You Can’t Convince Me I’m Not A ‘Real’ Mom

ImageA recent study showed the relationship between dogs and pet parents mimics that of human children and their parents. I fail to see how this is news. I could have sworn it was common knowledge.

We dog moms, and probably other pet moms too, call ourselves ‘furmoms’. Should I explain? I can give you 25 reasons!

1. We love unconditionally

This one’s easy. My dogs have eaten things very precious to me, and I’ve had this amazing feeling of… almost apathy. I approach that as ‘stuff’. And stuff is never more important than my babies. Don’t get me wrong, they still need to be disciplined, but I love them no matter what.

2. I’ve cleaned as many bodily fluids/wastes as any other mom

Plus more hair than most moms. (God I hope you don’t have little sasquatch children…)

3. Everyone and their uncle hears about my dogs

They see pictures of my dogs, they see Facebook updates about my dogs, I have this blog about my dogs. I may need to tone it down.

4. I take my girl on play dates, and I become friends with her friends’ parents

Seriously. It’s actually pretty awesome.

5. I have holiday pictures of my girl

Christmas. Easter. Halloween. And I look forward to getting more every year!


6. They participate in holidays other ways, too

Desi and our Lab Tinkerbell trick or treated. Lana, Desi, and Sierra wore Halloween costumes. Desi and Lana can open Christmas and birthday presents.

7. My home and car reflect my status as a mom

I even have a bumper sticker. But I meant the toys scattered everywhere, the fur in every crack and crevice, and the unsightly blotches in my carpet. Kids (and furkids) are a stain that never comes out. But in a good way.

8. I hate disciplining them, but I have to

Because that’s what a good parent does. *Not so subtle hint*

9. I dealt with the teenager phase

It just happened much sooner. About seven times as young, actually. And it ended faster. Yay!

10. I learned how to handle all sorts of maladies

Teething, warts, mange, incontinence, UTIs. Basically like teething, chicken pox, rashes, bed wetting, and UTIs. Or, at least that’s the best comparison I can come up with.

11. I drive them to school and daycare

Yep. And obedience classes involved me helping with homework just like real school should involve parents helping with homework. And I like to imagine graduating beginning obedience class is like graduating high school, intermediate is like getting a bachelors degree, and advanced is like getting a doctorate. So my dog is practically as educated as I am. And just about equally likely to get hired, thanks to my English/Psychology degree.


12. They’ve cost me and arm and a leg

And it’s not just food! So very much food. It’s vet bills, pills, toys, collars, replacements for everything they’ve ruined… just like kids!

13. I’m more familiar with their doctor than mine

I kid you not, when the blood diagnostic center asked my doctor’s name, I almost blurted out my vet. That would have been awkward.

14. Maintenance is a must

Cutting nails, brushing hair, bathing, cleaning ears. The one thing I thank god I don’t have to deal with is using that sucky-squeezy thing (I think it’s called a bulb syringe) to suck snot out of baby noses. *shudders* I do respect you, human moms.

15. They get spoiled by the grandparents

Well, mine does at least. It’s like I have a kid; Lana’s grandparents babysit and buy her gifts and treats every time they see her.


16. They wake us up in the middle of the night

And first thing in the morning. And during much needed naps. And even when we’re half asleep on the treadmill because we don’t know when to stop.

17. Some of them are terrified of strangers

Like mine. Ohmygosh!! Mom!! There’s someone at the door! They’re here to kill us all!! Make them go away! Bark bark bark!

18. Some are terrified of everything else, too

I got what I deserved. I used to be afraid of radiation, carbon monoxide, murderers, snakes, flesh eating bugs, government surveillance… all when I was in middle school. (100% serious, I was a weird kid.) And guess what! Now I have a dog who is afraid of hats, gloves, plastic bags, Halloween decorations, heating elements, the phrase ‘ooga booga’, vacuum cleaners…

19. Potty training

This was awful for Lana! It didn’t help I was on the third floor and had to run down several flights of stairs whenever she needed to pee. And when she didn’t but I thought she did. And when she said she did and then forgot once we got there.


