Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Adult Child of Dog Lover

I heard a great story on NPR a few weeks ago. It was a piece by Emily Yoffe of Slate.com in which she discusses the difficulty of being an ACDL, the Adult Child of a Dog Lover. It can be hard when you grow up and realize that your parents have replaced you with a dog, or two.

Meet SuperMimi's dogs, whom I'll call Good Boy and SpitThatOut, which the dogs assume are their actual names since she constantly says "good boy" to the male yorkie and is most likely heard screaming "spit that out" to the female.  

Thanks to Good Boy and SpitThatOut, and the number of cute yorkies that came before them, I could identify with being an ACDL. There was a lot in the NPR piece that sounded familiar. Like when you grow up and come back home to visit your mom and dad and see that dad will spend hours throwing the ball in the yard for the dog, but, you realize, he never threw the ball in the yard with you as a kid. Or that your mom, who can be so astute at pointing out her adult children's shortcomings, thinks the dog who jumps all over you, pees on the floor and tries to eat off your plate is perfect. 

So a few weeks ago, I was visiting SuperMimi (and of course Good Boy and SpitThatOut) when my mom pointed out that I was becoming more and more like her everyday. But not in a good way. 

"You know, I'll never forget, when you were a teenager and we would be fighting, one of your favorite things to say is 'I'll never be like my mother!' Now look at you,  you're becoming more and more like me every day," she says as she grins evily. "You've got kids and two dogs that you dote on just like me."

I admit, I was not the easiest teenager to live with. And yes, I'm sure I spat out the phrase "I'm never going to be like you" to my mother at least a dozen times back then. And guess what. She remembers. Every. Time. I said it. And. Reminds me. Often. In front. Of others. 

Today, I not only sound like my mom and resemble her physically, I work from home in my own business, just like her. And I love dogs. Just like her. 

So if you're the adult child of a dog obsessed individual, take a listen to Emily's piece on NPR. It's like therapy, only free. 

1 comment:

Sissy said...

I also am a ACDL, in fact the same dog lover as you. I have always been annoyed whan I call friends to talk & the entire conversation is interrupted by them talking to their children or screaming at their children. Imagine my surprise when calling my 61 year old mother & having to deal with the same behavior only she is talking to the dogs. Full blown conversations that I am holding for. I am an actual person that she could be having a conversation with but instead asking the dog where she/he has put their toy is more important than I.