Don't get me wrong, I actually felt that way myself for a long time. I'm not downplaying the deep bond between pet and owner. Hell, when the person who was watching my dog called me while I was in San Francisco to tell me my dog had run away, I crumbled into a blubbering mess in the middle of the sidewalk. I was such a wreck a homeless guy came up and told me everything would be okay. I then went straight to the airport to fly home. I think it's safe to say my dog and I had a pretty strong bond.
For all the similarities between the two relationships there is one very distinct but important difference. As a parent you have a very deep longing to see your kid be happy and do well in life. Sure you want your dog to be happy. But you're probably not thinking about your golden retriever's educational plans or paving the way for your pit bull to be all he can be. You aren't in awe by each intellectual leap you see - like it's watching the moon landing. I think most animals max out their potential fairly early in your relationship. While there are definite comparisons that can be made between my daughter's love of emptying a bucket and filling it up over and over again and my dog's love of chasing a tennis ball, there will be a point when she moves past this onto more complex actions.
In fact, the rapid advancement of skills is mind boggling to me. Because another one of the super distinct differences between having a kid and having a dog is that kids make you incredibly aware of how time flies. My dog has pretty much been exactly the same for the last four years. But my kid - she's changing at a rapid fire pace.
I can't believe my little potato head seen here:
Has turned into this giant string bean:
And the thing I want most in the world is for her to be everything she can be. And I want to be the best mom I can possibly be - for her. The best person I can be - as an example for her. I want to take my dog for longer walks too.