dogs are kids

Stop Telling Me My Dog is Not a Child #hatersgonnahate

dogs are kids

I planned on sitting down and writing a blog post about a fabulous new dog product to hit the marketplace. That’s for another day. Today I am all defending dogs and what we loving pet parents call them. You know how there is a straw that tends to break a camel’s back (and I hate that expression but it fits here)? I found that straw today. I am broken. But I am not defeated. If you love pets and consider him or her to be more than a “pet,” this one’s for you.

There is a movement taking place online, IRL social circles, and no doubt near water coolers and over coffee and bagels that goes something like this:

Stop calling your dog a kid. He isn’t one.

Your dog is not a child: I am a mom and I have a child. You have a dog, so stop saying “child.”

I am not anti-kid. I am childless by choice. I never had the innate hunger to bring human babies into the world nor adopt human children. I am continually inspired by and have respect for those who do and are truly caring dedicated moms and dads.

I am not anti-kid.

I am pro-dog.

I don’t want to give them any further blog traffic, but suffice it to say if you Google, “stop calling your dog a kid,” you will get a certain amount of “hits.”

But if you Google, “my dog is my child,” you get a whole helluva lot more “hits.”

Note: If you share life with a pet and you prefer to call them a pet, a dog, a cat, a whatever…and you in no way, shape, or form want that being viewed as a child, a kid, a baby, or a furkid: That’s your right and I am not here to strip that away. More power to you.

tote bag

I am here to tell those who claim ownership of the word “child” or “kid” or “baby” as if Webster bequeathed it to them from his dictionary to KNOCK IT OFF.

I am tired of defending myself for the usage of a word and why I feel that my dog is more than property.

I will even side with you on some of this. My dog isn’t my child in many ways.

If the fates honor me with my dog-sharing life for a solid 15 years or more, unlike a teenager at age 15, my dog isn’t asking for the car keys, won’t enter the dating world, and will never become a source of gray hair as I worry because he is out 10 minutes past curfew. His time is getting limited, at this ripe old age.

The lifespan of a dog is short — a flicker, if you will, compared with a human’s. He will pass from this world and leave behind a hole in my heart where it used to be, well, “whole.” I’ve been down this road, and I will again and again.

I live a bit more vicariously and in the moment since becoming a dog mom: And after all, aren’t dogs always living in the moment? I’ve yet to see my dog worry about what just happened, or panic at something that’s going down tomorrow. Dogs have taught me to live life to its fullest because at any time, it can end.

I spoil my dog, some might say. He certainly does not need eight leashes, four water bowls, a weekly trip (or more) to the pet supply store, organized play dates, and (the horror, get ready): a blog inspired by his life with mine and a canine-centric career choice.

It’s my life, and it’s fun. Dexter is happy, too. Dogs need to be well cared for and doted upon to the degree it makes dog mom or dog dad happy and does not put Fido in harm’s way. In fact, if you reread that sentence, there’s a mantra in there.

dog teeth brush

The Reality

Here’s where it gets real meaty and juicy. Here’s where I tell you what to tell people who are angry that you call your dog a kid. These people are vitriolic in their response to such name claiming and they blog about it and get inyourface mad when comparing dogs to kids.

You have two options:

(1) Ignore them: The best way to handle ignorance is to let them stew in it and own their ignorance. You don’t believe their rhetoric so let them swim in their stew of anger.

(2) You state fact, and fact is what wins court case. Fact is what laws are built on. Facts are what settles debates and quiets a village idiot.


Here are the definitions of words that a select group of people feel ownership to…as in they should only be applied to human beings.

kid definition

child definition


daughter definition

son definition


baby definition


Case closed. Seriously, what more is there to say? The definitions apply to both children and animals.


Ah, the P word. The elephant in the room. Elephants have elephant mommies, btw, and that makes them kids, too! Trunks up to that!

Here’s the official definition of parent:

parent definition

There’s that ambiguity again. Beings with flesh don’t own these words: They can be applied to any number of species.

Mommy Salami

It behooves me to mention a blogger who is angered that those of us who are of the pet parenting movement are somehow lesser of a parent than those of the human variety.

She feels that loving and caring for a pet are in no way comparable to the amount of energy involved in parenting another human being. The responsibility levels, the stress, and even the money, they simply aren’t in the same hemisphere.

Ho ho. Ha ha. Hee hee.

She didn’t LOL at the end of her rant so I will do it for her.


As in live outside (the) lines, lady.

Love is love. Science agrees. Parenting is parenting. My dog isn’t a kid. But my relationship with my dog(s) is very mother and child in nature. I know he isn’t a human. He does dog things.

Wait, babies do dog things. They pee whenever and need a diaper.

We have that stage: It’s called house training, right dog parents?

Kids write on walls.

Dogs chew shoes. And furniture. Sometimes.

Kids mouth back.

Wait, dogs don’t do that.

gay rights

Lifestyle bloggers who blog about kids: Your kids will grow up and then the cuteness, the giveaways, the life with children stories will all dissipate. When your kids want a driver’s license and you stop blogging about fruit punch and sippy cups, my dog will most likely be on his last legs: He doesn’t live as long as your child. We’ll all end up in the same place, see? And many of my good buddies are lifestyle bloggers. I support what you do. Just be happy for me and my application of the words I choose to call my dog.

In the course of any given week, I get at least 3-10 notices from people telling me their pet passed away. Some are young, some are old. Some got sick suddenly and others had a prolonged illness. Grief unites us all, and Emily Dickinson said that. She was a cool pet mom, too.

[Tweet “Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell. Emily Dickinson”]

So this week when three dogs of close friends died within four days, it seriously became too much to bear. As a dog mom who stood over her baby as the veterinarian injected the needles to stop her anguish and give her comfort and eternal peace, I know too well that all-consuming hellish feeling that comes with death of a loved one. I can prove no more to naysayers that I am a mom than in that moment, when I make the ultimate sacrifice with one eternal act of love. And yes, I felt like I murdered my dog kid for a long time. People with big hearts tend to do that.

If any of you who are angry about pet parenting as a term are annoyed by this, let me know when you have a version of the dictionary that makes its way into popular mainstream. I’ll pick that version up and let my next furkid use it for house training.

Off to kiss the kid!


  1. I LOVE THIS POST!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!
    Yes, only toooo recently I was part of this conversation online. The bottom line? I don’t have human children, I don’t want human children. I love my dogs, my dogs are my children. Just like a human parent, I have rules, boundaries, I feed them, clothe them, take them to their individual sports, support their individual emotional and physical needs. I spend time with them, miss them when i’m not home. I provide a healthy lifestyle for them, teach them manners and how to behave in public. How am I not a mom?
    I will never abandon my kids and will always do what is best for them. 🙂 <3
    I am a dog mom.
    I call them my kids, refer to my husband as daddy, I am mommy. Ziva is mama's little girl, Dante is mommy's boy. LoL we have all sorts of nicknames! We use phrases like, "come on dogs!", "lets go kids!", "lets go visit grandma", "grandma's house", "auntie is here!", "where's daddy?" Thankfully my family after a brief moment of thinking we were insane, ended up embracing the lifestyle/phrases and support our decisions, now it's normal and they have furry grandkids. BOL

    1. More paw-er to you. And for me, it’s not so much that I want to feel superior or that kids are not important – of the human variety. I just want to be left alone with the definition, as it applies to me as well as others who have human kids. Rock on, DZ!

    2. I usually don’t reply on blogs because I am lazy but this was subject is very dear to my heart. Maggie is our only child at home. She is our toddler in fur, our baby, our little girl. We have four grown children, three grandchildren, then we have a baby. People say dogs can’t talk, but Maggie does with her heart and eyes. She lays in the hall way when dad is on her computer and I am in my craft room so she can keep an eye on both of us. She sleeps in between us at night. Maggie doesn’t like daddy and I yelling, she starts barking at us. Our little girl has brought us so much joy. We can’t tell her when we are going on a trip because she keeps us up all night with excitement just like her brother and sisters did when they were young. Maggie pulls all her toys out of her toy box until she finds the one she wants. She brings a sleep friend to bed every night. She is our baby, actually we don’t like using that 3 letter word “dog” around her. So if folks are offended, then so be it.

