Puppy vs. Baby and the Myth of Unconditional Love

Puppy vs. Baby and the Myth of Unconditional Love

By David Himmel

 Someone somewhere probably said something like, “If you want to know unconditional love, get a puppy and have a baby.” That someone was an idiot.

Unconditional love is a myth, a silly idea dreamt up by lonely poets and drunken novelists too deranged to maintain a decent relationship with anyone or anything. There’s always a condition to love. Parents love their children no matter how rotten they may be because they are their children. You don’t love that snot-nosed lunatic having a psychotic breakdown in the produce section of Mariano’s. You might even hate him. But his mom, though frustrated and not feeling in love with her babe at that moment, loves him more than life itself regardless of his personality and emotional flaws. That is not unconditional love. That’s conditional love. The condition is that he’s her son.

 You make me sick.

You make me sick.

Take my wife (please!). Katie continues to love me despite the horrible way I tend to clink my spoon against the cereal bowl when enjoying some Fruit Loops, or any of the other many things I do that annoy her and maybe, sometimes, make her life harder. That’s not unconditional love. That’s having patience, which is provided in spades when you’re in love with someone. Because love makes us morons. But when I go too far or her patience runs out, Katie may well cease to love me. The condition in which Katie and I love each other despite our petty grievances is because they are just that — petty. But I promise you that our love will run dry should one of us start deleting unwatched shows on the DVR on purpose. Or if I ever forget to use only plastic bowls and spoons to eat my cereal.

Even puppies cannot provide unconditional love, though a puppy will love you pretty hard and with extreme loyalty. Until you stop feeding it, start beating it, play the Macklemore radio station on Spotify while you’re away. Because puppies understand that love comes with conditions. And no puppy can love a monster who starves, beats and forces it to listen to Macklemore’s music — music so grating, Marlee Matlin asks people to turn it down.

If you’re in search of unconditional love, the closest you’ll get is mostly unwavering love. That’s where the puppies and babies come in. So that someone was sort of right. If you’re looking for a magnificent kind of love, puppies and babies are the way to go. Just keep in mind that each has pros and cons.

Here to help you decide whether you should go get a baby or adopt a fluffy pooch to fill your heart, are those pros and cons. You’re welcome. And I love you — conditionally.

Puppy Pro
You can molest your puppy with snuggles and kisses and all sorts of weird pet-and-owner love fest behavior without having the consequences of that puppy growing up to be an adult who can press charges or write a memoir about it. Or worse, regale an audience with the details at a storyteller showcase for victims.

Baby Pro
Babies become little kids and little kids have toys, so you can have a non-creepy excuse to miss work deadlines because you were playing with toys. 

Puppy Con
When a puppy pukes, there’s a chance it’s regurgitated caca.

Baby Con
When a baby pukes, it looks just like you the very night you made the little fartpocket.

Puppy Pro
Puppies can at least sort of play with you within two weeks of bringing them home.

Baby Pro
Babies smile at you.

Puppy Con
Puppies ruin expensive shoes, couches, rugs and pens. 

Baby Con
Babies ruin women’s bodies.

Puppy Pro
Puppies never grow to resent you. And they never go to summer camp or college, so all that money you would have spent on a baby can be spent on a boat or, like, 24 more puppies.

Baby Pro
Babies are allowed pretty much everywhere.

Baby Con
Babies are allowed pretty much everywhere.

There you go. If you’re looking for love, I hope this aided in your decision-making process. Of course, you can always stop being so damn pathetic, scrounging for love from other things. Try loving yourself first. Self-love still comes with conditions, but if you’re going to have to clean up shit, better it be yours than anyone else’s.

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