Happy Mother’s Day! Love, Fido

Mother’s Day is not the easiest of holidays for me. I have no human children and have never been called “mom.” No one has ever said to me, “Happy Mother’s Day mom, I love you!”But, can we be mothers to species other than humans?

I am the single provider for two dogs, Sanchez and Gina. But, I usually think of them as my companion animals, not my children, even though others may see me as a crazy pet parent, with my children being of the furry sort.

My 85-year-old mother is 3,000 miles away. I am very grateful that she is in good health.  And, even though my dogs are not my children, I am very happy to be spending Mother’s Day with them. Whether I take them for a hike, drive them to the beach, or they sit by my side at an outdoor cafe, they are still my full responsibility.

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I pride myself with being a very conscientious care-taker for them, providing a very healthy diet, plenty of exercise, daily reward-based dog training, environmental enrichment, a stress-free home environment, participation in dog sports, playtime, and an infinite amount of love. They won’t ever graduate from high school, leave for college and produce offspring. But, when I adopted them, I promised them a forever home. They get room and board with medical and dental for life. I am their provider, care-taker, training partner, agility partner, canine freestyle partner, and human snuggler, even if I am not their mom.

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A study in New Scientist reported that pet dogs rival humans for emotional satisfaction. After playing with their pets, dog owners experienced a burst in a hormone linked to infant care. I honestly have had more experience playing with puppies than taking care of infants, so I can’t compare. But, I do know that my engagement and relationship with my dogs is extremely emotionally satisfying and bonding. It’s not surprising to me that Dr. Rollin McCarty, Director of Research at the Institute of HeartMath, conducted an experiment and found that heart-rhythm entrainment, or synchronization, occurs between people and their dogs.

There are 75.1 million children in the United States. Stats.gov projects that number will increase to over 100 million by the year 2050.  At the end of 2009, The Humane Society reported there were 77.5 million owned dogs in the U.S. and 93.6 million cats. The pet over-population problem is out of control.

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So, this Mother’s Day, I’m going to enjoy being a mom, if only for a day. I’m not going to feel guilty raising good canine citizens instead of good children. I’m going to be proud of my choice to not add to the human over-population and remind myself that I am helping the pet over-population.

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15 Responses to Happy Mother’s Day! Love, Fido

  1. Thanks for your informative and caring Mother’s Day blog. I have two grown-up human children and three Shih Tzu canine children. Yes, I consider myself a pet mom, and the three little dogs are our children.

    I have heard that’s not a good idea, but these three dogs are happy, healthy and well-loved, so it works out to the same thing.

    I also write a weekly column on them for esterhazyoneline.com.

    I am fascinated with your music for dogs and even for the various types of dogs (senior, puppy, etc.). I even dedicated one of my columns to your work a while back. Go to this link if you are interested in that post. http://esterhazyonline.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/puppy-dog-tales-9/

    I am glad you have your blog to educate people and your music to calm dogs. Thank you.

    • Lisa Spector says:

      Thanks for the beautiful comment and your previous post on my music. Love connecting with other sound aware dog lovers here… Lisa

  2. I HAVE CAT says:

    Love it! Well done!

    • Lisa Spector says:

      Thanks Tamar! Love your blog posts.

      We are really going cross species soon with the release of our first Through a Cat’s Ear album in June!

      Happy Mom’s Day!

  3. Lisa Spector says:

    I forgot to mention guilt in my blog post, not my dog’s, mine. After taking Sanchez and Gina out for a long walk this morning, I’m actually off sailing this afternoon without them. Trying to remember that we had the entire day together, including three big walks. And I left them with a meat bone, Through a Dog’s Ear music playing, and a dog sitter coming in to walk them later this afternoon.

  4. Carol Bryant says:

    Very well said. From one dog mom to another, hope you have a paw-tastic Mothers Day!

  5. Elena says:

    Hi! dearest, I left this message on facebook but as a comment and fear you might not see it and while I am not good with words, I want you to read this on Mother’s Day. I am not a Mother of Humans neither, and I can not say it was a choice but rather a lack of chance of a choice. But I feel strongly about our role as mothers with animals as well and consider you in my heart a true Mom. I copy and past what I wrote for you, with you (and me and so many other women) in mind on facebook (I am Le Ni on facebook): Coongrats to you as a Mom, because you are. I do not have human kids, just because life happened in a way so that I did not get the chance, and a day like this feels weird… a bit sad even. Yet, I want to remind myself and want to remind all here who care for animals that when you truly love and truly care for animals, and they are “family”, a woman is also a Mom. their Mom. I am not comparing being a Mom to human chidlren to being a Mom to four-legged or two-legged or three-legged animal “kids”… I do not even think it is comparable. Nor that one sould compare any type of love to any other type. But I do want to say loud and clear that Mother’s Day is also the Day of all of us who love inconditionally our children, whatever species they belong to. Staying awake when sick, running everywhere when an accident happens, buying or making everything to ensure their wellbeing, making choices for their good, feeling responsible for them, crying when they are not ok, fearing for them when an accident or disease seems to have hit them or might hit them, caring for those of others’and helping other creatures’, having them in mind all the time, postponing many of our wishes and plans in order to not leave them alone or thinking of something they need… all that is being a Mom. A true Mom, the true heart of a Mom. The type of love it implies is the same, the object of the love does not change the nature of it. And this is what we celebrate today. So a Happy Day to all of us who care and have a motherly love for those creatures, whatever species, we care for. Happy Day to all women out there who care in their hearts and actions for other beings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lisa Spector says:

      Thank you Elena for your comment here and on Facebook. It was a very soulful, nurturing day and I’m feeling very grateful. I hope your Mother’s Day was equally wonderful. Thanks again.

  6. Gaye Macy says:

    Well said. Thank you!

  7. brenda says:

    YOu are so much a mom to your furever children who love you and depend on you, I for one want to wish you a very special MOTHER’S DAY and may it bring you much happiness and enjoyment with your 4 legged children who adore you…LITERALLY!! May the day bring sunbeams to warm your soul, the night to bring you moonbeams with wonderful dreams and may there always be angels in your life :D….. HUGS

    • Lisa Spector says:

      Thanks so much for your beautiful words Brenda. It was a very nurturing day. I hope yours was as well. Thanks again!

  8. Carol says:

    Happy Mother’s Day!! I have no human children either, and a rescued Shiba Inu named Foxy shares our retired lives with us – a wonderful, smart companion whom we love dearly! When on occasion he becomes disturbed by loud noises, he will retreat to our bedroom where we play your dog relaxation CDs, and he sleeps on the bed listening to them. They work!!

    Blessingss to you and your pups!

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