Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Types of Service Animals All Parents Need

On the way out to visit us, my mom told me she noticed something weird at the airport.

It wasn't the fact that a granola bar costs $5 (although that's true.) She noticed a suspiciously high number of service dogs accompanying flyers, including some that were pretty obviously pets wearing a vest so their owners could bring them on the plane for free.

And that made me start thinking: if everybody's got a "service animal" now, why not parents, too?

If you think outside the box, you'll see that you need these service animals every bit as much as I do.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

The more I thought about it, the more I realized there are all kinds of unusual service animals I'd like to employ that might help me out as a parent.

1. Fruit-sniffing dog for the van. The back half of the car is like another dimension. I have no idea what's back there and frankly, sending the kids to the backseat with fresh fruit as a snack can only end in disaster. Disaster that smells bad and attracts fruit flies. My daughter just informed me her sister's cupholder has "hard, black stuff at the bottom" so I'm super-excited to go find out what that's all about.

2. Parrot to fly after the kids repeating my instructions. What I wouldn't give to take a few days off from repeating myself ad nauseum. I tell the kids to go upstairs and put a towel away. I make eye contact. I repeat the instructions. I ask them to say it back to me. All seems to be well. And then I notice a few minutes later that the towel is at the foot of the stairs and they're in their room building a rollercoaster out of K'nex. Why do I even bother?

3. Groundhog to remind the kids of the weather. There can be four feet of snow on the ground and my kids will still come downstairs for school dressed like they're going to a beach party. I've heard groundhogs can sense when spring is coming; maybe they can somehow convey that information to my children. Because apparently, I can't.

If you think outside the box, you'll see that you need these service animals every bit as much as I do.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Don't roll your eyes at me, Emma: I said NO SHORTS!

4. Herding dog for when it's time to go.
Wouldn't it be nice if, when it was time to leave, I could just give a whistle and my trusty sheepdog could round up the kids and chase them into the car? This would come in handy in so many situations. Maybe we'd even eat family dinner before it got cold for once!

5. Homing pigeon to bring things to my kids'school. You name it, I've brought it to school. Whether it was too bulky for the bus or they forgot it or I was sending it in for a class party, I've delivered lunches, instruments, science projects, permission slips, paper plates, Halloween costumes, tubs of ice cream, and giant Ziploc bags full of bottle caps. I exchange pleasantries with the lady in the administration office more than I talk to my own mother.

6. Elephant to help me never forget. Before I had school-aged children, I underestimated the sheer work of remembering where everyone's supposed to be all the time, who doesn't like what food, which day is crazy hair day at school, and when basketball tryouts are. I've got a great system for getting all that information on the calendar; now I just need a system to remind me to look at it.

7. Pack mule to carry in the groceries. Every Monday, I'm shocked anew as I unload our grocery cart and try to figure out how we eat so much in a single week. And by the time I get it all in the car and bring it home, I barely have the energy to bring all 1,345 bags into the house. What I wouldn't give to be able to load up an animal who can carry it all in a single trip.

8. Rescue dog for bad days. Think of the rescue St. Bernards in the Alps, but instead of whiskey in a barrel around their neck it's a thermos of ice cream with hot fudge drizzled over the top. Maybe a sleeve of Thin Mints, if the collar is big enough for both. They can rescue me in the bathroom, because that room has a door that locks.

Parents have a special set of needs and honestly, who better to help them than these 8 service animals? And who know— maybe they could even go with you next time you have to wrangle your kids onto an airplane.

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