We have 2 dogs. Punky Lynn Frank, age 4 years, and Stanley Benjamin Frank, age 11 months.
Shortly after we adopted spirited little Punky, we realized that we were in for quite a ride. This was not just going to be an experience in dog ownership, but also a serious lesson in parenting.
We quickly learned that Jeremy was the 'Primary Needs Parent' and I was the 'Affection Parent'.
These roles developed almost instantly, and we learned to divide and conquer. Jeremy ensured that she was fed, peed, and in bed. I ensured that she was hugged, pet, taken to daycare.
Now that dog #2 has entered the picture, we have learned more parenting lessons including how to divide one's time, share the attention, and break up fights.
And now, the most important lesson for "parents" to learn...
Sometimes, you just need to pick your battles.
Case in point:
Until one day I arrived home from work in a less than stellar mood. As usual, I took them out of their doggy area, and opened the door to let them out. Stan ran outside with his stuffed monkey, I reached to pick it up and throw it inside, and then blurted something along the very edited lines of:
"Fine, if you want to bring your fu*&#ng monkey outside to pee, do it. It's not my problem if it sits in the poo area. It's your stupid toy"
(I was having a hard day)
And so he set his monkey down, peed, picked up his monkey, and waited by the door to go inside.
And so, with that, we may someday be the parents whose child goes to school wearing a Bat Man costume with a Tutu over it, but at least they'll be at school.