My Child Is A Dog, Literally

A camera-shy seven-month labrador retriever.
A camera-shy seven-month labrador retriever.

Daughter of Mine

I am woman.

I am mother.

I did not give birth.

I nurture.

I care.

I was once a child. I know how to want, what makes me cry, what makes me happy.

Now, I have a dog on my own to take care of. I am mothering a dog as my daughter.

At this point in my life, I do not regret having a human child. The last several years was a vision of a dog cuddling next to me.

My labrador retriever is now five years old. We have been together for four years and five months.

The growing pains are ever present. She reminds me of my childhood.

Because she is stubborn, feisty, charming, funny and willful.

I realized that my maternal instincts has taken a serious point. I cook for her. I research for food that is best for her. She has learned to anticipate toothbrushing. Though, I cannot prevent her from shedding, she possesses the softest fur. Nail cutting is pure bribery to make it work..

I pay for her schooling. Her first official obedience class, she was the star pupil who knew all the basic commands. In reality, her recall needs plenty of tweaking.

Her school fees can eat up my extra budget, but who says education is cheap?

Good thing I don't have to shop for clothes, or she will be a fashionista.

Her health insurance at VPI costs me $38 including the $2 fee. Having health insurance for her, like me, gives me peace of mind for those unpredictable moments that would cost me an arm and a leg.

We do have our 'mother/daughter' talks. I think she understands, but refuse to concede at times.

I promise her a good life. She promises to obey if and only if there is "eating" to follow.

This daughter of mine I love dearly. This dog taught me what kind of mother I am.

I am happy to be a mother to a so-called dog.

Contented head.
Contented head.

The Essentials of Living

Shelter

She resides with me inside my home. She has her own formal bed for the evening, a daytime bed, and now, the sofa. She was never interested and learned to stay away from sofas, my own bed and other furniture. Somehow, this recently bought recycled sofa kept calling her. She knows that there has been a dozing dog(s) on this sofa, so she can claim it as hers. I have tolerated it because she keeps me warm on the sofa this winter.

Her normal beds are furnished with clean linens every week or whenever she wets them during her 1:00 a.m. cleaning.

She has a charming, well-kept, she calls home; where her toys are in a basket at her disposal.


Homestyle cooking.
Homestyle cooking.

Food & Nutrition

My dog gets homemade gourmet meals prepared by her professionally-culinary trained mommie. (See my other links.) She gets 2 cups each meal twice a day of home-cooked weekly meals. A chicken brown rice with green beans and carrots. A potato & oatmeal salmon with green beans and carrots, and so forth. Carrots and green beans are ubiquitous veggies. Protein will revolve around meats of chicken, beef, ground beef, fish and offals.

Save the liquid or broth from the boiled meats and veggies. Remove as much fat as possible. Chill the broth for a few hours or overnight so the fat would coagulate. Then you could easily remove them fat. Then serve as "soup." My dog is served this almost every meal. Limit at night if you don't have a yard. Otherwise, dog will wake you up at 1:00 a.m. to go to the bathroom.

Always remember NOT to give your dogs chicken bones, skin, spices, foods with additives, etc. Check other websites for what kinds of food are bad for dogs.

Snacks in-between meals of Kong-stuffed frozen bananas, apples, peanut butter or oatmeal & salmon. Her favorite mid-day indoor game of hunting plain white cheese nibbles and cookies keeps her entertained and sharp. Commercial foods are out because of their historical barage of recalls. I simply do not trust those businesses who deceitfully opted to make money by poisoning our pets slowly.

Clothing

We prefer au naturel. Booties are worn when the weather hits below 10 degrees. Although, her mommie believes that she is a natural star on the dog walk.
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A hornet sting can dampen her day.
A hornet sting can dampen her day.

Health (Medical/Dental Needs)

It helps to have pet insurance to take care of unforseen medical/dental needs. When she fractured her back tooth early this year, it cost me $800 to have that tooth pulled out. Stiff. I was able to get reimbursed for $200 which helped financially. Her annual vaccinations are covered, as well as annual check ups.

It is important to be informed on natural remedies for dogs. This will take the edge out of paying $59 per office veterinarian visit. When she got stung by a hornet, my internet research helped me understand how to treat the sting. Applying ice cubes to dissipate the swelling helped. Also, I have a handy first aid kit that include hydrogen peroxide, child's Benadryl, cotton balls, Q-Tips etc.

