On February 1, I became a mom.
I didn’t have to go through hours of grueling labor to gain this type of motherhood, but as I’m learning, my 5-month-old German Shepard mix, Ares, is a lot more like a child than I ever thought.
When my boyfriend and I adopted Ares, we had been pondering this step for a while. It was love at first sight with this puppy, and we instantly knew that he was the one to join our little family. I knew things would change, but not like I expected. I have become the mother of a four-legged newborn.
My purse transformed into a doggie diaper bag
Prior to dog mommy-hood, I could find the tube of lipstick I keep in my purse with no problem. Now, I have to push through a bag of dog treats, a Kong, tennis ball, leash, portable water bowl and doggie bags just to find what I’m looking for. Anywhere we go with Ares, I need to be prepared. This means bringing everything he may want or need with me. You can never be too prepared, right?
Keeping him quiet in public is priority numero uno
In Austin, I’m fortunate enough to be able to bring my big baby along with me to a handful of coffee shops, restaurants and stores. Finding dog-friendly places isn’t the problem—it’s keeping him quiet and occupied when we get there. No one likes to choke on their mimosa in surprise at a bark or yelp from the puppy at the next table over. So what works? A Kong loaded with peanut butter will shut him up for a good three minutes. If the waiter is moving at a glacial pace, my job becomes much harder. It’s then that I resort to trying to trick him into thinking ice cubes are actually a treat. So far, this has worked like a charm. Let’s pray he doesn’t catch on.
I turn down nights on the town to stay at home
Partying downtown until 1 a.m.? No thanks, I have to take care of the baby. Let’s be honest, I
rarely never want to go downtown until 1 a.m. But turning down such offers just became a whole lot easier. You can’t leave a puppy home alone, nor should you want to. How can you pass up all that cuteness during a night in?
They cry at night
Oh boy, do they cry. Well, maybe whimper/howl would be a better description. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s going to keep you up, and maybe your neighbors too. Thankfully, Ares never had too much of a problem with this. It only took a couple of nights for him to be able to quiet down and sleep a full 6 (ish) hours. But for those first few nights, the struggle was real. Is he OK? Does he need to go to the bathroom? Should we let him out of the kennel or teach him to self soothe? In case you’re wondering, he never had to go to the bathroom. He just wanted in the bed.
“He’s so cute! How old is he?”
When we are walking down the street and someone walks up to me, nine times out of 10 this phrase comes out of their mouth. They’re always going to say he’s adorable—because let’s be honest, it’s true.
My vocal range goes from baby talk to more baby talk
Sometimes, I have to remind myself that I’m not talking to my dog anymore, so calling someone “honey” in an overly animated voice isn’t appropriate.
“Wanna see a picture of my dog?”
I have become the person I hate. We all know the type. Their Instagram/Facebook/Twitter is full of dog pictures and literally nothing else. Now, I understand these people. I have joined the ranks and I’m not ashamed. Why? Because my big baby is a cutie pie and I like to show him off. Just look at this face… Can you blame me?
I’m a proud momma
You would think going to the bathroom outside is the equivalent to winning the Olympic gold. To any neighbors I’ve woken up at 6 a.m. with the phrase, “What a good boy! That’s a good potty,” I sincerely apologize. I’m sure it’s annoying, but it’s called positive reinforcement. If I don’t obnoxiously praise him, all of the potty training will go down the toilet (no pun intended).
I care more about him than almost anybody
baby-daddy doggie-daddy I care about Ares’ well-being more than anything else. Is he going to be OK while we’re at work? Did he drink enough water? Is he getting enough exercise? Is he too cold? Too hot? Call me an overbearing doggie mom, but all of these things worry me.
It was love at first sight
First time moms always talk about the unbelievable amount of love they feel for their newborn. I’m experiencing the same kind of thing, except he is a little bigger and has more hair. But for real, I never knew you could love a little non-human as much as I love my big baby. Does this mean I’m a weird dog lady now? I’ll take it.
And there you have it. My dog child is the light of my life, even when he’s a pain in the a**. Let’s just say, my baby fever is cured after getting this little guy… At least for now.