Before we had babies, we had a dog.
The dog was the center of attention in our household. The late-night trips outside, twice or thrice daily walks, trips to the vet, and indoor accidents were all manageable, because there were no children demanding our attention. But shortly before my second child was born, I found myself crying in front of my computer screen as I Googled “parenting made me hate my pet,” and searching for some reassurance that I wasn’t the worst person in the world.
The dog in question was a gorgeous purebred short-haired black and tan standard dachshund who had arrived as a present when I finished law school. Shortly after picking him up from the airport and bringing him home, it became apparent that he was, as my grandfather used to put it, “not quite right.” At six months old, he refused to walk on a leash or leave our apartment. Our attempts to crate train him were abandoned after we discovered that he could in fact bark all night without tiring and that our neighbors weren’t particularly keen on listening.