Mother’s Day is not the easiest of holidays for me. I am childless by choice and have never been called “mom.” No human has ever said, “Happy Mother’s Day mom, I love you!”
But can we be mothers to children that we didn’t give birth to or adopt, and 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 81-year-old mother is 3,000 miles away, and I am very grateful to have just spent some time visiting her. And, even though my dogs are not my children, I’ll be very grateful to spend Mother’s Day with them. Whether I take them to the beach, or they sit by my side at an outdoor cafe, they are still my full responsibility.
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, participation in dog sports, playtime, and an infinite amount of love. They won’t ever graduate from high school, leave for college and provide 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.