Dogs Are Not Babies. Except...

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This wasn't really a surprise, but the one marked difference between everyone at my ten-year college reunion and my five-year is that there were a lot more babies. The actual babies were of course left at home, at least for the big Saturday night party, but there were a lot of babies-in-the-making being toted around too. I should note that all the pregnant women looked fantastic, like they were advertisements for pregnancy. One gal who was about five months along was so lithe, with the most perfect little bump, that my friend Liz said "That's basically just what I look like after I've eaten a lot."

I don't have any kids nor kids-in-the-making, nor do I spend a lot of time with babies, so I was occasionally at a loss when it came to talking to my friends who are new moms (the fact that the music was loud and that all conversations had to be held at a scream didn't help.) When I found out my friends were moms I'd ask what their kids were named, and then, stupidly, "Do you like being a mom?" (As if you're really allowed to say anything other than "Yes.")

Part of the reason why I'm so rusty when it comes to this topic is that I've realized that most of my good college friends are like me: childfree dog-parents. Now, I am not one of those pet owners who thinks my dog is a child. We don't have parties for him or maintain a Facebook account on his behalf or refer to ourselves as his parents. He's a dog.

But, of course, he's the best, cutest, sweetest dog in the whole wide world and we love him to pieces. And the nice thing is, we don't have to temper our obsession with our pet with our other dog-parent friends. Liz was saying that she sometimes catches herself throwing in anecdotes about her Catahoula hound when her friends back home talk about their kids, and has to hastily add that she is not comparing her dog to an actual baby in terms of import or specialness.

Somehow, the majority of my friends and I though found ourselves in exactly the same weird in-between parent spot. We do have funny stories about sleep and poop and eating habits and what happened at the park and play dates. We have plenty of cell phone photos to show off on our phones. Our babies just poop in the yard instead of their pants. And, of course, they're not actually babies. We know this. But fortunately when we all hang out we don't have to continually hastily say we can tell the difference between a human child and a pet.

Eventually some of us will actually start to procreate, which I know will be a wonderful exciting adventure.I can't wait to look at those photos, too, especially if they're those kind where the dog and the baby are taking a nap together or whatever, because we all know the only thing that can make a baby cuter is when it's in proximity to another baby and that other baby is a dog.