An excerpt from Jim Gaffigan's forthcoming book "Dad is Fat" tackles the insipid dog and baby comparisons:
Every year after Jeannie has her annual baby, I receive congratulations from friends and family. There’s always one per- son who says, “Oh, you just had a baby. Yeah, we just got a puppy.” What? In no other situation could you compare a human to an animal and people would actually be okay with it. You could never say, “Oh, you just got married? Yeah, I used to have a pig. Does your new wife like to roll around in mud, too? My pig loved that.”
Of course, the dog-and-baby comparison is nothing new. Dog owners are sincere and mean no insult. Their dog is their “baby.” But, of course, a dog is not a baby. It’s a dog. I also understand some people prefer dogs to babies. We are raising our children in New York City, which is not the most popular place to have children. If you hear someone cooing, “Oh, how cute!” on the street in NYC, you better look down, because they are going to be referring to a dog.
It’s a good thing babies have no idea how often they are compared to dogs. I would think that would be pretty insulting to the babies. Let me be clear. I love all animals. I love to pet them. I love to eat them. I’m an all-around animal lover, but besides the drooling and whimpering, your dog is not that similar to a baby. Take the smells, for instance. Babies are the two extremes on the spectrum of smell. They either smell like heaven filled with lollipops or like a microwaved cesspool. The cleanest of clean dogs still smells like a dog.