Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Dog Days of Summer

Jensen thinks he’s a dog.


He thinks he’s a dog.

I believe I mentioned a few months ago that while I was recording our outgoing message on the answering machine, he took to barking in the background.

Rather realistic barking.

Prompting those who called to question whether I had abandoned my ‘no more pets clause’ in favor of adopting a canine.

I had hoped this “dog faze” would mercifully come to an end.  It has, instead, intensified.

Jensen’s allergist warned us against getting a dog while he’s dealing with all of his Atopic Dermatitis issues.  I may have kissed the doctor.  I DON’T HAVE TO BE THE BAD GUY ANYMORE.  YOU ARE, DR. ALLERGY!  YOU ARE!

Not long after this Jensen began favoring Scooby Doo Underwear and gummy snacks.  Then came the incessant barking, and walking about on all-fours.  And howling at the moon (a favorite among our neighbors).  He has been requesting that we let him pee outside, but that’s where I have to uncharacteristically side with the Homeowner’s Association and deny his request.

This behavior is not limited to the private confines of our home.  Oh no.  Jensen morphs into dog wherever we go.  Much to the horror of his sisters.

Just today we visited the post office.  I had warned Jensen the Dog to resume boy form when we entered the post office.  So that no elderly patrons would trip over him.  We found the post office strangely void of line, and Jensen saw this as an opportunity to drop to the ground.  To cool off his tummy on the cement floor.  If Emme and Cailey could have turned themselves inside out in an effort to conceal their identity as his older sisters, they would have.  Cailey of course shrieked “JENSEN!” which never fails to draw more attention to her brother’s antics.

When we climbed back into the sweltering van, and Jensen commenced with the panting, Emme mentioned to me how embarrassing it was to have a dog as a little brother.

I rather enjoyed recounting her experiences as the proud owner of an invisible dog named Barko.  Of which she claimed to have no memory.  But one of the joys of blogging is that the Barko phase is chronicled here.

We’ve also had a rather difficult time coercing Jensen the Dog into eating with utensils.  He prefers sticking his snout into his plate and eating without the benefit of civilized silverware.

Tonight at dinner, Fiddledaddy had experienced enough of attempting to get the kid to eat.  He announced to Jensen that he would simply go to bed hungry.

I announced to Fiddledaddy that it was his turn to keep Jensen’s monitor on his side of the bed tonight and if the child should wake up with hunger pains, Fiddledaddy would be the one to tend to him.

Fiddledaddy did what any mature and knowledgeable parent would do.

He placed Jensen’s plate on the floor and told him to go for it.


(please take note of the AWESOME cheap white linoleum that I thought was such

a good idea when we built this house.)

Jensen fell on all-fours and lapped up his dinner as though he hadn’t been fed in days.  And his dinner of Cheeseburger Pie, by happy coincidence, really did resemble Alpo.  With a couple of Cheetos thrown in for fun.

Emme rolled her eyes, shook her head and left the table in disgust.  Her father called after her, “HEY, THIS PARENTING THING?  WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE’RE DOING!”

And then we recounted how we were afraid that Emme would starve when she was a toddler, because she refused to eat anything.  Unless it was found on the floor.

So we started strategically tossing her food to the floor and it was no longer an issue, as she would eat every last bite.

And let it be known that with the first child, my floors were considerably cleaner.

That is not the case today, with 3 children. One of whom is a dog.  We no longer have a “5 second rule.”  If it isn’t covered with ants and hair, it’s edible.

Frankly I’m just shocked that we haven’t been approached to do a how-to parenting reality show.

Please throw me a bone people, and tell me that I’m not alone.

Or feel free to suggest a good therapist.  For me.  Not the dog.


26 Responses to Dog Days of Summer

  • Oh, Dee Dee, you’re not alone. My boy also frequently takes on dog form. This usually involves walking on hands and knees wherever we are: library, doctor, mall, grocery store. I usually let him if there’s not a danger of tripping up other people.
    And yes, we go in and out of phases of sticking his face right in his plate. He might not be the most appealing dinner partner, but he gets the job done and he’s happy. So who cares?
    And the food on the floor? Please, who even bothers with a five second rule anymore? If you can’t see any dirt on it, in the mouth it goes!

  • Oh, I should also add that the only difference with us is that his older sister finds this hysterically funny, not embarrassing at all (and she’s almost 11!)

  • My son Alex is usually anybody but Alex, he is Mario, Daddy, Batman, Superman, etc.. we have had several animals thrown into the mix as well. It gets very confusing. Alex is our first so he doesn’t have any older siblings to embarrass, but he does have a younger sister who he tries to get to play his games with him. He gets very frustrated when she doesn’t understand that she is Princess Peach or whoever he has decided she is that day (she is only 2 and doesn’t have quite the imagination that he does yet)

    If you are so inclined, You can also get Scooby Snacks for kids. It threw me the first time I saw a kid in Target eating them out of a baggie. They are graham crackers that are shaped like dog biscuits. Until we discovered that they were on our list of foods that the kids can’t have they were a favorite in our house, Especially when Alex was pretending to be a dog.

  • My boys took to barking at the table once. I told them that since they were acting like dogs they were eating like dogs. (No warning.) I picked up their plates, put them on the floor in front of the sliding glass door in our eat in kitchen. They loved it.

