Before anyone comes at me with "You don't understand the true intricacies and hardships of being a mother"—you are absolutely correct, I do not. As I said I'm a dog mom, aka someone who has raised a puppy who now considers me to be his sole caregiver and guardian.
So to all you real mothers out there, you're doing great and having a dog child has made me realize oh-so-much more how difficult it must be to raise a human child.
That said, my journey as the mother of a six-month-old pup has been anything but glamorous and more strenuous than anticipated. Yet in the end, it's been an invaluable experience that I wouldn't trade for anything and I've learned a lot along the way. Here are 7 things I've learned about being a dog mom:
1. The embarrassment of your pup-kid misbehaving or being rude is all too realGiphy
He is a reflection of my parenting and thus my character. When he borks a little too loud and pees on the floor, you can't help but take it as a personal blow. I apologize for his misbehavior.
2. When someone doesn’t like your dog-child you don’t like themGiphy
1. Who doesn't like dogs and 2. How dare you dislike my angel child? Please check your attitude at the door!
3. You will protect this tiny creature with your allGiphy
I will throw myself in front of a bus to save this tiny angel that I adore. I don't even want to consider how much I'll love my actual human children, I'm not ready for that kind of love.
4. There is no shame in getting separation anxiety from your canine-sonGiphy
Going to the grocery store? Called a pup-sitter to watch him for the night? You can practically see his little face looking through the window, awaiting your arrival. The guilt is real and all you'll want is to return home to this precious nugget and ease him of this feeling of abandonment.
5. Your camera roll will most likely consist of 1. Portrait mode pics of your pup 2. Selfies of the two of you and 3. Videos of your fluff-kid being unbearably adorableGiphy
How can I be expected not to take millions of pictures of the light of life? The mere sight of his tiny face is enough to brighten my whole day. Of course, my camera roll is 99.99% pics of my dog.
6. You can handle this little ball of love’s disgusting accidents and the likeGiphy
Prior to having a dog, I couldn't handle anything less than sanitary without a close-call of vom. I will wipe the boogers out of his tiny eyes and shave his nether-regions when the hair gets a little out of control—a mother's love knows no bounds.
7. There will be sacrifices made from time to time—but it’s worth it.Giphy
One thing I didn't expect from having a dog is that from time to time you have to put him above yourself. This petite cherub relies solely on you for his survival, so you can't be gone for too long. He needs walks, pets, food, affection, and everything in between.
To be frank, I was worried when I picked my puppy up from the airport. Knowing that his life was now reliant on me, an absurdly busy college student, was daunting. Raising a puppy is no small feat (Mom, I appreciate you all the more for raising our six dogs), but it's so worth it in the end.