  2. I thought I’d replied to this earlier but guess I forgot to hit ‘send’. Carol, you nailed it! When I read this, I wanted to jump up on my desk and CHEER! Thank you so much for expressing the thoughts of us “FURPARENTS” so effectively well!

    1. You go right ahead and cheer. “It’s MY life” is my new mantra “fur” sure – rock on, Terri! And thanks for all you do for dogs!

  3. Brilliant, Carol! Absolutely, positively brilliant!! My three dogs are my kids, my girls, and sometimes even my knuckleheads; and as long as I’m responsible for their health, welfare, and happiness, I will call them whatever I darn well please. Those who don’t like it are welcome to keep their opinions to themselves or get over themselves. I will share, too

    1. Isn’t that the truth – and lol knuckleheads. True story, we were at the vet’s office one day a few years back and the vet tech came out to the waiting room. She called for the next client, which was the pet’s name. As she called aloud, the room got silent. She said, “Bonehead, the next client to be seen is Bonehead.” As this lovely woman walked her basset hound to the door to the exam room, she looked at us and said, “My husband named him.”

      The room erupted in laughter.

  4. I love my dogs, and often call myself a pet parent. But, comparing pet parenting to actual parenting… Well, if I put out a trashcan fire and go by the local firehouse and tell them I too can join their ranks as a firefighter, I’m pretty sure their reactions are going to range from amusement to annoyance to outright anger. Sure, it’s true, but at the same time, it’s kind of a different kettle of fish, no?

    1. WOW totally off base for me, Gina. Parenting is parenting. Facts are facts. I find nothing amusing about it.

      1. Parenting IS parenting. Whether someone is parenting a human, or someone is parenting an animal, or an animal is parent to an animal…no one has the right to go in and insult one’s validity as being more superior. If that makes sense. Whether you are caring for a human or caring for an animal, if you love, cherish, teach, take care of, protect, serve and care for them….that is all that matters. No one has the right to go in and degrade your belief system of love.

    2. This response doesn’t make sense. What does being a firefighter have to do with parenting skills? Why would firefighters find it amusing if you would like to become a part of their community?

  5. I have had 3 very special dogs, the current one is 10 years old. He is not only my “child” but my very best friend.

  6. Well said! I never put much thought into calling my pets my kids or my babies. I do it frequently, partially because it’s a convenient and suitable word to refer to them by, but never even thought about “accuracy” or even dreamed that anyone would find it offensive. Imagine my surprise when I naively posted Dog Mom Days’ mother’s day post on my Facebook wall, and things went nuclear! I lost friends! Wth?? I figure that any parent who has enough time to be offended by what friendly word a stranger on the Internet uses to refer to their dog probably needs to get off the computer, check on their “more legitimate” kids, and maybe make sure they’re not committing crimes or something.

    Now I’m going to intentionally annoy my “friends” and share this post too! lol

    1. WOW that is very disturbing that people would unfriend you for being a pet parent and saying so. Who needs friends like that? You are a caring, kind, considerate human being with compassion and love for animals. Why don’t they pick on someone who is hurtful to animals?

      1. Aw, thanks! I have no idea. She was really really angry about it! I just don’t understand how anyone could get angry about someone calling their dog their kid. It’s just such a non issue!

      2. Sorry, call yourselves “parents” all you want but dogs aren’t even remotely comparable to human children. If I were to lose my child I would have to be hospitalized and sedated. I would seriously contemplate if I would be able to continue living because the loss of my child would be too much for me to deal with. I’ve never once heard of a “dog parent” killing themselves because their dog died. Also, the stakes for screwing up a child are so much greater, thus making it a MUCH more important job. Dog “parents” don’t have to worry about their dogs going to top-rated schools and such.. Saying you’re a parent is insulting and dismissing the serious role that adults play in developing an emotionally and physically healthy and well-rounded human being. Screw up a dog and they might have a trip to get euthanized; screw up a human being and they could turn into a serial killer. See how the two are vastly different? Moreover, your dog doesn’t actually need you. If it’s “real” mother (ya know, an actual dog), birthed it in the woods, and left it, the dog would learn to adapt and survive. As dogs are descendants of wolves, they actually have the ability to hunt and seek shelter themselves. Your presence is not needed, like at all. Humans have actually dumbed dogs down so that they (humans) feel needed. Now, on the other side, if a woman gives birth in the woods, and leaves her newborn in the woods, it’s 100% dying, unless someone finds it. On top of all of that, if the world had some major disaster and we were in the “end of time” days and I could not find food and my child was starving and crying, I would do anything necessary to feed my child. Since eating another human being is just gross and can make another human mentally and physically ill, I would actually hunt another dog and eat it, if completely necessary. Do other people normally eat their own children? I think not.

        1. I wouldn’t eat my dog even if I was starving to death. You also don’t seem to know very much about dogs. If a newborn puppy was left in the woods, it would die 100%. I, myself don’t, and will never have children, if you don’t count dogs, so I wouldn’t know, but I have an attachment to my dog much as how many describe theirs to a baby. I disagree with putting dogs down, unless they are dying very painfully, and disagree with keeping humans alive under the same circumstances. If a dog gets “screwed up”, there are many cases of them getting serial killer like behavior. I honestly see humans and dogs pretty equal.

          1. I agree with you 100%.
            I love my dog so much. If I ever lost her or if she died. I wouldnt know how to go on and if i did there would always be a hole in my heart. She has been a very important part in my life and I must say I love my dog as much as i love my kids. And i would react the same way if anything happend to my kids as if anything happend to my furbaby, my adopted child.

        2. Raising dogs the correct way is super important. If not socialized and loved, dogs can become murderers too. My dog almost died this week at the hands (is that ok to say or is it too much like human?) of a poorly raised dog. Just something I wanted to point out. Oh and humans get mauled by dogs too. So I guess raising them IS important.

        3. That’s the same logic religious people use to protest gay marriage. “It ruins the sanctity of marriage!” Even though it doesn’t and it doesn’t affect you whatsoever. And you can’t say that people have never contemplated suicide if their dog dies, you don’t know everyone in the world and, I assume from your post, you are not that close to your dogs so you would not understand that kind of relationship. Personally, the very thought of my dogs dying, which I know is inevitable in my lifetime unless I have a freak accident, brings me to tears, I honestly cannot imagine even having any other dogs after they go. I would give almost anything to give them normal human lifespans so I can have them forever. Don’t generalize the entire human population and don’t belittle relationships you can’t possibly understand.

        4. Just because *you* don’t feel the same way dog parents feel doesnt mean it’s wrong. It just simply means we’re different and that’s okay I love my dogs and they are my kids , I think of them when I’m away from them and worry about them. If anyone messes with them I will come out fighting with claws. And I suffered a breakdown when one dog died. And there’s the case of a man who had to put his dog down because his apartment changed its laws, he as so distraught he committed suicide. Google it. Nyc pitbull opener commits suicide over housing laws. So yoj see , it’s not all about *you* and *your* kids. So you don’t have to agree with is but at least respect our right to love our pets as children.

        5. Yikes, why are you getting so hot and bothered? Why are so sooo angered by something so trivial that you are hurting yourself? GET OVER YOURSELF! It’s pretty damn sad to see actual grown adults with children to take care of getting so worked up over people calling themselves pet parents. Hun, it absolutely does not harm parents of human children, if ya’ll are really that upset over it, I suggest growing the hell up. If you can’t handle the fact that other people see things differently than you, then why do you think you’re mature enough to have kids? I don’t care if you see it differently, I don’t care if you don’t agree with people calling themselves pet parents, but if you legitimately feel the need to put other people down just cause of something like this, then, I must ask…didn’t your mother teach you better? Don’t claim garbage that is very obviously false, like “people calling themselves pet parents hurts parents of human children” ….how exactly does it? Is it stopping those parents from caring for their children? Is it taking love from them, taking clothes, food, necessities, education away from them? No? Yeah I thought not. I mean if it somehow causes it to become more difficult to care for your child then that’s more than likely the fault of the parent, and them going on to make excuses rather than take responsibility for themselves.

