Can a Childless Mother Have Fuzzy Children?

Can a Childless Mother Have Fuzzy Children?

Ever since I was young I knew I didn’t want to have children. I never got that pang, that hormonal urge for the pitter patter of little baby feet. When my sister had her son, I was the go-to baby sitter – that all worked out well. No child was hurt in the making of my babysitting time. Well…there was that one time that I gave too much candy to my neighbor’s child. Kids can throw up…a lot. Think Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist’ throw-up. In all honesty, seems I wasn’t cut out for children. Human children. But I’m definitely cut out to be a pet parent with fuzzy children.

Some people are offended by the concept that I would call my dog my child. But in all honesty, I’m not taking anything away from anyone, and I’m not picketing for paid stay-at-home time whenever a dog is adopted. A child is a little one that needs nurturing, guidance, and love. My child happens to be fuzzy. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen fuzzy children. When one of my nephews was born he was a fuzzy little guy. But, unlike my nephew, my fuzzy children retain their fuzz. They also bark, chew things, require kind corrections, and need potty training.

MattieDog A litte dog making a big impact in this world!

The first thing that made me think of my dog as my ‘child’ was the overwhelming feeling of love that came over me when he came into my life. Mattie was adopted from a local shelter. From the moment I got him I had this instant bond. He trusted me with his life. His life! That’s pretty big stuff for someone who never wanted a child. But there I was…and there he was. He needed immediate care as he was sick from being on the streets. In the time that I spent syringe feeding him and nursing him back to health I knew that something had changed… Changed in me. I was acting in a completely selfless way. I was a mom.

A dog is the one thing that you bring in to your life knowing you will have to say goodbye.

And Like a Mom, the Pain…

Life is fleeting isn’t it. It goes by with such boundless joy that we think it’s endless. But it is not. Each cell has a lifecycle and you can only generate so many new cells…aging happens. Even to children. Including fuzzy children. My fuzzy child developed renal issues. My fuzzy child stopped existing on this worldly plain because his little body could not co-exist with his kidney disease…and I lost my Mattie. I had no idea that grief could wake you, shaking, sobbing and gasping for air, from a complete sleep. Not just once, but night after night for months. Or that the sound of a banana (Mattie’s favorite treat) being peeled could freeze me – shocked, unable to move or blink, tears silently pooling only to fall over the top of my lower eyelid, drip down my face and neck and leave my shirt all wet. I had no idea the human body could ache so intensely…and so relentlessly. Today, after numerous years without my boy, it doesn’t hurt any less. I have just learned to cope, to recognize the triggers that stir up the pain.

How Do You Love Again?

It’s a unique decision I’m sure. I read books (listed above). I talked to a therapist – I felt guilty for my grief, as though I shouldn’t be so grief stricken. Slowly I healed some… Little-by-little. Ultimately it was Mattie who inspired me to seek happiness again. I came to understand that I liked who Mattie helped me become. I liked me when I was with Mattie. He taught me how to love, how to be selfless, how to be generous, how to be less serious, and ultimately how to be vulnerable. He changed me. And I welcomed the change, and I didn’t want to lose the new me by being afraid to love again. So, after some time, me and my Better Whole sought out more fuzzy children to adopt! Are they Mattie? Heck no, he’s so special I wrote a book about him. But, here’s the thing…they are unique and wonderful in their own way. No two are alike – just like human children. Fact is, I love being a dog mom!

Childless Mother Has Fuzzy Children! Fur moms do it better!

Can a Childless Mother Have Fuzzy Children?

Childless Mother Has Fuzzy Children! Fur moms do it better!

In some venues I’m childless, but in my world I’m mom to a fuzzy son, and now mom to numerous fuzzy children. My special one who taught me how to be a mom – he’s the best dog that’s ever lived, my little Buddha dog! Every pet parent has their own unique and special Buddha dog – and if you are lucky, you’ll have a few in your lifetime. Just like a human mom – each child is unique and wonderful, so you can’t just love one…you love them all. I’m proud to be a mom to fuzzy children and while my kids don’t bring home elementary school art projects to hang on my fridge, they do bring me love…lots and lots of love. Maybe I will petition after all – yeah, I think I’ll ask Hallmark to add a few pet-parent cards for Mother’s and Father’s Day!

Rebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDogThanks for reading, and until next time – take care and keep on lovin’ your dog! MattieDog A little dog making a big impact in this world, MattieDog, social media superstar, animal advocate, animal author


A little dog making a big impact in this world!® MattieDog Gets Adopted, a dog's view of being rescued and adopted



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Rebecca Sanchez is a nationally recognized leader in the human-animal bond. Known as "The Pet Lifestyle Guru™" at MattieDog (her heart dog)! Rebecca is an award winning writer that blogs about her life with her doggos, and sometimes about her husband who reluctantly agrees to participate in her shenanigans. Rebecca's work can be seen in numerous dog magazines, and in her books on Amazon.

44 Comments

  1. I have both human children and fuzzy children. I can totally relate as I ugly cried when I had to say goodbye to my dog. The thought of her still leaves a lump in my throat. You are a pet parent that gave all your love and took care of Mattie as any mom would do for their child – fuzzy or not.

    Reply
  2. I like the term child-free. Because childLESS infers that you’re missing something. But deciding to not have children, IMHO, doesn’t mean you’re missing anything. But I fully agree – I have fuzzy children, too! I do think it is more accepted nowadays when someone chooses not to have children.

    Reply
  3. I have both human and furry children and the love I share between them all is equal. I think of all of us as parents no matter what or who you are a parent to. We all share the same love, care and devotion.

    Reply
  4. What a perfect post. I too am a dog mom. The pure love I feel for both Bean and Yoda is all encompassing. I know our time together may be fleeting, but that time is filled with joy, laughter, and light.

    Thank you for sharing resources for grieving pet parents. It’s difficult to say goodbye (an understatement, of course) so having some avenues for information and processing feelings can be incredibly helpful.

    Thanks for putting into words how many of us think and feel! <3

    Reply
    • Thank you Bryn – it is so hard to share something so deeply, and painfully, personal. But I know it’s universal – all pet parents have felt this deep connection! The resources helped me a lot – and so did therapy, it was a very difficult time for me.
      MattieDog recently posted…10 Must Have Tools When Cooking For Your DogMy Profile

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  5. How did I miss this? I didn’t realize Mattie had passed. <3 So sorry that I thought he was still with you. Yes, we are parents to our pets. I have fur children, not furless children.

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  6. What a great read. Not everyone’s life has to include human children and we’re certainly no less valuable because of it. I have gotten attitude about my level of compassion towards animals, but I say those who have none are worse off because of it. Saying goodbye is so difficult and coping can definitely be challenging, yet the heartbreak never stops me from loving again.

    Reply
  7. I chose never to have kids, have no regrets and have always had pets, they are my babies, my furkids and I am their Mom. It is a responsibility I take seriously as they depend on us like children do.

    I also am totally prepared if something happens to me, I know where Layla is going, they have a 3 page document on everything for her, and so does another friend for an extra back up.

    When Baby passed away, I was devastated but knew in my heart she would want me to adopt again which I did and Layla has helped me in so many ways filling the void in my heart and life.

    Reply
  8. It is with tears in my eyes that I thank you for this post. I too have fuzzy children and have lost a few over the year, so I know the pain. It took me ten years to finally be able to bring other fuzzy children into my heart and home after my childhood cat died. I was always taking care of or loving on neighborhood pets, and one day I was ready.

    Reply
  9. Thank you speaking up for moms and dads of fuzzy children! One day when preparing food for our three cats, I turned around and saw all three sitting and waiting for me to serve them. That’s when I knew that I was their pet mom. Oh, and then there’s the many times I carry our stubborn youngest to time-out for misbehavior. I’m in love with my fuzzy children and in being their pet mom. 😉

    Reply
  10. I am not a child person. I am not ‘into’ children. I leave it to those who do, and who are great at spending their lives raising them.

    When Dash was killed it took me three years to sart feeling normal again, but even now I can’t watch videos of him unless I feel super strong.

    Someone once wrote that when he lost his cat it was as bad as when he lost his father. I can relate to that. The emotional bond is that strong.
    Dash Kitten Crew recently posted…Sunshine Sunday Selfie With Harvey!My Profile

    Reply
  11. Neither Stefan not myself ever … ever… wanted human children. Not for us. We absolutely consider Montecristo our child. Hence why he goes with us all over the world. We call him our “son” when we speak of him. The bond is real and strong and our desire to shield him, love him and keep him safe is huge.

    Nothing irritates us more than the words “It’s just a dog” …

    Stefan has been known to mutter “unleash the Kraken” when someone says that within earshot of me …LMAO!!

    Reply
    • We call ours our son or daughter as well – it’s so funny when we say it like, no big deal – of course their our son or daughter! Life is hilarious when you share it with fuzzies – wouldn’t have it any other way!
      MattieDog recently posted…10 Must Have Tools When Cooking For Your DogMy Profile

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  12. I’m so sorry to hear about Mattie. He brought so much joy and love into the world. Thank you for sharing him with the rest of us.