Grooming

A nightly ritual of brushing teeth. A weekly ritual of cleaning ears, cutting nails, brushing coat and whatever else that needs checking. We call this "check-check." Inspect the paws, the eyes, the ears, the nails, the teeth, etc. Twice boutique grooming a year that cost $50 on the first week of snowfall to cleanse all the summer mud-ness' then, during the spring to remove excess winter fur.

The star pupil being congratulated by her instructors for finishing the Beginning Obedience Class at the Alyeska Canine Training.
The star pupil being congratulated by her instructors for finishing the Beginning Obedience Class at the Alyeska Canine Training.

Education

She was home schooled before she got enrolled in official obedience classes at Alyeska Canine Training. She did very well....in class. At the dog park, it becomes a different story. We had recently enrolled in Agility classes. She was enjoying it and I was huffing and puffing to keep up with her. Her recent Agility 2 class which used a banging nerve-wracking teeter-totter traumatized her, so I have to transfer to another instructor to treat the one hour damage done by that former instructor. The change of instructor advocates a quieter class.

It is a horrendous logic to subject your dog to unneeded noises. It is traumatic. Can people not get the fact that canine hearing is more powerful than humans?. Even regular screaming affect their nerves. Anyway, I saw what one hour of noisy environment can do to her. All she wanted was to go home. Imagine that these instructors wanted me to create pots & pans noises at home--her sanctuary. I don't tolerate noises as much as my dog doesn't. Even she had the discipline to limit her barking down to a purpose. So, I would advise dog-owners or pet-owners to be more selective of instructors.


Engrossing mud-slinging afternoon
Engrossing mud-slinging afternoon

Exercise/Play

Daily exercises. Early morning bathroom walks for 30 to 45 minutes. Mid-day bathroom walks for 15 to 20 minutes. Every afternoon dog park visit for one to two hours just chasing squirrels, birds, voles and ducks, meeting friends old and new. Mommie and baby spend a relaxing fruitful hour of shared physical movements of stretching, running, swimming and in mommie's case, gathering flowers, mushrooms, rose hips, cross-country skiing and taking pictures.

Moral Values

Learning right from wrong is a constant struggle. She knows not to bully other dogs. She is learning diversity. She has accepted not to chase and harass mooses. Talking back to mommie is an option. She did tell me once that I was spending too much time in the raspberry bushes. Barking unnecessarily is not permitted. Warm friendly greetings to everyone even without treats are favorable. Obeying mommie when there is danger is paramount importance. Obeying mommie when there is no danger can be conditional. Rush to mommie's side when she threatens to leave the park.

Teenage Pregnancy? Child Out-of-Wedlock?

No problem. Two word resolution: Got spayed



See more dugg by my friends on Digg.com

The Essential of Being

Love

Lots of hugs. Gentle conversations. Kisses galore.

Devotion

Ultimate care and loyalty to a family member.

Discipline

Got to train her on what is permissible to live together harmoniously.


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Comments 31 comments

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

This is great. I especially agree that commercial pet foods are slowly poisoning our animals. I never give my animals store bought foods.

Nice hub.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

daisynicolas: I do so love this. I can so identify with this...having had several special dogs in my life...now I have none. I only have kitties that are outside kitties mainly. I cannot have a dog as sad as it makes me as I am gone from home often. But, this trip with you helped fill the void. I often read these when I am missing the pups in my life. And, the care of the pet...is soooooo important...Thank you for sharing this.


Maria Cecilia profile image

Maria Cecilia 4 years ago from Philippines

Oh another dog lover, I can understand you very well,and jsut like you I also cook for my dogs. I always feel like it is safer to give them boiled meat with brown rice... I have two dogs and my eldest dogs is 11 years old... definitely we will have never ending stories about them in case we find time to meet someday...


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

My pleasure to share and hope to influence a better perspective on dog care.


carol3san profile image

carol3san 4 years ago from Hollywood Florida

Great hub. I wrote on caring for a dog also. I like your take on it. You treat your dog like royalty...lol Voted up.


bruzzbuzz profile image

bruzzbuzz 4 years ago from Texas , USA

My first "child" was my Labrador Jack. He was such a special dog. He lived until he was 16 and lived long enough to get to know our first 3 children. I loved him so much and still miss him.


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

16 years of true love and affection. Hard to top that on current relationships and marriages, even human friendships.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California

Wonderful hub, wonderful dog owner! I have always had an unusually close bond with canines, and not once have I been disappointed by that devotion. I am so pleased that you love your dog so much, it is a real treat as well as lesson in unconditional love! All four dewclaws up!