    2. Great post! My dog (Charlie) is my child. My mother calls Charlie her grandson and calls herself Grandma, eventhough, she does not have any human grandchildren. Can we talk about Dog rights!? I am so tired of people thinking that it is okay to say “no pets” in a residence when often pets, or dogs are less of a disturbance than children and babies. I do not have a human child, instead, I have a very well behaved American cocker spaniel who is my child and if you do not accept my child in your home then i take offence! It’s rude, if I had a human child they would gladly let them into their home. It just doesn’t feel right! Or fair! Children cry, make messes and pee their pants! People welcome children into their homes taking the risk of them peeing their pants on the couch, but yet refuse my dog!? My dog is my baby and should be treated like my baby! Thank you!

      1. Omg so true!!! I actually do live in a pet-friendly building because I have a cat and yes he’s my son. But you’re 100% right about kids being way more disruptive than any dog. Kids in my building are constantly making noise, running around in the halls, making messes and breaking things. I’d rather have everyone in the building have a dog over a kid any day!!!!

      2. I love dogs, but some people have good reasons not to have dogs in their home. Unless a person tells everyone that they are allergic, you never know. I have a friend that has an anaphylactic dog allergy and needs an EpiPen just sharing the same room with a dog. Plus, even though hypoallergenic dogs are less likely to produce enough allergens to cause an allergic reaction, they do still produce minimal allergens that a few people are allergic to. Some people are scared of dogs because of past trauma. I have dogs, but I’ve also had a friend whose child was terrified of dogs because she was bitten in the face by one. This means I’ve had to put my dogs in another room to accommodate for her. I think that as long as someone asks, and receives a yes before bringing a dog over, it is perfectly fine. Uninvited, however, that’s a problem. The same goes for human children.

        I love dogs, but there are also boundaries in friendships that need to be respected.

  7. So here’s how I see it. I have a dog and a daughter. My daughter is grown and lives away from home. I often refer to her as “my girl”. I also refer to my dog as “my girl”. I have no problem not confusing them, however! For many years when I had dogs and cats and no kids, I did feel like my animals were my “kids”, they meant that much. But the real point to me is, WHO CARES? I mean, seriously? At the same time, I’m not the type of dog-owner who spends a lot of money on cutsie stuff for my girl, she’s not a small dog either, about 40 lbs, but I have a hard time sometimes with dressing dogs up in expensive clothes, and many of the fairly costly accessories I’ve seen. I get that it’s none of my business! And I’m not saying I don’t buy stuff for my girl,, a chuck-it, a good ball, the occasional ridiculously expensive chew treat, etc. In the end it’s no one else’s business how we spend our money and people who don’t have pets don’t I think, ever really understand, how important they are to us emotionally. But sometimes it is hard in a world where so many people are impoverished and hungry to see the way that some pets are treated. Unfriending someone does seem a little extreme; clearly something else is going on to trigger that much anger so it’s more sad than anything else.

    1. There are so many dogs and other animals that are impoverished and hungry, too, Lin Kaatz. Sorry, but I believe animals need to be cared for as much as humans! Period!

  8. I’ll be honest, the term bugs me. Not because I compare it to “real” parenting (what is that anyway?) – I don’t have human kids and don’t want them. But I think of my dog more as an equal…sort of a sister that happens to be a different species.

    I guess it’s not so much the “parenting” thing that bugs me as it is the humanizing of dogs. (And I’m not saying you’re one of these – you obviously know dogs – but I feel like I run into a lot of “pet parents” who don’t know the first thing about dog behavior, but treat them like little furry humans) They’re dogs, not people – that’s what makes them so awesome! 🙂

  9. my husband and I most certainly consider ourselves pet parents. While we don’t have any human children, that doesn’t mean we won’t someday. But I wouldn’t plan on treating our dog any differently should we. I’m always aware when we are out and about of the people that seem to eye roll. But honestly I’ve learned not to care,and all that matters is we are enjoying life with our furry kid. 🙂

  10. All I can say is, yes. I also used dictionary definitions in my post when some people argued that I’m not a mom. Don’t tell me what I am! I also think there is a deep seeded jealousy from people that get mad at us dog moms for choosing NOT to have children. My theory is that they are jealous and resentful that we made the smart decision to not have human kids. We didn’t give in to societal pressures. We were strong enough to say “No, it’s not for me!” We want to save money, have more freedom, not be bound to an ungrateful being. #sorrynotsorry.

    1. Totally agree 100%! Misery loves company! They’re so jealous so they have to try to make us feel bad about calling ourselves parents. It’s because we can be parents and also have freedom. They look at it as though we shouldn’t be allowed to have it all..being a parent and having freedom. Jealous as all hell!!! Lol

  11. My dear friend Carol,
    Pixel’s Mom here. Oh yes wait til the haters see that, LOL! This article was fantastic!! You were gloriously amazing and spot on. I’m sorry that someone robbed you of your peace and reached in and upset you so. It is wrong for people to be so hateful because they have anger issues on certain topics and can’t just let us be.
    You know, it was actually YOU who introduced me to the term “pet parenting” I believe, at BlogPaws 2013 and I’m so grateful. I hated the term “owner” and always just said I was Pixel’s Mommy, which I am. She’s not my property. She’s not a rug, or a car, or a couch. She’s a living, breathing little soul with feelings. Pixel has an amazing personality, a smart mind, a tender heart who knows how I’m feeling and comes to comfort me in an instant when I’m upset, and she is a special needs dog with medical limitations that I care for on a daily basis. I cook her food special because of her medical conditions. I measure out her medicines 4 times a day, varying types and doses, with joy, just as a good mom would. I love her, care for her, teach her, nurture her, worry about her, take her to the doctor when she’s hurt or sick, and cherish each day with her, knowing our time is short. I don’t imagine her to be a human baby, I know full well she is a dog. But she is my little girl and I love her with a fierce love as strong as any human mother. I don’t have to validate my relationship with Pixel to anyone. But I wanted to share this with you to show my support as your friend and fellow Pet Parent.
    There are plenty of mothers of human children out there who understand where we are coming from…my Mom is one of them. Some people have to grow into an understanding of what this means. I could go on and on, but I just want to say, you did great in expressing how it feels to be a pet parent and that no one has the right to rain on our parade.
    Sending hugs and love to you and your boy Dex!
    P.S. I just got back from bringing Pixel to have her foot seen. She had a red lump and I was instantly worried it was something super bad after her growth removal surgery in January. Turns out she’s got an infection on her paw pad. Poor thing! Glad it’s not worse though! 🙂

  12. BRAVO!!! Enough said. I have 4 fur kids that need my care and attention and I have probably spent more on my “dogs” through the years than I ever did in my 2 legged kids. I still have my human kids but have lost 2 fur babies and know before long will lose more a pain I don’t look forward to but also know all 4 of my fur kids were cast off’s and in 2 cases homeless. I know they will all die happy because I treated them with dignity and respect as though yep they were human! They have feelings, they know pain, they also show me love and compassion that many humans have no clue what those 2 words even mean. I will say it again BRAVO Carol BRAVO!! Hail to the fur children of our worlds!!!

  13. Great blog! I totally agree with you. I’ve had the flesh kids and the canine kids, as well as feline and equine kids. They all make my life whole. They make me happy. Someone who feels the need to judge you about what makes you happy is not happy themselves.

    1. There it is in a nutshell my friend. Someone jumping down someone else’s throat about what they say and do that makes them happy is is not happy themselves. Period. You do not go attacking other people when you are a content, happy person. Enough said.
      I went looking at some of those hateful people’s articles about “dogs are not kids”, etc. out of curiosity. I found it of course. One mean, angry, vitriolic man said a bunch of hateful horrible stuff about people who love adore and cherish their pets like we do….then dared to close it out with the statement “if people treated each other like these pets, we’d be much better off.” I couldn’t believe it. Maybe he could start with his own heart and not be so mean. He didn’t even hear what he said or see how he is. Sad…

  14. My mom ignores these people. She actually wanted a bunch of kids but couldn’t have any. Mom always has loved animals and used to dress her stuffed animals as babies when she was little. She says it was a message from above that she would someday have furry children, not human ones. We are her babies, her girls, her buddies. We are fur kids, she is our mom and we wouldn’t have it any other way. As time goes on, she is happy to have fur kids and not human ones as she says we are much nicer to deal with and usually easier too. If you are raising and caring for a living being you are parenting, end of story.

