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“If you can’t have a child, have a dog. If you can, have both of them.”
William Lewis Judy, 1949 (Founder of National Dog Week)
Today, we celebrate the day devoted to mothers. If you are not fortunate to have a mother, or mother-in-law in your life, and if they were advocates for animals, consider making a donation in their name to support a favorite animal cause. Consider donating to groups that help to pay for the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs. There are so many animals that are brought to shelters that are about to, or have just given birth. Although they may make good moms, they probably will never have the chance to be, and they, and their litters, face an uncertain fate.
The following is a post from Mother’s Day 2011.
Dog breeders, and dog trainers like to remind us all that dogs are not our children. But most of you who 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, women, 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 usually 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!
Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate the mothers of the nation. And there go those show off dogs again, during National Dog Week, they get a full seven days of honor during the last full week of September (see what I mean). But, 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 and still is always filled with great food, lots of laughs, and pets a-plenty. At any given time of my youth, there was either a turtle, snake, dog 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 95 in July, and still drives a sports car with a spoiler and goes to Atlantic City! 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, now a fine artist and mom to four beautiful and creative 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 kids 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.”
Remember, when your kids go off to college, or to live some place far off, you can comfort yourself with the dogs they may leave behind, 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.”
Please see the last post for details on the Covers for Critters Project. Also, please check out Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love on Facebook!
Happy Mother’s Day!