20150831_091449We had three or four days straight of rain recently, so the kiddo and I spent a lot of time indoors. We Los Angelenos aren’t highly functional in the rain — it’s pretty much a blur of sweats, bedhead, cookie dough and Netflix. Lots of Netflix. At some point during this recent rainy period (oh yeah, three days of rain equals a “rainy period” in LA), the child and I exhausted our puzzle, craft and book options and turned to good ‘ol Netflix. The kiddo was in charge of the remote. Danger. She pointed that remote at what I was sure could only be an independent art film: “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva la Fiesta.” She clicked. She was delighted with those tiny talking chihuahuas. We watched that shit at least six times over the next couple days. Then she discovered “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.” Then she discovered “Snow Buddies.” She discovered there’s a whole subgenre of films about talking dogs. It was a long rainy season in Los Angeles for this lady.

I began to ruminate about my child’s new-found fascination with talking dogs and I remembered something I hadn’t thought about in a long time, or maybe I buried it in the recesses of my mind because of its weirdness…but for a while there, we were pretty sure our little girl thought she was a dog. She doesn’t have any siblings, but we’ve had two rambunctious dogs since the day she was born: The Perv and The Destroyer (These are not their real names, but well deserved nicknames). She was just starting to toddle when we noticed the behavior. When someone would walk past our front screen door, our dogs would run over and give a protective bark or two, and following closely behind was our child. She’d run up to the door, stand between the dogs with a fierce look on her face and muster up her loudest, one-and-a-half-year-old, “Woof, woof, woof!” This was innocent enough and kind of precious so we laughed it off, but one day when we were in the kitchen and I spilled some water on the floor, she got on all floors, stuck out her tiny tongue and attempted to lick it up as one of the dogs would. “Human children don’t lick things off the floor!” I scolded. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. I issued a similar scolding when my human child tried to drink out of the dog bowl. Then came potty training, which was a fairly easy process for us. We did hit one snag though when she followed her dogs into the backyard and peed on a bush. “Human children do not pee in the backyard!”

It all made sense now. Her obsession with talking dog movies was not just about super high quality entertainment, she was communing with her people, er…dogs. I guess you can take a girl out of the backyard…

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