  15. I love you Carol Bryant…so well said. I have pics of my KIDS on my cell phone and their own file I must say. Sometimes when people I work with show pics of their kids (human) to me I figure I can show mine. When I do…I get at least one that rolls their eyes at me…basically saying to me…Really? Dogs? My feelings are hurt. I too chose not to have children or adopt. I work for the airlines so I am gone and knew having them would be difficult for me to leave in someone else’s care. My furbabies are good with my schedule…I fly day trips and are home every nite. The welcome I get from them every time is priceless. I would not get that response from a teenager I guarantee that…I am not bashing kids or people that have them. This is my choice in life and I love the choice I made.

  16. I find it amazing what sets people off these days. We raised our tow human children and have had seven dogs during that span of time. Both my two-legged and four-legged kids are well-adjusted and happy. All of them have caused heartbreak and worry. It is something that happens when you love another more than yourself. It is what makes an awesome parent. Live and let live.

  17. Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing this. My pets are my furchildren. I get laughed at. Snubbed and talked about behind my back for my beliefs. But I don’t care. I don’t have “human” children. I have “furry” children. To those who don’t get it, they an P**S off because it’s my life and this is how I choose to live it. If you really want to anger someone, tell them you think families who don’t have “human” children should get a tax credit for at least one “fur” child. 🙂

    Passing this along.

    Pibbles & Me

  18. Carol:
    I am lucky to have a gorgeous dog in Lucie, (and in Gracie). People just melt when they meet them. I did have the taxi driver at Blogpaws refuse to take us because he was Muslim, but that was an exceptionally disgusting event. All the way to Nashville on the airlines lucie got treated like a princess. The way home, both men that we sat next to allowed Lucie to sprawl out on their laps too.

    I did take my girls to Micheals several years ago and then 6 year old kid tried to kick them violently. Instead of telling the child no, the mother started berating me for having dogs in Micheals. That is the real issue, these people who do not teach their kids common decency when it comes to animals.

  19. Mum is an only child and she was told by her parents she had a brofur and then a sisfur since she was a child : how could she consider us otherwise than as full members of the family ? The words to name it are the ones that you picked out. Mum and us totally agree with you ; you tell it factually in the kindest way. Purrs

  20. who’s to say what a parent is or isn’t? If my sister passed away and I was given custody of my niece and nephew, does that make me less a parent?!

    I also chose not to have human children. Yet I am a parent of a furkid…not a skinkid. My Bella needs me like a child needs its parents; to feed, to guide, to care for, to love. Dogs are on this Earth such a short time; they give us so much during that time. And ask so little in return.

    I am a dog mom…and proud of it.

    1. Mental illness is ok. Calling a pet a child needs therapy. The woman who drank wine with her “child” chimpanzee got attacked and it ate the face off her friend.

      1. Dude, have you heard of the Menendez brothers? Children kill their parents. I am going to hug my dog child in your honor. Weeeee!

  21. Fantastic post Carol! I love your writing talent and your gumption! I have never had anyone say anything negative to me about the fact that I consider my dogs my furkids, my little girls, my babies. I did however, recently glimpse the title of a post online that said something about not being a mom if you have a dog. I didn’t pay any attention to it. I’m amazed that there are people with nothing better to waste their time on than what others consider their pets to mean to them. These people have way too much time on their hands!

  22. I saw that post this week and wrote a reply and then decided not to even engage such close mindedness. I mean, who cares what I call my dogs…seriously why is this even an issue to people. MYOB as my grandmother would say – mind your own business. Well done Carol.

  23. Awesome story annoying that u would have to Wright it!!
    Like I’ve been saying for years I like Animals more than most people. Good judge of character for people and awesome for animals. Great post Carol

  24. Kind of good timing.. just had a conversation with my very educated 27 year old son about bringing children into this turmoil of a world we are living in. He works at a very large university and has observed and shares the feeling many young educated people are choosing to not have children. My comment to him was ” there are always fur kids” ( he is a great dog lover no surprise he is my son) He said ” I love that! I have not heard them called that, how perfectly it describes our pets and our feelings for them” I suspect he will be a parent of more than one fur kid as time goes on. I have obviously real children and fur kids and grand fur kids so I am not anti human. Such a mystery to me why people get so upset about things that really have no affect on them. Can we not love what and who we want and call them what we want? So much more happiness when we just live and let live. Speaks to why there is so much hatred in this world when we can not call our beloved animals our children if we feel they are.. tell me who is this harming and how? Maybe people that are annoyed by so much should look inside and see where the real problem is. Little less Ego and a little more Love would go very far.

    1. Spot on, Lucy: The world needs more love and less ego. Love is love: And if dogs are happy, people are happy, and kids are happy, why is “Real Parent” so angry? Kind of ironic.

  25. I will never justify my love for my babies. Yes, that’s right, my babies. The 3 year old rescue that was living in boarding. The 8 month old puppy that we fostered when she was only 2 months old and I nursed through pneumonia and couldn’t give up. The almost 16 year old Yorkie I have had since he was 8 weeks old. My cat that walked into my driveway and rolled over and never left and the 2 month old kitten that I bottle fed and also couldn’t give up. Yes, they are my kids. I never wanted human children, even from a young age. BUT, I fostered my niece and nephew for 2 years in a horrible situation and would have adopted them. So for those that think we don’t care about human kids because we don’t have them, you couldn’t be more wrong. You chose to have babies, we chose to adopt our 4 legged ones. It’s our choice and you have no right to tell us that we can’t treat our pets as our kids.

  26. I chose not to have children of the human variety. I choose to commit my love and life to my four legged children. I will never forget the day each of my babies came into my life. Samantha, my little blondie was a gift from my ex-husband. She was with me for over 9 years before giving in to the after effects of being a puppy mill dog (before I ever knew what a puppy mill was.) Cassie came into my life exactly one month after Samantha died. She was a gift from a very dear friend. Bertie came into my life as a 3 year old. Cassie was 14 at the time and I wanted her to have a sister. Chesnee (who just happened to be Bertie’s full sister) came into my life 2 1/2 years later, exactly 2 weeks after I had to let Cassie go. 5 days ago I waited at my vet. She brought my beautiful Chesnee into a room and handed her to me with the words “here’s your momma, sweet girl.” I then held her in my arms for almost an hour before we sent her to the Bridge, her body ravaged with the cancer I didn’t know she had until two days before. I care about comforting her sister Bertie who is grieving right along with me. I care about making it through one more day without seeing that precious face. I don’t care about people who can’t or won’t understand that connection we have with our babies. I feel sorry for them because they will never understand the look in those beautiful eyes in that moment when they say “it’s ok Mommy, I’m not afraid to go on.”

  27. You people are BLANKETY BLANKETY. No one will ever be able to argue with your flawed logic which makes blogs like this pointless when someone with a voice that sounds a bit different tries to counter such a Marxist regime, but here goes.. The ONLY time any of you ‘parents’ will ever understand what true love and parenting is will happen when you have actual babies, of the human variety. Get over yourselves. Real parenting is a choice and commitment. A choice many of you are thankfully very afraid of. You make ‘smarter’ decisions right… No, you make scared decisions. Decisions that there is no real commitment around. You understand the safety of OWNING a pet. Your commitment can be moved, transferred, or restfully put to death whenever you feel the need to get out. I wonder what CPS would think about you putting your 1 year old in a crate for 10 hours a day? This is so non-nonsensical. There are literally thousands of things that don’t even remotely add up when dealing with raising a child vs raising an animal. It’s so hilariously overly contrived to be made to feel important it’s actually somewhat sad. Enjoy your dogs and cats, lizards, fish and whatever you have gone to purchase from that animals previous ‘parent’. The rest of us will continue to understand collectively the difference in love, satisfaction, and genuine commitment to have actual kids. There is NOTHING comparable in the world. Until you know it and are responsible for it please keep this kid of drivel to your selfish selves whether your blog is committed to such bs or not. I’m sure your parents feel very invalidated by working their asses off to give you all the opportunities they did. Remind me, how hard do you have to work to give Fido an opportunity at his future…

    Enjoy deleting my comments. Censoring the conversation doesn’t win you the argument. I’m going to go let my beautiful boston terrier out. Bye..

