Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thinking of Becomine a Dad ? Read on. . .. ;-))

Columnists :: Cattydaddy

My Dog, The Saint

by CattyDaddy CattyDaddy
EDGE Contributor
With this never ending winter having first blanketed us in snow and then frozen it solid, I’ve spent a good amount of time indoors with a toddler and my loyal, four-legged friend. The first few storms were quaint, even picturesque. Now? I’m over it! To say that I feel like a prisoner in my home would be a total understatement. I feel like Mother Nature is holding me captive and I’m not exactly sure what I did to piss her off. It would be one thing to be Lindsey Lohan on house arrest in temperate Southern California where she undoubtedly starts her day with a fresh squeezed OJ Mimosa (or seven). But waking up at 7AM in this frozen tundra and having to entertain a toddler for thirteen hours or so, mainly indoors, without the aid of Mimosas is not easy. But, on the bright side, at least I don’t bear the burden alone all day. I have Betty.

Elly can be both fun and exhausting for Betty andme. The first thing Elly asks for when she wakes up is "Betty?" And then it begins. Elly is off and running and with the exception of the beloved midday nap (the one I hope she will continue to take for at least another year) she is a non-stop flurry of movement all the way until bedtime. Her insatiable curiosity is outshone only by her boundless energy. It is by far easier to entertain a toddler when you have use of both indoors and out. Constraining a toddler is as effective as shaking a bottle of champagne whose cork has been loosened. It’s gonna blow! And hell hath no fury like a confined toddler! She can go from happy and laughing to a raging tantrum quicker than you can land on your ass after slipping on black ice.

So with this lack of human friends available to keep Elly entertained, Betty enters the picture. Within the past few weeks the poor dog has sported a pocketbook around her neck, has been feather dusted, has survived many failed attempts at being colored with a yellow crayon, has been fed water by a sippy cup and has had mittens put on each of her paws. She is the image of patience. And I love her even more for that.

Betty, in my opinion, is a living saint. Oh, I’m sure Vatican II would be pissed off to hear me even insinuate that a dog should deserve such a prestigious honor. But quite frankly, her behavior is more meritorious than a lot of what I’ve seen coming out of those hallowed doors recently. (An iPhone app for confession? Are you serious?! ) But, I digress...

Since she has had to endure a lot of "abuse" recently, I have tried to find ways for Elly to ingratiate herself. Food is always the best place to start with a dog so Elly now feeds Betty. At each mealtime, I fill a cup and Elly brings it to Betty’s bowl pouring most of it into the target. We went through a short but unfortunate period when I’d find Elly noshing on a piece of kibble here and there. I console myself by the fact that we opt for organic dog food. And it’s loaded with anti-oxidants.

But it’s not all about running interference for Betty. (Note my butch ode to the recent Super bowl.) Elly adores Betty and never intends to do anything hurtful to her. I think she perceives Betty as her live-in cartoon character friend. There are loads of adorable, endearing actions that take place that make me totally melt. Like, periodically throughout the day, Elly will run over to Betty squealing "hug you!" and then throw her arms around her furry neck and kiss her on the snout. Betty’s tail wags so fast, I swear she could practically levitate.

And these days, Betty is Elly’s first choice for everything, even diaper changes. She was less than pleased when I explained that while nothing would make me happier, this was impossible due to Betty’s lack of opposable thumbs. Yup, I’m still the one left on Pamper Patrol. Betty’s expressive eyebrows told me that while she would oblige (if she could), she was sort of relieved that she was off the hook.

And the cutest incident of late was Elly wanting Betty to read her a book before naptime. I’m sure part of it was a typical stall tactic but I applaud her attempt. And while I am proud that my dog can understand commands in both English and Italian, I would be surprised (and rich) if she could read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?"

The days are getting longer and with each day we’re one step closer to being able to go outside without looking like astronauts. Right now, I’m writing this column from the chaise in Elly’s room. Both of my girls are sleeping - one in her crib and the other immediately between the two of us with her eyes facing the door, protecting us even while she sleeps. And now that I’ve finished my column, I’m going to snuggle up with my puppy and enjoy a little "us" time.
Joe, Greg, their daughter Elly and dog Betty live in Cambridge, MA. Joe AKA CattyDaddy is a stay-at-home dad and Greg is a physician. Elly is a busy, curious toddler and Betty spends her days keeping up with her human baby sister. You can also follow CattyDaddy’s broader musings on life at


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Jim said...

OK youngin! A housecoat is a fancy bathrobe that is more presentable for wearing around the house. Can you just imagine a child's dress made from a terry bath robe?! lil

JustinO'Shea said...

Hahaha. . no, I couldn't imagine ANY such thing. . .but then. . . so I asked "them what knows". . .hahaha

cheerios. .

Gary Kelly said...

Wonderfully written and full of humor. Lots of love there, too. A most enjoyable read.