Tessa always does so enjoy receiving letters from her readers, and this week’s correspondence is particularly timely, what with Christmas on the way.
My husband has recently been ‘elected’ Dictator for Life of a small and somewhat obscure nation you’ve likely never heard of (our chief exports are shoes, brightly colored lizards and Cirque Du Soleil performers). Our two French Bulldogs, Coco and Gamin, have been remarkably patient throughout all of ‘Daddy and Mommy’s’ campaigning. They’ve put up with the reporters, the hotel rooms, the numerous botched assassination attempts, and the utterly dismal diner food. As a treat, we’ve been thinking of getting them a child of their very own, as a sort of early Christmas -slash- ‘Thanks for not biting the reporters (cough-Barney-cough)’ gift.
What do you think, Tessa? Do French Bulldogs and children do well together?
Thanks a bunch, and let us know if are ever in need of new shoes or a contortionist.
Tessa, of course, insisted on writing back immediately.
Dear Charmaine and Doggy Daddy Dictator:
Kudos on the ‘election’ results, first off. I assume you learned everything you know from CoCo and Gamin, n’est pas? You’ll all do swimmingly, I’m sure, especially with those two delightful aides de camp at your side (or behind your backs, pulling all the really important strings).
While I can sympathize with the urge to treat your two four legged pals to a lovely ‘thank you’ gift, I urge you to think twice before gifting them with a child. Children are a lot of responsibility, especially at this time of the year. I can’t count the times I’ve heard of one given impulsively at Christmas, only to be tossed aside days later, with the left over fruitcake and broken dreidels. Tempting as it might be when the little two legged darlings darlings get whiny during the cheese course, it’s simply not done to toss them into an out of the way crate or ex pen, either. No, you must give them your undivided attention, even when you’d rather be eating a left over turkey sandwich and doing the New York Times Crossword.
Another consideration is the issue of housebreaking. Children are really quite horrid about this, I’m afraid to say. Months after you bring one home and they’re still messing their beds – and forget about taking them in the car, because it’s guaranteed they’ll make a stinky almost as soon as you pull out of the driveway. Shocking as it might sound, I’ve heard of children who’ve taken literally two to three years to get the hang of anything approaching house breaking, and this is even after their ‘parents’ have hung bells off of the doors. I do sometimes wonder if it’s possible children are one of the thicker humanoids.
Have you thought about allergies and children? Many French Bulldogs are dreadfully allergic to kids and the near constant clouds of allergens they produce. Sticky fingers, plumes of talcum powder, crusted on cheerios and the wafting scent of Baby Shampoo can result in your Frenchies breaking out in hives or even the vapours. When this happens, it’s all too common for new parents to simply dump the baby at a handy Children’s Home or Shelter. Be sure you – and your Frenchies – are ready for the lifetime of commitment a child actually is.
Of course, some groups are quite vehement that children should not be adopted into ‘captivity’, including the outspoken group PETTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Tiny Adults). Spokesperson Angry OldKook says:
“It’s a mistake to think of children as some sort of pet, or sub intelligent person, when really they’re just like you and I, only tinier. “Tiny Adults”, a term we prefer over the pejorative word ‘children’, don’t actually even want to live with dogs or families. Instead, PETTA is committed to seeing them set up in their very own, tiny sized apartments, where they’ll be given tiny jobs, tiny mortgages, and tiny briefcases. In this way, they can live out their lives proudly, free of interference from so called ‘adult’ supervision, and able to evolve their own social groups.”
When it was suggested that children (sorry, ‘Tiny Adults’) might not be able to fend for themselves, especially in a post sub prime world, Ms. OldKook said “If they fail, then it will have been on their own terms. We’d rather see them burn out than fade away.” Oldkook then cut our interview short, saying she had a ‘Raffi recording session to firebomb’, and muttering how his music ‘infantalises babies’.
So, there you have it, Charmaine – such a lot to consider! Really, I think that with everything you, your charming husband and CoCo and Gamin have going on, now isn’t the time to think of adding a child to your household. Instead, perhaps you should think of a cat? They are, after all, the only animals other than French Bulldogs even more comfortable establishing Dictatorships.
à bien tôt,