The pros and cons of being stepmum to a puppy
When your partner, who doesn't live with you, gets a puppy, that means by default you too get a puppy. At first, it might sound like you'll just be able to visit a puppy a few days a week, but that's not the reality of what is going to happen to your life.
I am now a step mum to a dog the size of a big sweet potato. I've done all the step mum things. I bought Coco a toy and collar to endear her to me and, of course, she's now my profile picture on Facebook.
It's a fine balance being a step mum to someone else's dog. You want to appear interested and keen but not too overly involved as it's not quite your dog.
My role with Coco reminds me of primary school when you got a permission slip for an excursion and it would read, "Dear parents/guardians". I guess I fall somewhere in between the bit that says parents and just before the slash.
Coco, newly named as her old name didn't suit her, is from the RSPCA, and there are so many pros to getting a puppy. One is that you get to cuddle a cute puppy, another is that puppies are love machines - they love you and they're obsessed with you at a level that I was with Peter Andre in the early '90s.
A puppy will never say, "Actually, I'm not feeling like a game of rope toy at the moment, can we reschedule for after COVID?"
Of course, it would be remiss of me not to list the downside of being a puppy step mum. Coco has stitches from being desexed so she also has a cone of shame, which for reasons known only to her, she likes to bang against the hallway walls before the sun comes up.
I don't know what time that is, but it's the time of the morning where you look at how dark it is and think to yourself, "Oh come on, you've got to be kidding me".
I've been up at "you've got to be kidding me o'clock" for about a week now. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Coco returns to her own home on Sunday afternoon.
My life will return to normal. My puppy-free, cold, loveless normality.
Mel Buttle is a Brisbane comedian
Originally published as The pros and cons of being step-mum to a puppy