It’s National Love Your Pet Day and I’ve Got All the Feels


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They’re stinky.

They’re demanding.

They leave their toys everywhere.

They steal the covers at night.

They prevent me from being away from home for more than a few hours at a time.

They out me during conference calls with their cadence of barks and snores.

They have eaten so many things they shouldn’t including Christmas lights, cigars, gum, bags of chocolate chips.

Because of their bad behavior, they’ve cost us thousands of dollars and just as many tears at the emergency vet.

They (well one in particular) almost cost me my eye from a game of “paws” in which one of us thought had concluded. The Beast 1 – Mama 0.

He’s sorry, I promise.

And even so, I can’t imagine life without them. We – all three of us — are pet people, and our world just wouldn’t spin if we didn’t have our fur family squarely in the middle of it.

From a recent report via, “Scientific research also indicates that dog love isn’t one sided, and dogs are equally as eager to bond and connect with humans. According to Phil Tedeschi, professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, Institute for Human-Animal Connection and member of Rover’s Dog People Panel, our loyal canine companions are constantly working to understand humans and fit into our lives.”

Ummm yep. We’ve had some amazing four-legged friends.

My first dog as an adult was a little guy who found me after Hurricane Andrew, helped me through grad school, a break up or two, and a move to a new home in a new state. I still remember being in the car, belting out tunes with him as we crossed over the Texas state line with a trunk full of things for our new life. This same fur-covered angel slept on a bench with me at Hospice after my mom was admitted, and gladly made the rounds to bring a smile to  the other patients (occasionally without me as a chaperone — oops). And of course, he was best dog at our wedding.

The limo driver was none too happy with this blushing bride.

These are the moments that make you pray that the rainbow bridge exists.

“Our human relationships can be complex, but dog love is pure, simple and makes us happy because pets are part of the family we choose,” said Halle Hutchison, vice president of marketing for “Pet parents are investing deeply into these relationships, from celebrating holidays like Valentine’s Day with their dogs, to buying their first homes to give their dogs a better life.”

And taking them to see Santa. I mean, whatever, right?

Or having a Valentine’s Day photo shoot with them?  Totally normal.

Photo credit: Becky Branch Photography

Our first pug, who we “rescued” from a horrid pet store experience and only gave us five years of his daredevil antics through the neighborhood at breakneck speed, us chasing after always in high heels or a suit. We still have his doggie stroller used on vacations when his health was failing. Now the old lady of the house cruises the hood in it.

Our two current litter mate puggies are well-considered seniors at 11. They’re the smelliest dogs I’ve ever had, but also some of the sweetest. My girl is my ride or die. She is up for ANYTHING including lounging on a floatie in the middle of the pool and downhill sledding in Breckenridge, as long as it’s with me.

And then, there’s the beast. He’s the newcomer, and took me the longest to warm up to of any dog I’ve ever owned. For a solid year, he was all sharp teeth and paws, and more paws and teeth, he opened every door in the house including the front when the bolt was on,  and it. was. exhausting. He’s notorious in our old community because he got banned from doggie day care and he once threw me down on the bike path because some idiot buzzed us on his fancy roadster. Now he’s still paws and more paws and mental as all get out, but we have different doorknobs now and he’s a big hunk of a mama’s boy, and yes, (sigh) I do love him too.

We adore our littlest ones, and our level of crazy doesn’t seem so expert when you take a look at some of these stats from

The whole infographic is below. (Click to enlarge or visit here. )

So on this National Love Your Pet Day,  give them a squeeze, take a photo, talk baby talk to them, and by all means, let them steal the covers. Tag me in your IG photos with #mommyupgrade so I can see your fur babies!

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