How To Introduce Your Dog’s Other Parent


I had no idea how to introduce my dog’s other parent for the longest time.

“She isn’t my sister, she’s my dog’s other mommy,” was uttered at least once or twice a month…well, at least in my mind.

How would you like to say that for almost 20 years? Up until the fall of 2013, for the past 20 years of my life, that’s something I dreamed of saying aloud time and again but could not bring myself to do so. If you’ve followed this blog fervently, you know that last year I officially came “out” of the official closet.  Most folks were supportive, a few told me I was boring them with my announcement and that’s not why they come to a dog blog, and then a few decided to exit my life. I have accepted that who I am might not be acceptable to the whole world, and I have made peace with that. I am sure if I knew the deep dark secrets of some people I might not want them in my life either. You know for things like axe murderer, dog abuser, devil worshipper, and the like. For being gay, um no, I can honestly say that would never be a reason for me to remove a person from my life.

I promised my readers that 2014 and beyond,  that Fidose of Reality would become a more inclusionary blog. In fact, we altered our mission statement slightly to, “Fidose of Reality is an alternative living magazine-style dog blog if your heart beats dog. We unite dog lovers of the highest order.” If you want to read all about exactly who we are and what we are doing, read on here for our more official stuff.

So we are embracing and supporting anyone who shares their life with a dog and feels like there is just no one blog out there that accurately represents who they are. Stuff like this:

  • You take your dog on vacation and/or travel with your dog
  • You would go without so your dog can have what he or she needs
  • You are someone who identifies as L, G, B, or T and has a dog
  • You like the idea that “dogs are the new kids”
  • Pet fashion is fun for you as long as the dog is happy about wearing the clothes
  • You like to read about off-the-beaten path dog news and information that is reality based and provides actionable, doable things for pet parents
  • You think the idea of a dog wedding for a fundraiser is way cool


Well, that leads me to today’s hot topic to toss around: What exactly do you call yourself with regards to your dog? Maybe you are mommy when no one is listening, but what about out in public? Are you “Fifi’s mom” or perhaps “Pixie’s parent,” or maybe you don’t want to be considered a parent at all.  The law says we are pet owners and that pets are property. To that, I let out a resounding “ew” because raising a dog is the equivalent of raising a child, at least to me. Sadly, though, when teenagers start causing their parents to fret about broken curfews and the start of a dating cycle, my dog will reach his senior citizenship and his years with me are numbered. So yes, for oh so many reasons, I am a pet parent and proudly identify as Dexter’s mommy.

There are times when people meet me and my wife of over 20 years, and they will often see one of us and then the other on separate occasions. We take turns going into stores and the other is usually conversing with someone outside. Yes, we love our dog that much.

cocker spaniel

I became most aware of this phenomenon called “other mommy syndrome” when out with our dog in very gay-friendly Provincetown, Massachusetts, a number of years ago. Someone asked who I was when my other half, Darlene, went into a store to shop. When I said “I am Dexter’s mommy,” the gentleman asked me who the other woman was because she said she was “Dexter’s mommy, too.” And I explained that she is. He shook his head and walked away from me, but I have no idea why. It isn’t up to me to judge people for their lack of understanding in the way God made me, and he made me capable of love. So if someone doesn’t understand why Dexter has two mommies, I am beyond over it. I just can’t please everyone all the time, especially for being the loving, dog-obsessed, tax-paying, law abiding, morally intact, caring person I am.

However, not all spouses, partners, and/or significant others like the title of “parent,” “mommy,” or “daddy,” when being introduced to someone in public.

I want to know how your significant other likes to be introduced or how they want you to refer to them. Do you say “uh oh, Daddy’s home” when your hubby pulls in the driveway? Do you introduce yourself as “Blaze’s mom?” Does your significant other like being introduced as the dog’s mom/dad/partner/_____ (fill in the blank)? And does the title change if you are in public? Maybe “Rover’s Daddy” becomes, “This is Bill, and he’s Rover’s owner, too” in public.

What say you: Is it all in a name and does it really matter if a dog is loved and shares a great life with you?

