otherwise, Bob proved himself over the past four seasons with our little girl(s):

First Swimming Lesson

Summer: First Swimming Lesson

 

Real men snuggle

Real men snuggle

 

Bob is not embarrassed to walk Biski in her cow pajamas

Fall: Bob is not embarrassed to walk Biski in her cow pajamas

 

Winter: Biski wouldn't wear her boots, and Bob thought her feet were too cold in the snow

Winter: Biski wouldn't wear her boots, and Bob thought her feet were too cold in the snow

Bob’s friend William lent us his house for a winter weekend. Finally I got all of Biski’s socks and boots on (and sweater and puffy coat), took her outside and just when she started kicking them off, William drove up with his Irish wolfhound. I expected Bob to cringe and even say, “Get those things off of her!” But instead, as William and his (naked!) wolfhound walked up, Bob announced, “We lost one of her boots! And a sock!”

Spring: Second visit from the stork! (Bob and his little treasure, Picchu)

Spring: Second visit from the stork! (Bob and his little treasure, Picchu)

 

Picchu got tired at the campsite, but the adults weren't ready to turn in yet, so Daddy put her in a make-shift papoose

Picchu got tired camping, so Daddy put her in a makeshift papoose

 

Biski probably could drink straight from a stream, but why bother when Daddy will bring the water to her?

Biski probably could drink straight from a stream, but Daddy brings the water to her

 

You've arrived as a parent when other parents trust you with their ownBob handling three girls at once (hey wait a second, where did he learn that?). Picchu, Biski and their friend Gracie, with her parents

 

Daddy's little girls

Bob, C-Biscuit and Machu Picchu: a proud daddy and his little girls

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Filed under Adventures, Getting a Dog / Adding to the Family, Real House Whippets of NYC

Gentlemen Prefer Hounds

 

Is the beagle snoopy a manly dog? You make the call.

Snoopy: A manly dog?

When my sister and brother-in-law were deciding on what breed of dog to get, he insisted on one he is “not embarrassed to walk.” They decided on a beagle. My sister unabashedly explained, “Like Snoopy!”

Interesting choice.

red truck dogMy partner Bob has a pickup truck and is outdoorsy, so he thought a golden retriever or labrador would be a great choice for us. Of course, he couched these suggestions in terms of he “wants me to be safe when I’m out walking the dog alone.”

For men choosing a breed of dog, some questions to consider:

Regarding the maxim, "People look like their dogs," what breed would you call you?

Regarding the maxim "People look like their dogs," what breed would you call you?

 

Do you like to groom?

Is grooming a forte? Would you consider "metrosexual" to be a compliment, or an offense?

 

Do you have political aspirations?

Do you have political aspirations?

 

Even if out in nature, if someone asks your dog's breed, are you comfortable explaining, e.g., "They are Dandie Dinmonts"?

When someone asks your dog's breed, are you comfortable announcing, for instance, "They are Dandie Dinmonts"?

We got a whippet, C-Biscuit, who tries to run away from riding in the truck, won’t walk through puddles, when set loose to hunt the “bunny” at racing practice ran into Bob’s arms instead, and seems to be a fashion hound. When people ask about our dog, Bob loves to boast, “Whippets run 35 miles an hour!”

Bob adores Biski, but did request that our second whippet be: “A boy. A little bigger. A truck dog. Who can race.” But when we got to the whippet ranch, he fell in love with Machu Picchu. A borderline pocket dog. 

Bob loved little Picchu at first sight

Bob loved little Picchu at first sight...

 

Even a pocket dog can be a truck dog.

...and he found out that a pocket dog can make a great truck dog

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Filed under Getting a Dog / Adding to the Family, Real House Whippets of NYC

Real House Whippets of New York City

C-Biscuit and Machu Picchu have a disturbingly-lot in common with Real Housewives:

Our house-whippets are blonde and unusually large-chested

Our House Whippets are blonde and unusually large-chested, yet thin

 

They expect a luxurious lifestyle...

They expect to be maintained in luxury

 

They have large wardrobes, which include leopard print

House Whippets of New York City have large wardrobes that include leopard print

 

They stand back and let others do the heavy lifting

A Real House Whippet stands back and lets others do the heavy lifting

 

They have lots of toys, and like to entertain

They have lots of toys and like to entertain (that's their girlfriend Gracie)

 

On occasion, they are known to dress up in costumes

On occasion (we won't say which ones), they dress up in costumes

 

Blurry, amateur photos of them with strange bedfellows tend to surface on the Internet

Blurry, amateur photos of them with strange bedfellows tend to surface on the Internet

 

They know all that is expected is for them to be quiet and look good.

The girls know all that is really expected is for them to be quiet and look good.

How do Real House Whippets differ from Real Housewives? They do not like to get their nails done.

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Filed under Real House Whippets of NYC

Why I Let the Men Kill the Bugs

I’ve been thinking more about the tick incident and how I literally could not handle the tick and relied on Bob to remove it. I’m even a little concerned that the breeder, Greg, who I’m hoping trusts us with Sesame in a few months, will think I’m not as capable a pet parent as he’d thought.

While we were on the phone during the tick crisis and Greg asked me, “Does Bob have the tick in the palm of his hand?” I gasped, “I hope not! I told him to double zip-lock it!” When Bob started to approach me to show it to me, I squealed, unfortunately into the phone, “Keep it away from me!”

Bob: Partner, Parent, Tick Slayer!

Bob: Partner, Parent, Tick Slayer!

Girly behavior to say the least. Am I really “like that?” No, I’m not. I am an independent, relatively street-wise woman from the Midwest (Flint, Michigan) who was raised by a single parent who championed feminism bordering on misandry. When my older sister had twins in February, Dad spat into the phone, “Thank God they’re girls!” (Yes, the feminist is my father.)

Dad raised four daughters on "Yes, you can!" long before Obama

My feminist father raised four daughters and prefers bitches

Dad even prefers bitches. He was relieved I wanted a second female dog, and about his own search right now for a female dachshund said, “I can’t deal with that leg-lifting crap!” (Don’t worry Sesame, he’ll love you when he meets you!)

When my husband and I were visiting home, I spotted a large crawlie and yelled from the kitchen, “Bug!” I looked back and forth from my husband to my father, neither of whom moved. Didn’t they get it? Clearly I was a damsel in distress! “Get it!” I had to tell them. My husband complied while my dad scolded, “What’s going on here? I didn’t raise you to be like that.”

He sure didn’t. And the secret is, I’m not girly and incapable – when I’m alone. If it’s clear the cavalry isn’t coming, I am a bug warrior. I also open jars, move heavy furniture and fix plumbing. When a squirrel was stuck on our 6th floor balcony and Animal Control told me they “don’t go after loose squirrels,” I got out the cat carrier and trapped it myself.

I’ve come at urban bugs with a throaty battle cry and the 4-inch-thick Manhattan phone book. I learned this from Dad: You don’t just incapacitate it, you pulverize

If I were alone with Biski and Picchu in the woods and a tick bit, I’d get it off, no question. But I’d rather not. If I can save myself the trouble and give Bob the chance to flex his manly tick-plucking fingers, why not? I think we’ve come far enough with equality that we can afford to pick and choose our chores.

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