    I am glad that you embraced the changes he helped you to achieve and that you are staying true to that person. It is so hard to lose a loved one, but it is easy to love more than one dog or child.

    Reply
  13. I love this post! Like you I didn’t have human kids, but I ended up being a dog mom! My “heart dog” as they say, was my childhood dog Ginny. We got her when I was about 7 and I was in my 20’s when she passed away 17 years later, so I literally grew up with her. Losing Ginny was totally & utterly devastating to me, my extreme grief lasted for years. I didn’t think I could love another dog again until many years later when Icy came along. I love Icy with all my heart and soul, and Ginny will live in my heart forever.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv them

    Reply
  14. When I was young I said I don’t want to have children. My parents’ friends laughed and said, “Oh, you’ll change your mind.” Well, I’m 49 and still waiting for that moment …

    However… I knew I always wanted cats and dogs, first cats definitely then a crazy dog accidentally entered my world – kinda like some kids (admit it). But fortunately, not kids. Just fur babies. No regrets.

    Reply
  15. I’m a Fur-Ma to three dogs and a cat. They are my life!
    Thank you for sharing this post and pointing out that our love for our ‘family’ is not less significant.

    Reply
  16. This is such an amazing, beautiful post. I have tears welled up in my eyes because your talking about that love and special bond with Mattie, is what I had and still have with my Gibson, who made his final journey last December. Your grief, I felt. Right down to my core. I understand it. It is so real. I still grieve for my Gibson. I am blessed to be a mother to an amazing human child *and* a mother (I call myself their hu-mom and am proudly known as the FiveSibes Mom) to five amazing Siberian Huskies (and two other wonderful shelter dogs previously). Dogs (Pets) truly *are* our fur children. I’ve dubbed mine “the kids” from when they first became part of our family. I love what you said about who you are as a person from being Mattie’s mom. I have always loved being a pet mom (a dog mom, a cat mom, a horse mom, a bunny mom, a goat mom, a parkakeet mom, and even a rehabilitated fox mom!) I’ve learned so much from each of them, and know love and dedication has no bounds. I also learned so much from my journey with my one Husky, Gibson, a special needs dog who had Epilepsy. He inspired me, and your #1 item on your graphic, to be an advocate for other dogs with Canine Epilepsy. I researched treatments, foods, anything and everything to help him live the best life, and he did. He taught me about being strong when faced with the seemingly impossible. To have courage and grit and determination. In his almost 10 years, together, we managed his seizures and side effects with great determination and so much love and trust. He was my heart dog, my beautiful, loving fur son, and always will be. Just as all five of mine are (who are all snoozing by me right now)! Let someone tell me I was not his mom or a mom to my others. Your post is so, so beautiful…I am Pinning this for others to read, and I now need to go grab some tissue because the laptop screen is a little blurry! <3
    FiveSibesMom Dorothy recently posted…Woo! It’s Game Day: A #FiveSibes Photo EssayMy Profile

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    • Bless your heart – you and I have a lot in common. Bless your Gibson – I truly believe that dogs are little spirits that spend time with us, share life with us, teach us things that we need in order to become better people. I’m giving you a very big virtual hug – and I’m with you, I teared up reading your response. Much love to you!
      MattieDog recently posted…10 Must Have Tools When Cooking For Your DogMy Profile

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  17. Pffft is what we say to folks who don’t like that I say child in reference to my dog. My dog is a child but I know he is not human. Dogs are pure love. The naysayers can just stuff it is what I say. Great infographic, too.

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  18. I wanted children but never had any even though I was married 21 years. I definitely call my cats my girls! They are my family.

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  19. I don’t know. I don’t like referring to my dogs as children. I feel they are more to me than that. Most parents love their kids because of blood ties first. I choose to be with my dogs, and my dogs choose to be with me. We have no blood relationship- it just pure love for one another. And I think I love them more because they choose to stay.
    I don’t like the term fur mum or fur dad, but my dogs are my constant companions and they mean more to me than any blood relative. They have taught me pure love, friendship, commitment, and loyalty- traits I would never learn from a child

    Reply
  20. What a truly revealing and beautiful piece. Your ability to convey your deep grief resonated and brought me in touch with my own personal pain of losing my heart dog over 20 years ago. God Bless you.

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  21. Our fur or fuzzy kids are just as real as human kids – we love and care for them just as much and feel their loss just as deeply. And my fur-kids sure fight like the siblings they are, on their hind legs like boxing kangaroos. Thank you for a touching article!

    Reply

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