Mother’s Day was once a holiday I chose to ignore. I felt like the people telling me “Happy Mother’s Day” weren’t being sincere. It was a bone (pun intended) they threw my way while silently tsk-tsking my lack of procreation. For that reason, I used to insist that the holiday was for those with human kids only. We pet parents didn’t count.
I was wrong.
There is no doubt I am a mom to my sweet nine-year-old (nearly 10) baby boy Riggins, just like there is no doubt you are a mother to your sweet little furbaby. Here are just a few things we all do that prove our mommy status:
1. Give unconditional love
Puppies are so easy to love. They are just so cute. You want to grab their little paws and gobble them up. That is, until the puppy crazies hit and they become destructive little monsters. I forfeited a good portion of my last apartment’s deposit because of Riggins’ puppy years! Each time I’d come home and open the front door, I did so with hesitation — “What has he destroyed now?”
Of course, it was never Riggins’ fault when one of my shoes got shredded or the toilet paper managed to get strewn across the apartment. It was the human’s fault for leaving things within his reach. Raising a puppy is like throwing a fistful of dollars out the window, and yet we love them just as moms love their human children — always and unconditionally.
2. Stick with them in sickness and health
When Riggins is sick, I’m a mess. Unlike a human child, he can’t tell me what hurts. Instead I have to be in tune with him so that I can figure it out based on his behavior.
More than once I’ve grabbed my pillow and curled up next to Riggins’ bed so I could comfort him when he was sick. I hold him, stroke him, and cover him in kisses, just like a human baby. Mothers of humans aren’t the only ones who lose sleep when their precious darling isn’t feeling well.
Sickness for us dog moms can even be more torturous. Imagine going to the doctor with your human baby, having him taken away from you, and then being told to come back the next day after he was treated. That’s what we dog moms are expected to do! We have to take the collar off our baby and let him be pulled away from us (Riggins is not going to follow a tech vet into the back room of his own free will) and kept away for hours.
I remember when Riggins got fixed, the vet had told me the average time it took and when I could expect to pick him up. When that time came, it turned out my sweet boy was still shaking off the anesthesia and wasn’t quite ready to leave. I went to the vet office anyway and sat there like a crazy person. I informed the poor people behind the front desk that I wasn’t leaving without my baby! The exact reaction you would expect from a human’s mom!
3. Act like mama bears
You know those mama grizzly bears who furiously protect their cubs at any cost? That’s me with Riggins. You wouldn’t dare screw with him because if you did, you would have to answer to me.
We were at an off-leash dog park once, and my sweet little boy galloped up to a fellow pup to sniff around and say hi. Unfortunately, the other dog was on leash and being trained by a very harsh human. The man told Riggins to go away, but he did not understand — after all, this was a dog park, a place he was allowed to say hello to people and pups. The harsh human’s next action was to kick Riggins out of the way. Imagine what my reaction was, and then multiple that by 10. The man made a beeline to the exit with his dog in tow. I assume his goal was to get away from the crazy woman screaming at him, but he started it. Don’t screw with a mama grizzly bear!
4. Throw parties and give gifts
I have a friend who goes all out for her human son’s birthday. Bouncy houses, cotton candy machines, giant pizzas, taco trucks, the works! I admit I haven’t ever gone that far for my baby’s birthday, but he has had social gatherings in his honor!
I do spoil him when it comes to gifts, though. Riggins gets showered in presents for his birthday and Christmas. He is so good at tearing through the wrapping that he would be happy to assist you in opening yours!
I’ve always said that I need to invent something that can be marketed to new moms for their babies AND to dog moms for their pups. These two groups will happily plop down hard-earned cash to make their little darlings happy!
5. Use their full name
“Wendy Lyn Newell, what did you do?” We all know that when our full name is used, we are in T R O U B L E! Riggins understands this as well. When I say “Riggins Newell,” his ears perk up and his eyes revert to puppy dog status! Riggins doesn’t have a middle name, so I often make one up. When I add “Fluffball” or “Snoodleface” in between his first and last name, he knows the gig is up!
We dog moms love our babies with all of our hearts and would do anything for them. We deserve a special day just as much as those with human kids, so Happy Mother’s Day to you! Give your pup a kiss and have a great day — you deserve it.
Read related stories by Wendy Newell:
- Does Your Dog Make Faces? What Do They Mean?
- Are There Certain People Your Dog Just Doesn’t Trust?
- From Sales VP to Dog Sitter: How My Career Is Following the Dogs
About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of “always be closing” to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy’s new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poop, sacrificing her bed, and with other furry filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.