Happy Dog Mother’s Day

13 May

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Photo credit: Mary Cruse

When you’re a dog mom, you know there are some things moms of humans have to deal with that will never be an issue for you — your dog will never get a tattoo or call for bail money or tell you she’s dropping out of college to form the Blue Woman Group, for example.

We mothers of canines — those of us who can’t see through our glasses because someone licked them and who consider a 3-pack of lint rollers the perfect Mother’s Day gift — we can expect constant love and devotion, a cold snout in warm places, welcome homes that surpass all others… and that our children will probably not outlive us, at least not in years on this earth.

Now that I am in my 34th year of dog momdom, the ebb and flow of life is clearer than ever to me. At this point, I have lost Copper, Slate, Maddy Lou, Justin, Penny and Watson, the last two sweethearts in the past six weeks. And I have adopted Sanders (right in photo above) and Katje (center) to join Murray (on the left). Katje has only been here two days and has just finished doggy orientation.

This Mother’s Day is bittersweet. I’m still mourning the loss of Penny, the world’s best garden helper and Watson, the dog who made me laugh out loud so many times that now the silence is deafening. But I’m also celebrating the three kids who are here with me on this warm and sunny day. All of us have been out pulling weeds, with Murray and Katje spending time exploring every bug and scent, while Sanders naps in a sunny spot in the dirt.

I thought I’d offer a few thoughts to all the dog moms out there on this, our special day:

  1.  As much as possible, live like your dog, fully present in the moment. Notice the world. Honor the fact that you are here another day. Run across the field with your tongue out.
  2. Enjoy everything. If your pup can fully celebrate the words “park” and “ride,” you can find the joy in everyday moments. If you have to use Cirque du Soleil skills to cook a meal without tripping over dogs underfoot, focus on the beauty of that, rather than the frustration.
  3. When it is time for your kids to leave, know that you will survive the heart break, the tears, and the “what ifs.” Your heart will forever carry scars shaped like paw prints, but love and laughter will get you through the first day and then all the rest. And the best place to find love and laughter is by adopting a new dog and making sure someone else who needs a mother has one.
  4. Even if no one else celebrates your momdom, you know that you’re a mother, even you’ve never birthed or raised human children. You know that there are no lengths to which you would not go to make sure your canine children have their best lives. And if you have a spouse, they probably know deep down that in an emergency, you’re saving the dog. Especially if said spouse did not get you a Happy Mother’s Day from the Dog card today.

 

Leigh Anne Jasheway is the author of 25 books, including her latest, The Dogs’ Guide to Human(Kind), available on her website, accidentalcomic.com.

 

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