10 reasons being a dog's mom is better than being a kid's mom

Some of us choose to be dog moms, some of us choose to be kid moms, and some of us (like me) choose both. Have you ever considered the similarities and differences or stopped to consider what you got yourself into?

A few days ago, I had lunch with my friend, Amanda, of Dog Mom Days. It was the first time we'd met in person after following each other's blogs and then realizing we lived close to one another. Since we bloggers are often buried in our computers, it was nice to take our "online relationship" to the next level–so to speak. She brought her dog, Wynston, along, mostly because I told her the date was off if she didn't. The three of us had a fabulous lunch, and Amanda and I chatted afterwards while Wynston occupied himself by staring at the man with the chicken salad at the table next to us.

Amanda of Dog Mom Days (left) and me (the other one).

Amanda of Dog Mom Days (left) and me (the other one).

Aside from the fact that Amanda is intelligent, a talented writer, and a lot of fun to talk to, one of the things I like best about her is that she's unapologetic about the fact that she chooses to be a dog mom rather than a kid mom. Wynston is her "son," and she does much of what we do for our human kids with Wynston, such as providing him great care, many toys, and a variety of extracurricular activities. Wynston likes modeling and agility class. And staring at strangers with chicken salad.

Amanda's son, Wynston is hard to resist.

Amanda's son, Wynston is hard to resist.

So in honor of Amanda and the other dog moms out there, I was inspired to jot down a few reasons why being a dog's mom is better than being a kid's mom just in time for Mother's Day.

10 reasons being a dog's mom is better than being a kid's mom

1. No pregnancy, labor, or delivery. (Are you sold already?)

2. If they barf, they usually eat it, so cleanup is minimal.

3. You can cuss in front of them without fearing they'll repeat it.

4. If you have more than one, their arguments are usually quick and dirty, so there's no need to referee.

5. If they think you're fat, they keep their mouths shut.

6. They come the first time you call them for dinner, and they clean their plates with no expectation of dessert.

7. After six months of age, they never outgrow their clothes.

8. They don't hog the electronics.

9. You can put a leash on them without looking like a total parental failure.

10. When they get older, they still kiss you, even if their friends are watching.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the dog and kid moms out there! What's your favorite thing about being a dog mom?

art studio holds "paint a pet" fundraiser for the humane society

I enjoyed an evening with some of my best gal pals last week for "Moms' Night Out" hosted by our local MOMS Club. We all brought some food and wine to share and met up at Be...An Artist, a local art studio recently opened by artist Sandra Marshall. I was excited to do something different...slap some paint onto a canvas, but it was even more fun than I expected. While we were there, Sandra mentioned that the studio would be hosting a "Paint a Pet" fundraiser for the Arizona Humane Society, and my ears perked up. 

Our MOMS Club had an awesome time at Be...An Artist.  photos courtesy of Sandra Marshall, Be...An Artist.

Our MOMS Club had an awesome time at Be...An Artist. photos courtesy of Sandra Marshall, Be...An Artist.

So a few days later, I found myself back in the studio with Sandra and her fabulous team. When the Arizona Human Society's Waggin' Wheels Mobile Adoption Wagon pulled up, the small crowd watched in excitement. For, inside were not only furry models for the budding artists, but adoptable models, at that. Once the wagon was parked in front of the studio, the side rolled up to reveal a wall of adorable critters in see-through kennels. The onlookers released a collective "Awwwww..." The back of the wagon said "NEW FAMILY MEMBERS ON BORD," which totally melted my heart.

The crowd gathered outside the Waggin' Wheels Wagon.

The crowd gathered outside the Waggin' Wheels Wagon.

The hopeful pups check out the crowd, hoping to become the newest addition to a great family.

The hopeful pups check out the crowd, hoping to become the newest addition to a great family.

Inside, Sandra and her team had set up canvases for potential adopters as well as for birthday party-goers. What a great occasion for an animal-loving tween to have a party! Sandra started the art lesson by teaching everyone how to draw the animal they wanted to paint. Step-by-step, she showed them how to form the shapes the would somehow come together into a masterpiece. What I love about Sandra is her attitude. Though she is an accomplished artist, she instructed both "spirited" moms and young animal lovers on how to create a painting to be proud of. Throughout the process, she occasionally asks "are you happy with it?" If you say you're not, she'll ask what you're not happy with and help you find a solution. Remarkable patience.

Sandra helps the artists every step of the way.

Sandra helps the artists every step of the way.

Back outside at the wagon, I spoke to Megan Merrimac, Mobile Adoptions Coordinator for the Arizona Humane Society. I asked her about the Waggin' Wheels program. She explained that since the program's inception in July of 2014, they have had over 250 adoptions out of the wagon. They bring 6-8 dogs and a couple of cats each time they take the wagon out, which is three or four times a week. Sometimes they attend events, and sometimes they just hit the road. I asked Megan if the pets had to meet any special requirements in order to board the Waggin' Wheels Wagon. She said that she always make sure the animals are good with kids. That seems understandable, as the wagon was attracting small humans like bees to honey. 

Who could resist these cute faces?

