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Tag archive for: pets

Dog Hair: The New Superfood

Dear medical researchers in Finland,
You have made my flipping day, and I want to tell you why. Your recent study linking pet ownership to healthy kids is the best news I’ve heard since … well, since my obstetrician said, “Okay, you can stop pushing; it’s out.”
I’ve read that Finland is the seventh happiest country in the world (source). With good health, a high employment rate, and more saunas per capita than cars, why wouldn’t it be?
But here in the United States, aka Land of the Free and Home of the Seriously Stressed-Out, anxiety is a religion — and moms are the high priestesses. From conception to college graduation, American motherhood is basically a series of humiliating episodes confirming that we’ve gone about parenting all wrong.
I’m no exception. I failed to introduce healthy vegetables to my kids before they could say, “Eww, get that off of my plate,” and neglected to start them on scholarship-earning string instruments before they could say, “Violins are for dorks.” I allowed them to eat sugar and watch television too soon — and sometimes, god forgive me, simultaneously.
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Enough for Two

You know the best thing about being an only child? There’s no math involved. No fractions required to divvy up the last piece of cake. No pie chart needed to see who got the most TV time.

Sibling-free, I got it all. All the love. All the attention. I got praise for the academic subjects I mastered, like French, and even those I didn’t, like trig. When there’s no competition, you get kudos for succeeding at arithmetic as simple as this: Love divided by one is one.

It wasn’t until I was an adult — and pregnant — that it first occurred to me that love might have a numerator and denominator. My husband and I worried how our beloved dog would cope with having a cooing, pink love-hog in the house. Isn’t it a crime to lavish affection on something and then ask it to share that affection with someone new? I asked our vet.

“Love grows,” he said.

“What does that mean?” I asked with a seriousness that should be reserved for conversations about heartworm and distemper.

“The heart expands,” he purred cryptically. He was one of those hippie earth-father vets with tons of his own kids and a fluffy, wisdom-indicating beard. “Love multiplies.”

Damn it! There would be math.

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