    1. Wow, such hatred. What about people who consider their children and animals as ‘kids.’ While I do not have children yet, I was brought up that all life is truly precious. My mother and father considered our dogs, cats, and even my mother’s pet turtle like it was one of their kids. In many ways, it is no different than adoption but much harder since their lives are so much shorter. They teach children and adults alike some valuable lessons about love and commitment. Oh, and on ashamed mothers – both my husband’s mother and my own call our dogs ‘the grand-puppies.’ No one asked them to do this.

      I have seen wonderful pet parents and human parents, while I have also seen both that were truly vile. Have you had a child cry on your shoulder because CPS won’t take them away and mom tried selling them for drugs? I have and was sick knowing they left my classroom every day to get abused at home. I would prefer people like this not have children or animals. As well, maybe you should think before leaving vicious comments. I know some pet parents who are infertile and been denied for adoption many times due to their income or life circumstances. Everyone has different life circumstances and deserves respect. Why can’t we just all love and respect one another?

      1. The pain of losing a dog and knowing it is until we meet again is far worse that this hater, and you nailed it, Susan: Hater to the core. Love and respect are so lacking in some people.

    2. I find it sad that your definition of “true love” and of “parenting” is so limited. Truly, most folks who call themselves pet parents know that their pets aren’t human children. They’re using the term because they offer the same love, devotion, care, attention, attentiveness, compassion, and time that parents give to their children. I believe your arguments are flawed for several reasons, not the least of which is the mistaken assumption that there is only one, right kind of love. Love is love, and everyone feels it differently in different circumstances. I also take issue with your: “Real parenting is a choice and commitment.” If that were true, we wouldn’t have half a dozen television shows dedicated to teenagers and unwanted pregnancies, nor would we even need CPS. Your assumption then takes us down a, frankly, insulting spiral where adoptive mothers couldn’t possibly love their children as one who “had actual babies.” While that spiral could continue downward, I’m going to stop there because I truly believe in love of all stripes and it’s insulting to anyone who either doesn’t want or can’t have children. If my husband and I are able to have kids–not a given since I underwent chemo several years ago–I won’t love my dogs any less. And I just feel very sad for you that you don’t have a heart open enough to see that.

      1. I just want to say, I love all animals, wish I could have a sloth. The only reason I don’t agree with pet people saying they love their pets as much as I do my kids, is because, unless you have a child, by adoption or birth or any other you have no idea whether you love your pets as much as a parent loves their child, because you don’t have kids. If you literally have never done or experienced said thing than you can’t say you understand it or compare it to something you consider similar. I have had pets, and my love for them was very different than my kids I have now and there is nothing wrong with that it is still love just different. Call yourselves parents, to each there own, and love is love, but each love is different so please stop comparing if you don’t know. If you do know I would still try to see my human kids love as very different than my animal kid so the former doesn’t feel stiffed in the love dept.

    3. Dear Person Who Responded as “ARealParent:”

      Your reply is not being deleted, as differences of opinion make the world go round. You obviously have some deep anger issues and thwarted them my way today. It gives me great joy that I did touch a nerve: As a writer, my job is complete. So thanks for the validation on that end.

      Some people should not be allowed to children, and those who are filled with anger and narrow minds come to mind.

      Let’s break your vitriol down:
      You said: The ONLY time any of you ‘parents’ will ever understand what true love and parenting is will happen when you have actual babies, of the human variety. Get over yourself.

      I say: False.

      You said: Real parenting is a choice and commitment. A choice many of you are thankfully very afraid of.

      I say: True that real parenting is a choice and commitment. I am not afraid of it, I just choose a different species.

      You said: You make ‘smarter’ decisions right… No, you make scared decisions.

      I say: I am not afraid to make decisions. Who is scared? Maybe you are. Hmmmm.

      You said: Decisions that there is no real commitment around. You understand the safety of OWNING a pet.

      I say: There is real commitment to pet parenting, a list you can search for in my archives. You are a drive-by hater who, according to your comments, makes you a first time visitor here. Welcome to the pack! You helped increase my pet parenting traffic.

      You said: Your commitment can be moved, transferred, or restfully put to death whenever you feel the need to get out.

      I say: Wait, you would put an animal to death for the need to get out? Shame on you. Who even thinks like that?

      You said: I wonder what CPS would think about you putting your 1 year old in a crate for 10 hours a day? This is so non-nonsensical.

      I say: Google “child abuse” and see the thousands and thousands of crimes committed against children. People put a child in a crate, lock them in cars, and other unspeakable things.

      You said: There are literally thousands of things that don’t even remotely add up when dealing with raising a child vs raising an animal. It’s so hilariously overly contrived to be made to feel important it’s actually somewhat sad. Enjoy your dogs and cats, lizards, fish and whatever you have gone to purchase from that animals previous ‘parent’.

      I say: I don’t find your lack of logic hilarious or sad: I find it mundane and senseless, sort of like a mime at a carnival who cries silent tears. No one cares, they just walk by. Because, you know, it’s a voiceless mime. Oh wait, people do care about those who can’t speak for themselves. Animals cannot speak for themselves. So a large portion of society picks up the pieces of naysayers, armchair critics, and hate-filled mongors like you and we nurture, parent, love, and help pets flourish.

      You said: Enjoy your dogs and cats, lizards, fish and whatever you have gone to purchase from that animals previous ‘parent’.

      I say: Thanks. That is the only nice thing you said.

      You said: The rest of us will continue to understand collectively the difference in love, satisfaction, and genuine commitment to have actual kids.

      I say: My heart beats dog, and love is love: Actual kids need more of it, and those actual kids include pets. You need a hug too, lady. And maybe a walk down death row in an animal shelter to see the faces of animals who await death for no crime they committed. It might inspire you. I will be right back: I have to go hug my furkid. Oh and buckle up for this one, as I am sure your blood pressure will escalate on this one: Furkid is now a term in the Oxford English Dictionary. ~~dancing in my chair~~

      You said: The rest of us will continue to understand collectively the difference in love, satisfaction, and genuine commitment to have actual kids. There is NOTHING comparable in the world

      I say: False.

      You said: Until you know it and are responsible for it please keep this kid of drivel to your selfish selves whether your blog is committed to such bs or not.

      I say: I work hard so my dog can have a better life.

      You said: I’m sure your parents feel very invalidated by working their asses off to give you all the opportunities they did.

      I say: My parents didn’t work their asses off. So false.

      You said: Remind me, how hard do you have to work to give Fido an opportunity at his future.

      I say: Since you asked, I founded Wigglebutt Warriors in an effort to help rescue and fundraise for animals that people like you consider substandard: You know, the throw aways of society.

      I work hard for all the Fidos of the world: The one who blesses my life at present, the one who came before, and the one who will come next.

      His future is dependent on me and my wife: Together we have raised a canine good citizen who knows how to behave around people, an act you have yet to achieve. My dog could teach you a thing or two about manners, being open minded, being nice with others, and treating folks with respect. And if you don’t like something, you walk away. Like, well, a good doggie would. Be a good doggie.

      You said: Enjoy deleting my comments. Censoring the conversation doesn’t win you the argument. I’m going to go let my beautiful boston terrier out. Bye..

      I say: I only censored your insult, as that is just mean.

      Thanks for weighing in. We welcome all comments here.

