Maya, Mocha and Carrie's Story
Okay, before you curse and wonder what kind of lame article this is—hear me out. Have you ever felt judged or been put in an uncomfortable situation because somehow being a Dogmom brought up controversial opinions?
I remember feeling apologetic, like I was being a silly crazy dogmom when I was doing dog photos for Christmas, or explaining why I like going to dog-friendly events and patios. Why do we let the opinions of others make us feel less-than sometimes, especially when we know we are giving it all in taking care of our pups? And shame on the people who assume dogs are replacing kids for people because they can’t have any. It’s noone’s business, unless we want to share, how or why we become dogmoms, whether through adoption, rescue or by accident.
I finally decided to stop feeling like being a dogmom was second rate and instead started thinking about how much my dogs have shaped my life. I adopted Maya (husky) when she was six months, now 5-yrs-old, and adopted Mocha (beagle/lab mix) almost two years ago when she was a puppy.
In essence, two furry members were added to our family, period. They were not extras, entertainment or additions to play with once in awhile. Unlike human kids, I will be with my dogs their whole life (at least that is the optimum plan). I am not molding or raising mini-adults who will eventually leave home to become a thriving member of society. Maya and Mocha are integrated into the rhythms and flow of our family life as they should be.
So how could I be any less of a mom to my pups than I am to my human kids? (I have an adult son and other wonderful kids by marriage). I love our big blended family. There are differences and similarities in my role as a mom, but there is an ABSOLUTE level of love and commitment that does not differentiate.
My kids will go out into the world to lead their own productive and hopefully joyful lives. However, my dogs will need me to their very end and that is a bittersweet pill to swallow because of the unconditional love and knowing the pain of that loss. And just like any member of the family, my dogs have found their place in all of our family member’s hearts.
So, is a dogmom a real mom? HECK YES! To all the dogmoms out there this Mother’s Day, celebrate that fact and be proud of all the love and care you give. Because even though we know how it will end, I would say yes to being a mom to my dogs again and again.