I used to hate it when people called me a 'dog mom'

Welcome friends. Today is going to be a great day, I can just feel it in my bones. Maybe I feel this way because for the first time in a long time I am back to blogging?! Y'all know I love hanging with you, so it feels good to be back. 

This is a weird topic to discuss on this ol' sustainable living blog, but just roll with it, ok? 

I'm sure you've seen those BuzzFeed or Huff Post articles with really flattering (insert sarcasm) headlines, like "10 Things Not to Say to Childless Women" or "Dear Friend Who Can't Have Kids" or "How to Support Your Friend With No Kids". That's what inspired me to write this post. I need to tell you something:  

Stop reading those articles. 
They're filled with a bunch of shit, and are often written by people who have children.

I'm not going to tell you what to say to your friends who don't have kids, or who struggle with infertility. Just because John and I don't have children doesn't mean we have the perfect solution for what to say or do. Really, it's so situational. Two different people could say exactly the same thing, both with intentions of comfort and grace, but depending on the day or the way I perceive the statement, it could 'mean' two completely different things.

So let's just not even go there.

I will tell you that one thing I used to take offense to was when people called me a dog mom. Things like, "Oh, you have two great dogs! They're like kids, right?" or "You're such a great dog mom" used to tear me up. They're dogs. I didn't birth them. They do not share my DNA. (Bruce does have my temperament, but…)

Today, though, I don't take offense to that statement. Being a pet owner, particularly a dog owner has its perks and challenges, just like parenting has perks and challenges. I would like to think that being a 'dog mom' is also satisfying and rewarding in a small way as well.

Manny and Bruce bring a lot of joy to our lives. Right now we are in a time of transition trying to sell our home. We'll be moving just a few minutes away in the spring, and you can imagine that brings a lot of stress.

Each day when we get home from work, these two pups are here to greet us. Just like children, they are happy to see us and can't wait to jump in our arms. For real.

Also like children, they beg for food all.the.time. and leave a mess wherever they go. Toys. Socks. Hair. The mess is the real deal.

I used to hate it when people called me a 'dog mom'. I used to find it condescending and comparative. Not anymore. The approach that caring for another living creature is like parenthood is actually quite accurate. It's an honor to serve in any capacity for any living thing: a child, a spouse, an elderly parent or relative, a pet, livestock, even plants, trees, and the Earth.

Thank you for calling me a dog mom. I am a protector of living things and a steward of this earth. That's quite an honor. 

Are you the 'parent' of an animal? Whether you have children or not, how do you feel about this topic? Please leave a comment. We want to hear your thoughts!

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