It’s that time of year. Allergies kick up, shedding requires more pushes of the vacuum around the house, the weather can’t decide if it’s winter or summer, and childless single woman over the age of 30 refill their Xanax prescription to prepare for their 24 hour Facebook blackout on Mother’s Day. I’m actually convinced Facebook has some sort of under the table deal with the anti-depressant folks. You can’t tell me since the people of the world have decided to post every minute of their day (me included) on a “wall” for the entire world to see, the rate of severe clinical depression hasn’t risen. I envy those who are social media blind and don’t know their Facebook from their Twitter. Their lives seem so uncomplicated and serene.
When Riggins was a puppy I had a dream that Josh (Anna’s oldest son, who at the time was very young), Riggins, and I were standing on a platform inside a volcano and I had to choose which life I could save. Riggins or Josh. I immediately chose Josh but it made me so furious. I was angry for a long while after that dream. Of course I would choose the human child but the fact that Anna’s adorable baby was more valuable than my adorable baby, and this really couldn’t be debated, pissed me off. Don’t try to debate it. You can’t. In that horrible Sophie’s choice you HAVE to pick the human child. There is no way that you can say a dog and a human child are equal. You just can’t.
So when I saw an article on Dogster (a dog blog site) titled, “Do ‘Dog Moms’ Count When It Comes to Mothers Day?” I was ready to get annoyed. It was on a dog blog so undoubtedly the answer was, “yes.” I was all ready to scream, “Stop giving us crazy dog people a bad name!” Let’s face it. I don’t need anyone giving me a lift to crazy town. I can manage my way there all by myself, thank you very much. I have to say after reading the article I, reluctantly, started changing my mind. Perhaps I was part of a population that could celebrate on Sunday.
Here are the arguments and counterarguments I came up with while reading:
* I never refer to Riggins as “my dog.” He’s always, “Riggins.” When we walk I yell out to him “sweet baby boy,” “sweets,” “baby,” “cutie boy,” “sweetheart,” etc. although I’d never call out “come my son.”
* Riggins will, very most likely, die before me. Some people put this in the “pro human” category to prove dogs aren’t “children.” I “only” take care of my baby for 13 years-ish while you get yours until he is 18. Who are we kidding. I’m 39 and my folks still take care of me. I see this as a huge negative. I don’t know a single “dog person” who wouldn’t love their baby to have the same life expectancy as a human. I’m a mom to a child that I know has a shorter life expectancy than me. It doesn’t make me love him any less.
* My baby can’t communicate. He can never tell me what hurts or how he is feeling. I have to figure that out on my own. I have insurance for him and he sees the vet more than I see my doctor. When Riggins had that unfortunate ear issue and Riggins couldn’t get comfortable on his bed I dragged a pillow into the office, where he was sleeping, and laid down next to him so I could be there if he needed me. His comfort often comes before my own.
* I can leave my baby unattended alone while “real” mom’s can’t (without having child protective services being called on them). I do admit that is pretty convenient but given a choice it would be a very hard decision. I wouldn’t mind taking him everywhere I went with me.
* The clincher to me was my attitude now that I’m a dog sitter. The dogs that stay with me aren’t treated like “dogs.” They are treated like someone’s baby. I even refer to them as such in emails and texts (see video below that I recently sent to Clover’s folks). Why was I allowing them to be “dog parents” and not me?
Riggins isn’t sitting in his kindergarten class pressing his paw into a round clay disc to gleefully hand me on Sunday but I think I’ll go get myself an ice cream as a celebration for me!
Happy Friday! (And Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers of humans and other living creatures.)