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.
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?