    4. Dear arealparent,
      I’m a what you call a real parent. I have a 24 year old son and a 21 year old daughter. I had another son, but God decided he needed him more. God also wanted my daughter, but I fought him. I fought and plead God for years to spare my daughter’s life and my baby girl and I spent the first 2 years of her life in hospitals, fighting every single viral and bacterial infection, a normal child could catch and recover easily. But my Natascha was not a normal child and had no immune system at all and caught everything and anything on this earth and although her little body fought the best it could, instead of cough syrup, vinegar wraps, tea and kisses normal kids have as a treatment plan, my child got morphine and steroids pumped through the IV into her little body every single time and every single time after that procedure, she had to go through withdrawal again. If she wasn’t crying, I was crying. Actually I think I was crying more than her.
      One day, she got so sick, she wouldn’t even cry anymore, she would just stare into nowhere, her body gave up. she was dying and we didn’t know why. We saw on ultrasounds that her heart was getting destroyed and we didn’t know what caused it. I wanted and would have sold my soul to the devil to keep my little girl alive. I would have and have done anything and everything imaginable and unthinkable. I forced, coerced, lied, begged, flirted, humiliated myself, screamed, cried, cursed at every single doctor and insurance to get needed tests done and necessary medication. I had left my abusive husband a while back after he started hitting my son, overwhelmed by the whole situation. I was 22 years old and took care of my kids on my own, I was alone, broke and determined to do whatever it takes and I’m not ashamed to admit that I even would have walked the streets and sold my body if I had to, I simply just gave a flying shit anymore. The hospital determined that not only my daughters heart was detoriating, but that she also had meningitis similar inflammation shown in her brainstem and in every single blood cell. Our government that I called every single day and night at a cellphone not existent yet time, finally flew in a specialist from another country. You see my daughter was the first case of Kawasaki Syndrome in Switzerland. 20 years ago, nobody knew anything about it, but they do now, because Tootchie was the Swiss Kawasaki Baby. Years of tests, therapy and stays in the hospital were following all of this. I also went back to school and had sometimes 2-3 jobs to the same time. I got licensed as a firefighter, tended bars, did the bookkeeping for a Hell’s Angel and drove hookers to their next “gig”. Odd jobs that I could do at night, so I could spend all my time with my kids. After school I worked in a high profile American Computer company at the office when the kids were in school and was allowed to work from home if the kids were home. Life got easier and the kids and I started travelling allover the world. I exposed them to different cultures, life styles and religions on purpose. Only with an open mind for everything and anything can life be lived to the fullest and only with an open heart, love is felt real and true. Why I’m telling you all this? Well probably just to show you that I do belong to the club of what you call real parents, I not only belong to the club, I’m the freaking president, treasurer and board all in one.

      Before my daughter was born, I had the perfect little family and life. You know, handsome husband, healthy, handsome little boy, I was young and pretty darn hot, happy in my little world, too busy to look outside of my little safety zone and ready to judge anything and everything I didn’t understand or agree with, belittle anything that was in my eyes not “normal”, consumed by fears I didn’t know I had. Yeah I have to say at about that time, I would have agreed with you. Because I also sang my child to sleep every night, walked him to playdates, scolded him if I had to, baked cookies and wiped his tears and his butt clean. All that and the fact that I squeezed a coconut size head out of my vagina, while screaming and begging for mercy or any kind of booze or drugs to drown myself in the most excruciating pain that was most likely never experienced by mankind before, because of all those things I did or didn’t do, I was a parent. Simple huh?
      Yes pretty simple in your world, in your mind, your heart, UNTIL you have the guts or maybe no other choice, but to open up to other experiences, explore the world and all its spices and levels and shadows, hills and rivers. That’s when you will realize what parenting truly is about.
      Parenting just simply explained, is to care, to care for somebody else, but you. To express and teach, love, advise, discipline, rules and passion to something or somebody that cant grow or rise on its own.
      Parenting is: you washing your Mama’s feet because she no longer can do it with her arthritis, Parenting is: when you help somebody cross the road, because they cant do it on their own, Parenting is: helping your friends kid understand common core,
      Parenting is: giving your kids assistance, care and love to grow up to strong, proud, loving Parenting is to lower the toilet seat to the thousand’s time after your husband left it up again and chew his ass out for doing it again
      Parenting is to pull your sons ears long for lying to the neighbor about painting his car with a marker
      Parenting is your daughter playing house and feeding her doll.
      Parenting in its very basic essentials is love: expressing love, showing love, receiving love, tough love, giving love and whatever verb you can put in front of love. To whom or what you are a parent of, shouldn’t matter, not to anyone, because love can not be measured. Human baby, furry baby, scaly baby, feathery baby, plastic baby, all grown up baby. Love is love. How am I to judge anyone’s love? There are no standards, no feeling is identical, EVER. You can have multiple kids and you love them all, but you love them all different, not more, not less, but not identical. How can you judge how somebody else feels love? How can you judge somebody by loving somebody or something, just based on how much love you have invested? Will you tell your daughter that she is not the Mommy of the doll she is dragging around and loves more than anything, just because you have no feelings towards the doll?
      My husband, which I married and actually immigrated to the USA for 11 years ago, he loves football. Heck he lives and breathes for football. Football is essential to him, while I’m praying for an isolated power outage every weekend. He is a football fan, he loves it. I’m the USAantichristlookalike because I don’t. I can’t frigging stand football. I don’t know how any one can like football. That all said, doesn’t change the fact that he IS a fan even if I don’t share the same love and passion towards a leather egg.
      Same thing with dogs. YOU might not understand why and how somebody can love a dog so much to even put the animal on the same level like a child and that’s ok. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are parents, taking care and loving tending doggie parents. You think that’s crazy? Girl, I married my husband because he had a dog that slept in his bed. I moved to another continent, different country with 2 preteens and a dog in the baggage, to marry a guy that I knew not a whole lot about, but that he had a sheltie sleeping in his bed and he called himself Daddy.
      I hope for you and your kids sake, that you will be able to look at different angles for everything and give yourself the chance to grow, can accept other ways of thinking and maybe even allow yourself to change.

      1. Bless you and thank you for opening your heart and your experiences, Severine. I am so touched. What a beautiful human being you are.

    5. What about people who can’t have or adopt children? Who have spent years longing to have a child? When my husband got me a puppy, it made the whole in my heart much less empty. Obviously human children are more complex, more important. But my dog is my baby. Call him surrogate, pretend, whatever, but he keeps me from being consumed by my desire for children. My love for him is incredibly strong. It’s only a fraction of what a parent feels for a human child, but it is the same type bond. Since I’ve never had, and never will, a child, my love for my dog is the closest I will get. I am able to feel at peace and satisfied with my Bowie. Is it so wrong for me to call him my baby?

  28. Zero population growth. Look it up. Why we gotta be rabbits? I’m going to chill like a turtle and give the earth a bit of time to rebound.

  29. When our furkid boys (Buster & Ziggy) were alive they always got Christmas gifts from our human kids. This will be our first Christmas in a long time without a furry cocker kid. We got them birthday gifts and cards. Now our cat kid, Jack will have to put up with us at Christmas and birthdays.

    They have feelings, they love, they laugh, they grieve. They have souls. To me this means they are my furkids.

    1. Beautifully said, and thanks for sharing that June. You are a wonderful mom: to the furkids and the human variety. I love that you said they have souls: Indeed they do.

  30. It’s crazy that people think we need to be informed that dogs are not real kids, and that raising and living with them is different. Like… duh. We know.

    I try to remember that my dog is not a baby, but a full-grown dog. A dog-woman. I try to see her as the intelligent, cheeky, affectionate woman she is. And when this tiny naked woman feels safe curling up to sleep next to me, stares up at me waiting for her next lesson or game, well, I can’t help but feel like this dog-woman’s mama. Yes, I call my dog a woman AND my child. It’s weird!

    I don’t know much about real parenting, but I think having love and tolerance for whatever “weird” ways other people love their pets is more important than being perfectly accurate. Showing love and compassion for other beings, furry and not, that’s what kids need to see. Not their parents criticizing anyone who dare devalue the honor of being a “real” parent by calling their dog their kid.

  31. I am always amazed at people who tell us “you will never know real love” or you can’t possibly know the work and commitment “real parents” have for their children. I am amazed because that person is actually judging us but also assumes we all have the same feelings, expectations or lack there of according to their personal experience. I can’t possibly know how deep she can love her children in the same respect she can’t possibly know how deep I can love my babies. I can tell you right now with 6 dogs (3 deaf, 1 blind and 2 seniors), taking care of all of them is a full time job. Not only making sure they are happy, healthy, and loved but also giving them medications several times a day. Add all that on top of trying to be an advocate for thousands of dogs in the U. S. and my job doesn’t ever stop not even for a minute. How can a stranger have any idea of my commitments, feelings, work ethic, and joy that I feel towards animals? She can’t. Simple, she can’t and I won’t try to assume her feelings, commitments and work ethic because God made us all different. Love is love and to judge how deep another person loves is just so wrong. You almost have to feel sorry for someone who would take so much time and is obviously enraged that people are not just like her but are different. Thank God we are all so different.

