One thing that I have learned in the past 4 years is that when you become a parent of furchildren your life is furever (haha, see what I did there?) changed. It seems like this change is particularly evident in the case of canine furchildren, and even more so in the case of huskies (although I’m willing to admit that I may be biased).
So here are some of the experiences that I have had, which have made me realise that my life will never be the same again…
1. You are constantly covered in dog hair, but you still wear black clothing to work. Because black is versatile, and because white hair on black clothing adds character. Or texture. Or something. It’s a fashion statement (although your boss may not agree with this, and may attempt to brush you off before meetings…).
2. You ask, in all seriousness, who buried your shoe, and insist that if that someone (who is probably Nanuq) returns it before you need to go to work you will not be mad. And then, of course, it doesn’t get returned, so you go to work annoyed, only to have your husband-man insist that you apologise to Nanuq when you find the missing shoe at the bottom of the dirty laundry basket later that night…
3. You can’t leave your dinner unattended, because it (much like your shoes) will probably disappear. And if it does disappear you will always know who the culprit is by which of the furchildren has a big smile on her/his face and is engaging in lots of satisfied lip licking. And then you will need to resort to 2-minute noodles.
4. You get concerned when you haven’t seen or heard from the furchildren in more than 15 minutes. Not because you think something may have happened to them, but because you are pretty sure that they may be the cause of something happening (e.g., things being buried, holes being dug, walls being climbed, plants being eaten…). When you have a husky, silence is very suspicious.
5. You are used to sleeping at a ridiculous angle so that your dog is as comfortable as possible. When you have really large, really heavy dogs who are difficult to move, you learn very quickly who owns the bed space. For me this usually means having at least half of my body sticking out of the covers, which is rather chilly in winter.
6. Whenever someone pulls out photos of their (human) children to show you, you pull out photos of your dogs to show them. And you proceed to match every story that they tell you with one of your own. Because, let’s face it, your furchildren are so much cuter than their human children.
7. The people at the carwash know your car, and try to hide when they see you coming. “Oh… um… it’s the yellow car, right? The one with all the dog hair?” Yes. Yes it is. “Ye… that’s going to take 4 hours…” Of course it is.
8. You choose your vacation destinations based on whether your fuchildren are welcome or not. I absolutely hate leaving my dogs for vacations (I tend to spend the entire time worrying about them), and in South Africa this means that your options are rather limited, especially when 3 of your 4 dogs weigh more than 30kg each. But it can be (and has been) done. In fact, it was on one dog-inclusive such vacation that husband-man and I became engaged (but that is a story for another time).
9. You only really bother to sweep or vacuum before you have guests over. Because no matter how often you sweep, there is always more that needs sweeping (especially at coat blowing time)… And there has to be more to life than sweeping.
10. Nothing makes you happier than being greeted at the gate by (insert relevant number here) furry faces. The best remedy for a bad day at work is the excitement that occurs when mommy (or daddy) drives up the road (because they definitely know the sound that our cars make). The unconditional love and joy that my 4 dogs express upon seeing me is unsurpassed by anything else.
Even though I am permanently covered in dog hair, my car smells like dogs, I can’t always go on holiday when/where I want to, and my shoes (usually the left ones) sometimes go missing, I wouldn’t change a thing. And I’m pretty sure that anyone who has experienced the love and joy of furchildren would agree with me…
How many of these have you experienced? Do you have any other “signs” that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments!
Original title photograph courtesy of Corinne Meyer photography (thank you, Corinne!)