    My advice? Pick your battles. Yes, the howling and barking is annoying, so set rules on when and where Jensen can morph.

  • Keep laughing and do whatever works!

    Think of all the storie you will have to tell future girlfriends! 😀

  • This was too funny! I have not had to deal with something like this, but when my brother was a preschooler, he was really into the Incredible Hulk. He’d wear these little shorts under everything and would, with no notice, strip down to those shorts and growl at people. ‘Cause he’d turned into the Hulk, of course. Fortunately, my mother has a sense of humor and let him grow out of it.

  • My youngest likes to crawl around the dinner table like a dog, but only when he has finished his dinner. He says he’s begging for food! When you find the manual on how to raise kids please make me a copy!

  • My 2 year old, Liberty, is also a dog most of the time. Except when she is “Bob.”


    No clue.

  • Oh, you have chronicled life when my children were little at my house as well. I don’t have to blog about it now. Thank you.

  • I think it is the age. My son is just starting to come out of the puppy phase and he is almost 4-1/2. We haven’t resorted to the eating on the floor yet, but he probably would if we suggested it =) Take some pictures and it will be a good thing to tease him about once he becomes a teenager. (insert evil laugh)

  • So funny. Jensen and RockyE would have fun together. RockyE is a mouse named squeaky. Every morning I am awakened to “Squeak!” And that is also how she answers most questions. Her intonation lets us know if it is a “yes” squeak or a “no” squeak. This has lasted since about November.

  • My 3-yr old Gabriel has started the “eating and drinking like a dog” thing. Guess he got it from our dog….. can’t wait to see if he starts walking on all fours!

  • My youngest brother, Abram, went through a similar phase. He even had a dog name he wanted to be called – Isha – because we had met a wiemereiner dog with that name.

  • my kid was a dog once, too
    my other kid is now a cat. meows and licks.

    until your kid pees and craps next to trees, I wouldn’t worry.

    all part of the joy

  • OMG! Have you been peeking in my windows? It’s as if you are telling my story. my son, Sully, frequently morphs into a shrilly yapping puppy. The licking, thankfully is NOT slobbery…in fact it is usually non-contact licking…puppy-style.

    Potty training has yet to really be part of our vocabulary here…and Sully is past 3 1/2. I can’t help but wonder if peeing doggy style might not have some merit if he no longer requires diapers/pull-ups. (On second thought, I don’t need another habit to break, so I doubt we will go down this crooked trail!)

    I will think of you when the bark starts here! To be sure!

  • Hmmm. Okay, I’m uncharacteristically speechless. Your child is eating off the floor. Good luck with that.

    I have a friend who’s son was a pig for a while. Much rooting around and oinking, though no actual eating from a trough. He did, eventually, outgrow it.

    I meant this to be supportive, though it doesn’t really sound like it. Really, I’m sure it’s very normal. Probably.

  • Oh, my son, almost five, loves to pretend he’s a dog too. The most embarrassing thing is that he’s soooo good at it. He hasn’t taken to eating off of the floor yet, but he did run over to see why I was laughing and he saw the pic of your son eating off of the floor. So, thanks for that. I am sure that’ll be next.

  • You are the funniest blogger I read!
    Really, you make me laugh outloud
    every day! Thank YOU!!!!!

  • You don’t need a therapist! Scooby gummies and Scooby underwear are no problem. Start worrying when he begins craving Scooby Snacks!

    The communication between you and Fiddledaddy is awesome and the love in your home makes you two terrific parents. No book (accept maybe The Book) is going to help you with parenting. You have to know your kid. And YOU DO. Love hearing about it!

  • My son was not a dog, he was Mowgli from Jungle Book. Walked all over a large mall with me and mom on his hands and feet with his rear end high up in the air. Also, if we called him by name he would not answer. But if we called Mowgli–he would do whatever we asked.

    Enjoy Jensen the dog–but I don’t know I would get him a leash 🙂

  • Although my boys have not taken on dog form yet (maybe because we have a dog???), I am WITH YOU on the no ants, no hair rule.

    With four boys, very little food stays on plates or even counters for that matter!

    Hilarious post. You’ll have some good stories to tell at his wedding rehersal dinner someday!

  • Oh, I think this is SO normal. My little one isn’t to this stage yet, but with lots of preschool/daycare experience, I’ve seen LOTS of kids go through this stage. 🙂 It will pass! 🙂

  • I’m just laughing hysterically.

    I love your husband’s comment. So funny!

    And yeah, as long as he’s not wetting the rug, I think it’s ok. I think….

  • You don’t gain that kind of parenting expertise overnight. I’m totally impressed.

    And the photo. Awesome.

    My third child (age 3) is the first to really get into the whole ‘dog’ thing. Yes, she has crawled around at the post office. And many other public places. Panting, mostly. It’s a real treat.

  • Okay, this scares me. I thought it was just us. Then, reading your blog I thought “okay, us and the Fiddle Family”. THEN … I read the comments. Drat. This means that the dog is here to stay for awhile, right? I am not sure when it started, but Little Bit has been becoming more and more like a dog. The panting thing was added last week. Age: 28 months.

    Thanks, I think. 🙂


  • My daughter doesn’t speak yet – but she meows at the cat. I thought her first conversation might be with me or her dad, but no. The cat.