  32. I have human children, dogs and cats. I just think of them all as family. And I am a parent to each one, fulfilling their needs and loving them for the individuals they are — no matter the species. I would never use the word “owner” to describe my relationship with any of them. As for how other people refer to their pets, that’s their choice, their way of expressing their love and their relationships. Who am I to judge that?
    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

  33. All I can think is how shallow and unfortunate some people are. Animals are one of the greatest gifts. I guess some can’t understand. To hold a 3 day old puppy, watch his eyes open and have circumstances evolve that six weeks later that puppy becomes yours. The bond of being part of that dog’s life is phenomenal. To give birth to a human child months later and watch them become brothers, yes brothers, and grow together. They were my boys together. Yes, I was both their moms. I am a dog mom. And I am proud of it.

  34. I am a pet parent and I am cool with the use of rhetoric that pets are people’s babies or that they’re being parented. Now that I’m pregnant with a human baby I find some of the comparisons hard to swallow though. I feel as if it’s inappropriate to bring up adopting a dog like it’s similar to growing a human baby because that feels to me like belittling the experience of creating a person. I also feel that comparisons with things like house training and potty training or comforting a crying baby who keeps you up all night with a whining puppy etc are just unfair comparisons. It just seems disrespectful and dismissive of the struggle of parenting human children. If the goal is to relate I can understand and hope we find common ground. Too often though I feel that the goal with these comparisons is to write off the human parenting experience and offer little or no support for those parenting human children.

    1. I have to disagree with you, respectfully, of course, Noel. The feelings one gets when raising a being: Whether that being is human or pet, the care and love is there. And at its core, that is what raising someone is all about: love and care. Struggle is struggle: You have yours, I have mine. To watch a veterinarian expel the life from my dog because she was beyond help changed me forever, Noel. The pain is real. The anguish is real. The love lives forever. And love is what it is all about. You don’t have to agree but I will not be told it seems “disrespectful and dismissive” because my love is real. I am not anti-child.

      This is not a blog about human parenting, so I cannot help you in that department but I know I am a very loving, caring, real life mom who so happens to parent canines instead of humans.

      The love is real.

      With a name like Noel, which is my middle name too, Merry Christmas.

  35. First off let me say i love your post and it hit me in a big way emotionally i went through a horrible experience that very near physically killed me and broke my family up and then i lost both of my grand parents i was deeply depressed. My mother and I decided we needed some happiness in n our lives to start fresh and she knew my love of animals when I was a child and she herself grew up with a home full of them… So we went to the local shelter, bear in mind were’nt sure if we were adopting yet but they’re was a recent influx of puppies from a larger aspca faclility and we very excited to see them! ❤ The place was busy because of all of the new puppies most were oohing and aahing over the huskies and shepherds and such so we went further into the shelter and there was this tiny black fluffy ball in the top box in the back alone on a grate i called for an employee and asked to hold the pup in the holding areas she allowed me but said try not to get attached hes a runt and needs a lot of medical care and had me sign waivers of potentially spreading kennel cough and such i signed them all as fast as possible!! I wanted to see the face of that fluff ball turned towards me. The moment he was in my arms and he looked in my eyes he was mine i felt a primal need to take him and protect him and when he nuzzled against my neck and held of for dear life that they would take him from me my heart exploded! I wasnt leaving without him i was determined. They had no idea of his age or his breed they were going to sell him at a fair for 5$ they said i can wait and pay for him at a discount in about a week… F*ck that! I paid nearly 400$ in mysterious fees that they magically kept stopping me with the nickle and diming i think it was my attitude (i was apalled at how he had been treated) and refusal to let him go he stayed safely nuzzled against my neck in my hair ❤. …… It was the best decision to date ive ever made. I took him to the vet got him treated and gave him meds and hand fed him for months over that time i realised my heart was lighter i was healing mentally and the love me and my mom have for this baby of mine is beyond anything i can explain hes healthy now!! He just had his 2nd birthday he grew so much hes definitely got cairn terrier in him hes like toto but much bigger and hes my baby idc what anyone says hes not my pet hes my heart and my mom even says come see granma hes the sweetest most loving and gentle soul hes perfect…. And hes mine! ❤ i know its going to hurt one day when i lose him but until then im going to spoil him and love him and let him sleep in my arms every night (cuz he cant sleep without touching his mum )and do anything and everything i can to make his life extraordinary in any way for him because when i was saving his life he was saving mine……

    1. What a beautiful thing to say, Mum who won’t forget. Your dog is a baby and I know that you are giving him so much love!

  36. I’m glad these animals have such compassionate owners, who really care and love them, I too own a pet and love her and care for her. I have 3 children that are grown and a grandfather to two grandchildren. Pets are companions and show pleasure to have us around. The main reason people get upset is that some owners say their pets are their children, they are simply not. You can rationalize all you want it will not change that fact. They are pets. If they were Human, of course you could not own them, you are the owner of the pet by law another definition. Yes some people are ugly about your belief pets can be your “Children” but some are like me, just think you feel such a strong bond and have such a strong need to believe these animals can take the place of human children. I believe you can have a strong bond with a pet, but they can never take the place of the type of bond a parent has with a human child, its impossible to understand unless you have experienced this bond with a human child, I know I have 3. Peace

    1. I respectfully disagree, Sir. I respect that you feel you cannot have the bond and I, too, have had children in my life. I am a dog mom to the core. The bond of love is not species specific.

  37. Hm. Is it me or are some human baby parents a wee self righteous? Passing a child through your vagina doesn’t a parent make. Alley cats can do that. Raising and loving and caring for another living human being is the definition of parenting. Different. Not less. I suspect some of the judgement is more about choosing to not have children ….

  38. Some people aren’t blessed with having a baby no matter how hard we try so we seek comfort in family elsewhere. Dogs are very much a part of our family, loyal friends who have mysterious healing powers, and great reflection of our parenting skills. But honestly, who gives a flip about what people think when and how we refer to our dogs. I thank god I’m the one taking care of them and values their presence, because I’ll be damned if I let some cat loving sociopath be their caretaker.

    I’m up for the challenge of raising a newborn child one day, but my furkids are a helluva family member to this house. P.S. Those gremlins people call kids running amok around Walmart without parent supervision are not children, they are welfare tickets.

  39. Hahaha nice post. I have 3 dogs, and while I don’t call them my “kids”, I am very aware of how dependent they are on me. I don’t think dogs are the same as children though, for many reasons. The bond you have with a dog is very different from the bond you have with your child. A dog is, really and truly, your best friend, your companion, your shadow, and will be with you – hopefully – his or her entire life.
    A kid on the other hand – well…my kids are not my friends – I don’t want them to be, and I want to raise them to be good, self-sufficient adults. People who put their dog in a stroller and tote them around like babies – I honestly have never understood that – but to each his own. The reality is – irrespective of their size, dogs are very much pack animals, and need a leader + care taker, not a parent. Kids need a parent, not a leader in that sense.
    I’m not my kids’ buddy, but I am my dog’s best friend. I don’t really want it to be any other way. I love my dogs in a way I could never, ever love my kids, and vice versa. It’s not the same, but that does not mean one is lesser than the other, in any which way.

  40. I could never love a squalling brat as much as I love my two fur babies. I hate children. A deep, visceral hate. I feel nothing but love for babies of the four legged variety. If I had to choose between saving someone’s kid or their dog from a burning building, I’d go back for the dog. No questions asked. No guilt. No second guessing. Animals will always Trump human brats.

  41. Oh my. Where to start? NO, you are not a “pet parent”. You are a pet OWNER. If you have cats, then you are really only a pet guardian, since cats will never be owned by anyone. Dogs are NOT children, they are dogs and they will always be dogs no matter if you dress them, put them in strollers or give them your last name and a middle name. If you lose sight of this at any time, please seek help.

    The type of person (usually a woman( who refers to their female dogs as their “daughter” or claim that their dog prefers to watch certain TV shows or is “married” to another companion dog in the home is projecting, and is most likely somebody who had a dysfunctional childhood. I love dogs, but they are dogs and they will never be children. Also, this is always a dog thing because cat guardians do not do these things. Cats remind us that we are only companions, and although our pets do genuinely love us, they are pets and not relatives or children. The parents of your dogs are other dogs. You cannot be a pet parent.

