Monday, August 2, 2010

Mammals of the Universe Unite

So you thought that my Percy posts were all going to be about puppy cuteness?

Umm... no. After all, a writer's mind is twisted and takes strange side-trips.

What did my mind do this time? What it always does. Observe and step outside the box. Doesn't yours? Maybe you just don't call it that.

Percy the puppy is growing fast, although he's still a baby. Supposedly, he's going to hit "adolescence" in three months or so... Wait, that would make him the dog equivalent of a grade schooler.

Let's see... We got him at 3 months, and he was definitely a fluffy, cuddly baby dog. The first day he slept most of the time.

Then he started growing. The he started growing bolder. And then louder and bitier. Now he's losing his baby teeth... and his adult teeth are already there to replace them.

Darn, he's fast. He's doubled in size and he's only 5 months. He's thinking of lifting his leg to pee and he's debating about marking his territory.

So why is all this NOT gushing over puppy cuteness? Because I keep seeing parallels with human development. Before you say anything, no, I'm not anthropomorphizing Percy the puppy, or equating my toddler kids (back then) with dogs.

I'm marveling at the consistency of our universe and at the similarities in mammalian development and needs regardless of species. Saying that Percy the puppy is growing from babyhood into childhood is more than a metaphor: it's acknowledging a developmental step (or two). Calling a dog who's not a puppy yet not full-grown an adolescent is not the same as labeling him a teenager. Teenager is as much a cultural stamp as a developmental stage. Adolescent indicates a physical stage: growth, hormonal changes, behavioral and developmental changes.

And certainly, having a pet in the house keeps things lively and interesting. I certainly can't rest on my butt anymore. Have to get up to make sure Percy isn't getting into trouble.

What, you thought the kids were going to help? I'm not that naive.

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