Cheers~

K9


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

Thanks! Maybe I could influence the minds of other cultures who eat dogs or hate dogs. It's a long shot, though.


twilanelson profile image

twilanelson 4 years ago from Carmichael, California

I am excited and impressed to see someone one love and care for their dog the way I saw people (I was surrounded by as I was growing up) love their dogs and all other pets. These dogs are our family and your beautiful Labrador deserves every bit of love you have to offer. Thank you for sharing the bond you have with your baby. Have a wonderful day.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

I quite often think of myself as a cat Mommy, even though my cat is a shelter cat and I have not raised her from kittenhood.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

A beautiful Hub, this! Gosh... now I kind of want a dog...


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

I humbly thank this compliment from a superstar hubber.


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 4 years ago from Close to Heaven

Beautiful hub. I had a little dachshund that was like my child too. Very heartwarming.


rachelrenae profile image

rachelrenae 4 years ago from Colorado

Great hub. I'm an animal lover too, and just started my own all natural, wheat and gluten free dog treat company because I agree with you about commercial foods being chancy and I think that dogs with allergies can be a left out bunch...I'm still small, like farmer's market small but am working on it! I'm new here and haven't gotten a chance to read all your hubs, but I was wondering how you make sure the calcium is up where it should be for your dog. Do you supplement with any kind of meat meal or buy doggy grade meats?


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

In response to rachelrenae about calcium, meat meal, grade meats etc. My dog eats better than I do because she has a balance of veggies, protein and starches. Veggies are usually fresh Alaskan carrots and green beans boiled with meats (chicken, beef, offal, e.i. hearts, gizzards, kidneys, liver) and her daily fruits (fresh or frozen bananas and frozen apples). Calcium comes from egg shells and fish...cooked of course and pureed. When I buy cookies, I look for natural ingredients or I make them myself. Go for Yummy Chummies once in awhile.


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Nice hub homage to man's (woman') best friend.

You take such good care of your loved one and it is refreshing to share such a nice sentiment.

You may like a hub I wrote on the dog human relationship.

Check out 'Eclipse, daring dog of the desert' it will make you laugh.


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

Appreciate the compliments from a veteran hubber.


Chinh Nguyen 4 years ago

Nice blog.


seattleamilehigh1 profile image

seattleamilehigh1 4 years ago from Seattle, Washington

I love how much you love your dog. My boy Louis is my best friend, and I think that is as it should be. Thanks for the read :D


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

She's the most precious member of my family. They deserve love in their short lives.


nifwlseirff profile image

nifwlseirff 4 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

I feel the same way about my cats - they are like children - I worry about and care for them constantly. And they will always comfort me when sad or in pain. Gorgeously written!


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

My sincerest thanks to you and for relating as a parent to our four-legged babies. It will be a nicer world when caring and kindness is multiplied one million times to reduce the abandoned and maltreated. I am humbled by your compliments.


billips profile image

billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

I really enjoyed your article - I think that is one happy dog - and dogs certainly are like children, except that they never leave home - thank goodness - B.


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

Better companions than human children when human children have tantrums! Thanks for stopping by.


TravelAbout profile image

TravelAbout 4 years ago from United States

I can really relate. I have three canine children. I also make their food and brush their teeth daily. There is no other unconditional love than that of a dog. I am in the process of starting a pet sitting business. My website is www.petsittergal.com. I love your posts.


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

Congratulations on your pet sitting biz. If you are biz here in Anchorage, I would use because you know how to care for them, four-legged babies.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

Awwww....'Mommie' loves her baby. I can so identify with this. I no longer have a pup but he was very special to me and I, too, fed him home-cooked meals. He was a huge fan of rice and fish. (I now have a kitty that I love equally as much as I did him, I think.)

You shared some great points in this article. Too often many of the things you mentioned are overlooked.


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

Thanks for visiting this hub. This hub is endearing to me and yes, a lot of human parents can relate. Nice to hear that you also take pride in cooking for your pup.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

I grew up with family pets and my husband and I continue on with that tradition. They are also our "babies" and we are fortunate to be blessed by their presence in our lives. So nice to know that your "baby" has the life that she does with you. You are both lucky! Voted up, useful and beautiful. :)


daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska Author

I humbly thank you for appreciating this hub. We are the perprators of true love for this earth.

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