Dog breeders, and dog trainers like to remind us all that dogs are not our children.  But most of you have dogs, and cats, probably think of your pets as part of the family.  Pets, especially our dogs, are in many ways, perpetual four-year olds, constantly in need of our services in order to survive, and in their advanced age, need us even more. 

 And in many ways, our pets may be easier to love, from what I hear. It happens all the time, wherever I go, people seem to be talking about…. their dogs.  At bars, restaurants, and teacher’s rooms, woman, and some men, often talk more about the dogs of their families than about their kids!  It isn’t that they don’t love their kids, but talk of them sometimes brings up stressful topics about difficulties involving them, something that talking about dogs does not. Along with the talk, comes pictures in wallets, and on cell phones. One women I spoke with recently, had more photos of her dog than of her children!

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate the mother’s of the nation.  And there go those show off dogs again, during National Dog Week, they get a full seven days of honor in September (see what I mean).  But tomorrow, I would like to give humans their due, and write about some special mothers that I know.  My own mother for instance, someone with great style, and sense of humor; her house was always filled with great food, lots of laughs, and pets a-plenty.  At any given time, there was either a turtle, snake, or gerbil, on the loose, and a cat happy to help look for them.  She always encouraged all of us to pursue our dreams and thought it was great that I left a good job in New York to become an artist. 

Then there is my mother-in-law, Charlotte.  She will turn 94 in July, and still drives a sports car with a spoiler and goes to AC!  Charlotte always had a dog and loves to reminisce about each one.  My sister, Manette, documentary film maker, and mother to handsome Zac, who she raised as a single mom, my sister-in-law, Gigi, FIT Grad, and fashion designer turned stay-at-home painting mom to four beautiful and kooky kids.

And I extend my Mother’s Day greetings to all my friends and their terrific kids who call me aunt, and my friends whose children are more of the K-9 or Feline kind! 

In 1949, Will Judy, founder of National Dog Week, commented on the  stigma his society placed on childless women who mothered their dogs when he wrote in their defense, “…some of the women cannot have children;…some of these women do not have husbands.”  He went on to write, “If you can’t have a child, have a dog. If you can, have both of them.” I like his style!

Remember, when your kids go off to college, or to live some place far off, you can comfort yourself with your dogs,  knowing that in some magical way, time seems to stand still for our canines, and that they will love, need, and appreciate you, “fur-ever.”

Happy Mother’s Day!