20. My fur kid also has A.D.D.

Only instead of losing focus during homework, she gets distracted when trying to find a spot to go potty (see number 19).

21. “That’s Mine!”

Anybody else think of the little kid, Randy, from A Christmas Story? Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING belongs to Lana. The food on my plate, all the toys – even the ones she’s not playing with (poor fosters), my spot on the couch… Insert Doctor Sheldon Cooper’s: ‘You can’t sit there, that’s MY spot!’


22. We argue about the best way to raise them

Seriously, can we stop with this? Some people are SO judgmental. Let’s try to save it for a common enemy instead of pissing off our allies. We all learn, experiment, and figure out what’s best for us and our dogs, just like parents and children. (Note: abuse is still bad, but go easy on assuming everyone who gives a spanking is an abuser, okay? Thanks.)

23. They pout

When Desi gets mad at us, she turns her back to us and ignores us when we call her. Well, she used to. Now she’s deaf, so it’s not really her fault anymore…

24. They will totally lie to our faces

Human kiddos: “Did you brush your teeth yet?” “Yep!” “Then why does your breath stink?!” or “Did you steal a cookie from the jar?” “No ma’am!” “Then what are these crumbs?” (That’s right, we said ma’am and sir in my house! But we didn’t have a cookie jar… boo!)

Doggie kiddos: “Did you eat this shoe?” *tail wags innocently* “Stop lying!!!”

Image25. They have us wrapped around their fingers, er, paws

Lana has this habit of using her Border Collie stare when she wants ice. I can resist that, but when she starts with her Husky talk, I can’t say no. We’re working on teaching her to say ‘Mama’. I’m not even kidding.

ImageI’ve seen mothers of human children take offense, though that’s not the intent of this post. We aren’t saying what you do isn’t hard(er); we’re just saying we’ve had a taste of it, too!

34 thoughts on “You Can’t Convince Me I’m Not A ‘Real’ Mom

  1. I laughed through this entire post, so much truth.

    Last night, when that nasty thunderstorm was on top of us, I felt very much like a mother. Several hours of sitting up at night to rub a dog’s back while he shivers in fear will do that to you. 😉

    • Why thank you! haha

      And oh my goodness, they really do resemble kids when they’re scared. Poor babies! Hope your whole crew made it through the storms unharmed. =)

  2. So very true. I spend hours researching what’s best – the best food, the best training, the best medical care. I even had to change vets, because our former vet seemed to get annoyed when I asked questions. This is a Google era, I want to chat, get used to it

    • And after all that, it feels like no matter how long you spend researching, new products or new studies about old products change the game. I’m glad you’ve moved on to a vet you can count on. People these days certainly expect to learn a little something from the professionals, and I think that’s great!

  3. Thanks for writing this! I get a lot of flack from people who don’t love dogs … you know, the old “you do realise it’s just a dog, don’t you?” …it’s very hard to explain to people that you can love a dog just like you can love a child. 🙂 great points.

    • It’s probably one of those things you can’t really understand until you’ve loved a dog, but it never hurts to try and explain it! Thanks for reading and commenting! =)

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    • Thank you so much for the kind words! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you sharing. (You actually broke my record for most views in one day!)

      Being a fur-mom is the best! And by the way I LOVE your art! Very jealous of your skills. =P
      -Kayla (and Lana)

  5. Thank you. Everything you said is 100% my house. I don’t have any 2 legged kids, my Basset Hounds are my family. I just wish non-pet people could understand.

    • Thank YOU for reading and commenting! Unfortunately I don’t think non-pet parents will ever really ‘get us’, but I think it’s worth the weird looks I get from regular parents. =)
      -Kayla (and Lana)

  6. Thank you for writing this! I am a furmom and have many furbabies. I will never have human children of my own so this is all I know. I was laughing and nodding my head to the entire list!