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  1. We’ve always been Mom or Dad to our pups. Shopping, we’ll say follow Mommy or follow Daddy. We refer to the dogs as “play nice with sissy” or “be nice to your brother”. And yes, much to my human child’s dismay, he was referred to a 2nd born with our original cocker, Rascal. We are not a pack we are family.

  2. We are family. My husband is daddy, I am Mommy, and our dogs are brother and sister. We get looks sometimes like we’re nuts but that just means they don’t get it. Doesn’t bother us because we know they are family.
    Congrats on your coming out. My daughter has been happily married to another woman for six years. I do not mention it online alot because my blog and social media are about my dogs. I am in no way embarrassed but just do not think it is pertinent to what I’m writing about.

    1. Thanks for sharing that with me, Stacey.

      I want this blog to be a place where anyone whom society dubs “alternative” can come and feel at home. So we will be incorporating more LGBT into our writings as it applies to dog life.

      Most love that you said “we are family,” so pawsome!

  3. We’re dads to a wheaten terrier, a white shepherd and two cats. Everyone at the dog park knows that Butters and Honey have two dads. We live in a suburb of Houston, and when we moved here from Los Angeles i was a bit concerned that we’d be moving into a hostile environment. I was very pleasantly surprised however to find the opposite. And yes, i do introduce myself as their dad…so does my partner.

    1. That is so pawsome, Martin. Thanks for weighing in and it is nice to meet you. Appreciate all the fab photos you send for the contests. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the dogs are gorgeous 😉

  4. I am Mom to my girls. There is no other half right now…but he’s going to have to be ok with being called Dad.

    In that regard my parents are now Grannie and Grandpa. Anytime I am on the phone with them and they talk to the girls…that is how they are titled. They call each other that too. LOL

    My parents are getting their first dog ever this week and I’ve already been calling him my brother. Pets are family to us I guess.

  5. Carol,
    You are a beautiful person inside and out. I cannot even imagine someone treating you that way. You and Darlene seem like amazing mommy’s. Dexter is one lucky dog! Chuy only knows us as Mama and Daddy. If we call each other by our first names, he has no clue who we are talking about lol. I loved this post!

    1. Awww thanks, Aimee. It is so funny because sometimes I will say, ” Where’s Darlene” and he knows the little stinker. Too observant LOL

  6. Love this post Carol…it really rocks. For me, at 42 years old (and Jon and I have been together for about 20 years) and a mother of 12 cats and 1 dog (no humans) , I have finally started to fill my life with people who embrace me for the person I am and it’s been life changing as far as opening up my creative mind and feeling authentic joy. I’m not a “crazy cat lady” and I am grateful for the amazing people I know (some long term friends and some new friends…like you and some folks in the Blog Paws Community) and have found that I have nothing to apologize for and nothing to be ashamed of. Jon and I are parents, and we do parent things, like if Jon is traveling he has FaceTime calls with the kids, especially Wubbikins who loves it so much. So many people in this world have a lot to learn about life and love…but I have already sailed on the ship where people can love without judgement, people of companion animals ARE parents, and kindness is everything (-:

    1. Simply stated, you rock. I cannot wait to reconnect with you at BlogPaws in Vegas. I love keeping in touch through Instagram. I am trying to include more alternative living posts in my blog, and that includes pets as kids, parents of furkids, parents who are gay, and folks who are into pet fashion and more. And having folks like you who get it and are finding authentic joy and living a real life true to self is an amazing part of this journey. Thanks so much for writing, and for all you do for pets in need, blessings.

  7. Even in P’Town, someone didn’t understand that your dog has two mommies??! Wow!!
    If you’re ever visiting P’Town again, give me a holler, I live two towns away. Yes, my pets are my children. I don’t have human children, so I figured my purpose in life is to raise furry kids instead! Keep doing what you’re doing, you are awesomely awesome! Wooof!

    1. Thanks so much and we will be returning. That is SO kind of you and will look you up for sure. Yep, I could not believe the gentleman had no clue and acted “surprised” to know my dog has two mommies.

  8. We’re mommy and daddy, but things get a bit more complicated in the dog park. Nessie is Princess’ mother, but they’re also kinda siblings because I’m mommy to both of them. Oh and then we’re friends with the people that adopted two of Princess’ siblings, and the boy has a little love affair going on with Princess sometimes. I try not to think too hard about these things.

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