    Don’t hate truth and logic, just accept it.

    1. Thank you, some people will never understand. We actually lost a child, so when someone says my son died. Then tells me it was a animal, I get so angry. I keep my calm and smile. All I can think is please stop comparing something you bought or found to something I carried in my body for nine months. Something that I can’t go out and buy or replace. I love my dog and I call him my baby, when he passes. I will say my dog died, because I know the pain of losing a child and it does not compare.

  42. I hate the term owner… It feels cold and heartless… It makes it sound like I don’t love my furbabies. Cats to me ARE children. Who is anyone to tell me that I’m not a daddy just because cats are not humans? If cats were humans I don’t think I would be able to love them…

  43. Wow, I’m very sorry if I’m about to offend someone. I love my dog, take care of him like he is a child. On the other hand, my son died. So yes I find it completely offensive when people say there son or daughter died and it’s a animal. I love my dog more then I can say and will be very sad when he passes. People need to watch what they say, I would never wish our pain on someone. The loss of a pet does not compare, I’ve been through both. So please in the future, coming from a person that loves her fur baby. When your pet passes, use the right term. Think what you want in your head, watch how you word what your saying. You don’t and will not understand unless it has happened to you. Like I said, I would never wish the pain of losing a child on anyone.

    1. A, We are very sorry for your loss. What I learned through grief counseling, and I did need to see a grief counselor, is that pain is pain. Loss is loss. Everyone grieves differently and we all face it at some point in our lives. The loss of anyone who is close to our hearts and lives deep within our souls is devastating. For me, and millions of others, that someone is a pet, a beloved animal, and we are pet parents. I have friends who have lost a child in their lives and they have also had a pet pass away. We each walk our own path in life and we each deal with our pain and sorrows in our own way.

      I recall the story of a man who was hospitalized for breaking his leg: He needed surgery and a few days in the hospital. His roommate in the hospital also had a leg problem, but it was bone cancer. The man with the broken leg suddenly felt like his pain was not worthy of being recognized, and like he should not complain. He reflected for a few days and came to the conclusion that pain is pain: We each must deal with the hand we are dealt in our own unique way.

      For me, the loss of a dog is like losing a child: He is like a child to me. I know he is not human. I have lost a pet. The grieving process took me years, and I still have pain. I will carry it with me.

      We are all in this life together and we all share losses together. I would never wish the pain of losing someone who is a child nor like a child on anyone. Our hearts are with you. Please know we care.

      1. well that is the most one sided reply I ever heard. When a child dies you can’t go out and buy the same breed. You don’t dig a hole for a child in the backyard or just drop them off for cremation. Yes we get our animals cremated and give them a small shrine in the house. Like I said I love my dog with all my heart. I will cry and probably never get over the fact he passed. I also know when I’m over my sadness I have the option to replace my loving pet with another. I would not have to wait nine months or watch what I do and eat. I never disagreed with anyone, yet you could not wait to disagree with me. You are a special kind of person to say sorry for your loss and then compair a animal to a human baby. Once again I understand the loss of a pet and child. All I was trying to say was watch how you say things, that you never know what the person next you is going threw. Wow, I liked reading this stuff. Now I’m just going to stop, the one sidedness is crazy here. Please don’t take to the time to reply, I will not read it. While I agree losing a pet is one of the hardest things a person can face, losing a child is 100% worse and you should show some respect. All I’ve read is a bunch of people looking for respect in a choice. While bashing others that deserve the same respect for their opinion, just because they don’t agree. Have a nice day.

        1. Actually you are not being bashed. You are welcomed here with kindness and respect. We are giving that to you. Loss is loss: And pain is pain. Human or animal: We all have the right to grieve in our own way. No one loss is greater than the other. I love the quote, “We should not judge how much we loved by how much we grieve” and that applies to humans and pets. Take care.

  44. I adore my son!!! His name is Tiger, but we call him Tiggy. Yup he’s spoiled, he’s busted out of 15 harnesses, and I don’t CARE I will buy him whatever he needs to keep him safe and happy. I have a pond behind our HOME and yup we learned the hardway..he can swim. He goes everywhere with us..he demands to go in rides every evening in my CAR, he loves going to the dog park every other day. He has his Elmo sleeping bad that he loves, and his cars blanket. He is adored by his Dada and 2 brothers and 2 grandsons. So yeah Tiggy is a member of my family!!! I have 2 adult son’s, and my little Tiggy. And I give ZERO FUCKS about ANYONE who has a negative comment. I adore my little boy TIGGY!!!!???????

  45. I love my dogs. My life has always been filled with them. I’ve had to bury four of them in my adult life and two from childhood; I currently have three dogs in my household, with the eldest one 10 years old. I always know how much it hurts to say goodbye to them, but they are such joyful gifts while alive, so I know the best cure for losing one is to get another one.

    My kids are growing up alongside our dogs. I would never rob them of the joy of loving animals. I think people who feel uncomfortable around animals are missing an important component of their humanity. And before I had kids, I thought I could never love them more than my dogs. Boy was I wrong.

    Kids are nothing like dogs. Both are wonderful, but if I had to choose between saving my kids or my dogs from a burning building, it’s not even a contest. Heck, if I had to choose between saving a complete stranger vs my dogs, it’s still not a choice. I might resent the stranger who made me sacrifice my dogs so I could save him, but I could not live with myself if I let a human being die so I could save my dogs instead.

    Dogs offer happiness and affection, every day. They don’t have hormonal outbursts, they will never pull away from you to establish their independence, they only break your heart if they are sick/hurt, or when they die. That’s because they’re dogs. People are far more complex. And children aren’t just a joy in the moment, they are our ties to the future. I am always thinking toward the future, striving to equip my kids to enter adulthood ready to take on adult responsibilities: to fall in love with a worthy, loving person that they can build a life with; to pursue purposeful work; to help others; and yes, to have and raise families of their own.

    Dogs are sweet, hilarious, comforting, and cuddly…but that’s a love that’s all about what they do for you. Children are sweet, hilarious, comforting, and cuddly, too, but it’s a love that is so much more. It is a willingness to be vulnerable, to be responsible, to put others’ well-being ahead of your own…not because you’re a martyr or a masochist or a control freak, but because the love is so much more immense and nuanced.

    So yeah, you can call your dog a fur baby, or your child, or whatever else you want. I won’t scold you, but I will pity you, because to confuse dog love with child love is pitiable. If not having a love of animals diminishes our humanity, how much more so are you diminished by not knowing the richness and profundity of loving children?

    1. We each love as we do, Dog Loving Mama. I can respect whom you would choose in a burning building, and that’s the beauty of love and choice: We each have the freedom to choose how we love, whom we love, and why. For me, it’s not even close. I pity you, too, as you define love so narrowly. Open your heart and open your humanity to a species outside of humans. Share that love, embrace that love, put forth that love by choice into the universe that is dog.

      An amazing thing happens when you do, Dog Loving Mama: You are forever changed. I am not anti kids, but I am pro dog. I do not want kids: I don’t want their presence in my life but I don’t diminish them for being in yours.

      It’s a bit of an oxymoron for you to call yourself Dog Loving Mama, no real name, and in reality you are sort of-kind of-and conditional with your love to dogs. Ironically, that’s the opposite of dogs who love you unconditionally. Tsk tsk. Your love changes according to who enters your life. When a child entered your love for the dog changed. I feel so bad for you and actually for the dogs who don’t get that full love they so freely give you.

  46. I’ve got a fact for you. If my child was starving I would feed your pet to her. Would feed my child to your pet in the reverse?

  47. It seems that people who can only identify with human children are a bit narcissistic, in that they actually need to see their genes looking back at them, for them to feel love. But, if it looks like them then it’s kind of more like self-love Isn’t it?

  48. Child, Children, baby, are all pronouns reserved for human offspring that were birthed by a human. A dog cannot be a child. If you treat a dog like a child, you are in fact bringing the creature one step closer to depression and stress. Dogs do not develop like children. They are not supposed to wear clothes, sit in strollers, and eat at the table….letting them do this could be a sign of mental illness. I do understand though why people would do this as I’d compare this to a comfort blankie for children.

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