    • Thank you for reading and commenting! I’m glad you can relate. I am very much with you, the more fur-babies the better, but the thought of human kiddos scares me!
      -Kayla (and Lana)

  7. You hit it right on the nail head! I can’t have children, so my dogs are my children, and I argue with them like any mother would with their child. For instance, my rescue Koda has a nasty habit of chewing on rocks. Koda: *crunch crunch crunch* Me: Where did you get the rock? Koda: *silence*…..*ping! spits out the rock. Comes around the corner* “What rock Mom?” Just like little kids! Gotta love their sweet innocent faces…even though us furmamas know that innocent face means they’re up to something… 😉

    • Thank you! I’m glad you agree! Arguing with dogs is hilarious, and it’s so easy to tell when they are fibbing. (Sneaky little buggers.) =) I do hope Koda’s teeth stay strong! And I’m glad your dogs have found such a wonderful parent in you.
      -Kayla (and Lana)

  8. I have my skruffy dog. He is the only male who has ever treated me right, stayed by my side, loved me unconditionally, and even bit my ex when he was beating on me one day. I love him, with all of my heart and if anyone suggested to him that I wasn’t his mummy, he would probably bite them too. I think about him lots when I am working long hours, I have his picture on my desk to make me smile and he is just as happy to see me as I am to see him. Gotta love our furry babies xxxxx

    • He sounds like such a good boy!
      I love to have a picture of Lana nearby, if not in a frame then at least as a desktop background. I think it can really help a boring work day feel more pleasant.
      So glad you’ve found such a sweet dog and he’s found such a devoted, loving “momma”! Thanks for reading and sharing your story! =)
      -Kayla (and Lana)

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  10. I love it. My 4-legged furries are as much my children as my two-legged ones are. I was going through photos for my son’s upcoming graduation party and as he got older I found that I had more pictures of the dogs then of the boys….that says it all

  11. OMG I laugh so hard! My mother’s day included gifts from the six dogs, and a dog walk with all six of them, including photos. Now we didn’t set OUT to have six dogs, mind you, but they found us. (I am a runner so I have “found” a number of strays while out on runs. Most I’ve returned to their owners. One bounced back to me, and one never did go home.) A friend linked this blog post to my FB pictures of our walk with the “kids” today.

    I know that it’s not the same as having children, but the love is there. My husband and I couldn’t have kids, so we have dogs (we’re also teachers so we get the joy of torturing OTHER people’s children). Every one of them is completely different. One of my running buddies is getting older, so he goes out for a short run before I swap out another dog because I know it will break his heart to be left behind. We’re already discussing doggie daycare just for him next year as he’s getting incontinent.

    There isn’t a piece of furniture or room (except the fitness studio because I see clients in there) off limits to the dogs. I too have a dog who is afraid of everything (pit/lab cross) that we have to baby through guests, thunderstorms, big trucks, random pieces of paper on the ground, etc.

    • Oh my, six is quite a handful! I admire you for that (as well as being a teacher – it’s a hard job but so very important)! And that’s so sweet of you even to take the older running companion for a short run. 🙂
      Doggie daycare is great. I must say, as my parents’ dog aged, we just gave in and put wee pads down on the ground. She only used them when she had to, but it was so much easier to clean than an accident on the floor.
      Thank you for reading, and happy belated Mother’s Day!!

      • We got him a big belly band and line it with two Poise pads and so far so good. He’s only used it once and he wasn’t embarrassed. He is really embarrassed when he has an accident on the floor.

        I have to get him out. He’s seen me through runs up to 20 miles. I would be selfish not to now see him through short runs. When he can no longer run, we’re going to get a kids bike trailer and put it on the bike.

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  13. I laughed out loud while reading most of these. And nodded knowingly for others. We have our 2 furbabies, and yup, I DO post pictures and updates of my babies more than my friends post about their people-puppies. (That’s what they’re called, right? 😛 ) But mine are cuter. And they don’t fuss as much. And they definitely haven’t puked in my mouth. I’ve been peed on too many times to count, though. Also, stepping in poop is not very fun… but it’s totally worth it!
    Stephanie recently posted…Rough Day for The DogsMy Profile

    • People-puppies! I love that! I have no doubt your furbabies are cuter. [Okay, I checked your page out and now I can confirm that Ranger and Katrina are adorable!!]
      Those sweet puppy-dog eyes can make up for poopy landmines, even when we try to resist. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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