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Here’s What Happened When I Tried To Pass Off A 60lb. German Shepherd As My Human Baby

Here’s What Happened When I Tried To Pass Off A 60lb. German Shepherd As My Human Baby

As a mid-twenties midwestern female, my Facebook feed is regularly inundated with pics of babies. It seems like every time I turn around, someone else from my graduating class is poppin’ out a human rugrat (go Bluejays class of ’09! Ya’ll are fertile!).

greys anatomy another baby gif

I used to think the only thing better than taking a deep whiff of a newborn’s head, as I gently rocked him to sleep was getting to pass him back to his real mother when I noticed he was stinky and/or crying. Yet lately, seeing the flood of infant photos on my social media has made me feel something I never thought I would feel: the sensation of a ticking time bomb lodged in my uterus.

30 rock baby crazy gif

But wait, I’m not baby crazy! This tingle of yearning I’ve begun to feel take root inside my belly is freakin’ me out big time. I always thought I’d be content raising Gilda Radner, my German Shephard/Collie mix, in lieu of real babies.

Gilda? Meet Gilda.
gilda meet gilda

After all, I feed her, bathe her, play with her, spoil her, and set up playdates for her with other dogs. What more could a real baby offer, that my sweet lil pup can’t?

To investigate, I hit the streets of Los Angeles (and the hallways of my apartment) pretending my dog was my (human) child for 24 hours. Here’s what happened:

We worked on object permanence:

Apparently people play peek-a-boo to help their babies begin to learn that objects still exist, even when the baby can’t touch/see/hear said object. In this case, I was the object, and my definitely-real-human-baby is a genius.

Gilly knew I was behind my hands the whole time! She must be the smartest baby who ever lived!
Gilly knew I was behind my hands the whole time! She must be the smartest baby who ever lived!

Next, I introduced Gilda to a pacifier.

At first, she just wanted to chew on the pacifier like a dog. NOT very baby-like….

At first, she just wanted to chew on the pacifier like a dog. NOT very baby-like....
Eventually she got the hang of it.

Sort of...?
Sort of…?

Then I decided to take Gilly to a place babies love: the playground!

No pets allowed? Thank goodness my daughter, whom I birthed, is a human baby and NOT a canine!

No pets allowed! Luckily this girl, my daughter whom I birthed, is a human baby!

Even though the jungle gym can be scary for a teeny, widdle baby, we tried it out:

slide gif
“Come to mommy! Mommy’s got you! C’mon! No? OK, fine, let’s go.”

Back at back home, it was time for a little educational programming to stimulate baby’s brain.

I love youuu, you love meee, we’re a happy (human) familyyy…
I love youuu, you love meee, we’re a happy (human) familyyy…

To be honest, I don’t think Gilda understood anything that Barney said. But that is to be expected, as she is just a baby. I do think her color-blindness severely hindered her enjoyment of the episode, though. What fun is a show about a giant purple dinosaur if he and everything else onscreen are gray, ya know? (Also, what are the odds that my human child would be colorblind just like a dog??)

We wrapped up binge-watching Barney and strolled on over to our favorite neighborhood dining spot for some lunch.

But they wouldn’t let us in.
But they wouldn’t let us in! 🙁

I asked to speak with a manager, but he just reiterated the same thing: While Gilda is very cute, they have a strict “no dogs allowed” policy. UGH! We will NOT be going back (…yes we will, it’s super delicious).

So we tried our luck at another spot across town…

They had no problem letting us in (onto their dog baby friendly patio). Everything was going swimmingly …until we made it to our table.

But my baby was too big for their high chair!
But my baby was too big for their high chair!

That was the last straw! I couldn’t help it, I exchanged some terse words with our waiter. It went a little something like:

ME: How can you not have a high chair large enough to accommodate my baby?
WAITER: Ma’am, that’s a dog.
ME: *GASP!* How dare you insinuate that she isn’t my baby!
WAITER: She might be your baby, but she’s also a… German Shepherd?
ME: More like HUMAN shepherd!
WAITER: …

After that, we headed back to the apartment to attempt lunch for a third time.

Gilda was getting fussy (as babies do) so I knew it was time to feed her. To nourish my child, I tried the most natural thing in the world, the thing mothers have been doing since the dawn of man: breastfeeding.

Psych! You honestly thought I’d let her near me with those chompers? Pshhh.
Psych! You honestly thought I’d let her near me with those chompers? Pshhh.

Instead I settled on slapping a bib on my babe and airplane-spoon delivering some mushy, wet baby food.

Woooosh! Coming in for a mouth landing!
Woooosh! Coming in for a mouth landing!

Next it was time to FaceTime the grandparents!

My parents live in Missouri and have yet to meet Gilly, their very, first granddaughter. Since we can’t visit them in person as often as I’d like, we familiarize Gilda with the sights and sounds of her meema and peepa through FaceTime.

skype skype gif
My parents were at Cracker Barrel when we called them.

My parents ooh’d and ahh’d over Gilda, the precious gift of life to grace our family.

After hanging up, it was story time!

My child made it through the day relatively clean, so we skipped bath time in favor of winding down with a good book. Full disclosure: I’m a bad mom and the only picture book I own is called Fashion Cats. TBH it was a hit with Gilly, as she is super into felines.

Seriously SO bizarre that my human baby’s favorite subject material just so happens to be cats.
Seriously SO bizarre that my human baby’s favorite subject material just so happens to be cats.

Fashion Cats actually riled Gilda up instead of putting her to sleep. So I tried rocking and singing her into dreamland.

Rock-a-bye Gilly on the treetops…
Rock-a-bye Gilly on the treetops…

Which got her all ready to be tucked in…

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my human baby you’ll be.
I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my human baby you’ll be.

Annnnnd finally she conked out.

I can’t look at this pic for too long or my ovaries will burst.
I can’t look at this pic for too long or my ovaries will burst.

Looking back, the 24 hours I pretended my dog was my human baby were both nerve-wracking and exhilarating.

She is a huge shepherd mix, not a teeny Chihuahua, which (believe it or not) meant that people never mistook her for a real baby. They mostly just looked at me like I was a cuckoo-bananas, overprotective, silly dog mom. I might’ve looked like a huge doof, but Gilda is hard to resist. Strangers oohed and ahhed, asked me a million questions, and gave us hella attention. For these reasons and more , I feel quite confident saying: having a dog is pretty much exactly like having a baby… you know?

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