Who could resist these cute faces?

At Be...An Artist that day, AZHS adopted out four animals. Pretty awesome! And Sandra donated a portion of the proceeds to the cause. We love that!

Be...An Artist has a wide variety of sessions and events geared toward children, teens, and adults.  They even offer summer camps and classes for people with special needs. It's a great place to have a birthday party, as I was lucky to witness first-hand. I think my art-loving daughter, Campbell, would absolutely love to have her next birthday party there. 

The party-goers were pleased with their masterpieces.  photo courtesy of Sandra Marshall, Be...An Artist.

The party-goers were pleased with their masterpieces. photo courtesy of Sandra Marshall, Be...An Artist.

Have you been to Be...An Artist, yet? Or if you're not in the Phoenix area, is there anything like this where you live?

View the Be...An Artist calendar of events.

Connect with Be...An Artist on Facebook.

View the Arizona Humane Society's Waggin' Wheels Mobile Adoption Vehicle calendar.

Connect with AZHS on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+.

ready for a furever home: the "lost our home" cats

Each week, the littles and I volunteer at the cat room at our local PetSmart taking care of cats available for adoption through Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. For the most part, the littles get to play with and cuddle the cats while I scoop litter boxes, but I'm not bitter. I get an occasional cuddle, too. We see cats come in and out, and some stick around longer than others. We get to know those better, and sometimes we just can't understand why they wouldn't be snatched up immediately. I thought I'd highlight a few of the regulars in hopes they might find a forever home. Check out these sweethearts:

Calypso is a two-year-old dilute calico female. She's absolutely gorgeous and has been hanging out with us since mid-January. She was found pregnant in a feral colony. It was obvious that she didn't belong there, so she was moved to a foster home where she had four beautiful kittens. Her kittens have been adopted, and now sweet Calypso is looking for her chance. She loves cat trees (both for hanging out and scratching), and she loves to be brushed. She gets along with kids and most other animals, so would be a beautiful addition to most homes. 

 

Keegan is a one-year-old female flame point siamese. "Keegan" means "small flame," so she is named after her beautiful siamese markings. A nice couple found her as a stray and cared for her for several months before bringing her to Lost Our Home to find her a permanent home. Keegan is "all siamese," meaning she's talkative, social, and loves heights. She has been in the cat room since mid-November! We can't believe it! 

 

 

Lightening is a two-year-old black and white female domestic short hair. She is named after the unique shape of her tail, which is charmingly crookedish. She is very social and sweet. She'll nuzzle and curl up in your lap. She has been in the cat room since mid-December, but has been with Lost Our Home her whole life, waiting for the right family to come for her. She'd love nothing more than to sit on your lap and cuddle, if you have room for this sweet girl. She won't let you down. 

 

 

If you're local, please stop by and pay them a visit. They would love to snuggle with you!

Click here for Lost Our Home Pet Foundation's adoption application.

 

dear lady selling her kids' guinea pig

I belong to a local group on Facebook that allows folks in our community to post things they have for sale, things they would like to trade, or things they are in search of. I've never sold or purchased anything from the group, but occasionally people are in search of a pet sitter, so I chime in where appropriate. People put all sorts of things on the site.

This morning I saw something for sale that disgusted me. 

Guinea pig. One year old. Sweet. The kids have simply "outgrown it." Paid $80 for everything...offering pet and cage and everything for a mere $60. 

I paraphrase, but you get the gist. The "outgrown it" part is a direct quote. 

I wonder how one outgrows a pet. I looked up the definition of "outgrow", just to make sure I'm not off-base or insensitive.

out•grow

/,out'gro/

verb

grow too big for (something). leave behind as one matures. grow faster or taller than.

So to outgrow a guinea pig or any other pet, it would require one to either grow too large for the animal or mature beyond the capacity to care for it. 

Let's cut the crap, lady.

Let's be clear.

Dear Lady Selling her Guinea Pig,

You didn't do the research any person should do when accepting a new pet into the household. You didn't realize how much time and care a guinea pig would require, and when your kids didn't pull their load, you were not "mature" enough to parent them and help them understand their responsibility, or–at the very least–take over their responsibility to make sure that the animal survives and thrives. You hold no love for or bond with this animal. You see it as a "thing" rather than a "being." Not only are you trying to find any old other home for this animal, you are also trying to make some money back on this living thing. 

Not that I'm judging.

Let's hope this guinea pig hits the lottery and finds a home much more loving than the one you and your rapidly excelling children have provided. Let's hope this little one finds a family who understands that a pet is not a thing. It's a living being with feelings. 

Let's hope that the person who "buys" your guinea pig understands the life span and care required before taking on the task. I doubt you'll screen for that, so we'll all have to cross our fingers.

Let's hope that their children won't "outgrow" the pet. 

Your children must be quite advanced. I know quite a few adults and children who have managed to stick by their pets through the years despite strides in maturity and physical growth.

So, lady, you suck.

I hope you outgrow your immaturity and lack of compassion and void of responsibility.

I congratulate your adorable guinea pig and wish him well in his new life. Please pass that on to him, if you will. 

Sincerely...