My Life Has Gone to the Dogs

I’m an empty nester trope. I recently had to admit to myself that I now embody every single empty nester characteristic. The most profound one is that I have taken my pets and turned them into my children.

I’m not saying my pets weren’t beloved family members before my kids ran away from home (Okay, they didn’t run away. They just grew up and really how dare they.) but now my animals have achieved favorite child status.

I knew I had made the leap from pet besotted to obsessed when I was at the vet and a woman, who seemed to be about my age, walked in with her dog in a car seat/baby carrier, like for a human baby. This dog was also swaddled in a monogrammed blanket and quite frankly I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was also a pacifier in there. Of course, I immediately engaged her in conservation because how could I not.

It was a fascinating chit-chat that started with the ease of transporting your small breed dog in a baby carrier to turning one of the now empty bedrooms in your home into a playroom for your dogs. Lucky for me there were a plethora of photos on this woman’s phone.

For those of you curious about just what’s in a dog’s playroom, and I’m going to say with confidence that’s it everyone, imagine a day bed placed by the window with “velvet flannel” sheets in a dog print motif. On the floor was a furry orthopedic memory foam rug. The art on the walls was hand illustrated portraits of the owners’ dogs. There were several wicker baskets filled with “smart” toys and a knotted rope attached to the wall so the dogs could play tug of war when their owner wasn’t present.

The final bit of delicious dog décor overshare was that there are now interior designers who work with canine behavior therapists to create a playroom that “that provides stimulation for your dog and also creates a restful environment.”

When I walked out of the vet I wanted to laugh at this over the top pet owner but somehow I couldn’t. Then that night at dinner when I told my husband and son about my experience, I joked that this was going to me in five years. My son laughed, “Five years? Try five months.”

I protested but now every time I pass my kids’ former bedrooms all I can think about is how perfect it would be to make one of them a dog playroom. Especially the one with two large floor to ceiling windows that provide prime views for neighborhood surveillance and barking. I could easily add a day bed that’s lower to the floor and frame some of the hundreds of pictures I’ve taken of my pets.

Quite frankly the only thing stopping me is my family thinking I’m insane. But it could already be too late for that. Last week I told my husband that our beagle was more beautiful than our human kids. 

Don’t judge me too harshly (and don’t worry my kids never read anything I write so this confession is just between us.) because this dog has the most gorgeous eyes in the animal kingdom.

And if my children didn’t want me to go full crazy pet mom then they shouldn’t have left me. There I said it.

Now, excuse me while I measure for curtains in what could be my dogs’ new playroom. (I say “could be” because there’s a strong chance my husband might make me seek therapy if I go through with this.)


😳While we’re on the topic of “full crazy” I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you about some crazy fun reads that you can devour this winter. There’s four fun-filled books to choose from – Empty a “laugh till you cry” menopausal revenge adventure to the Snarky three pack – Back to School,  Trouble in Texas and Four Seasons of Snarky🎁

Back to School is a hysterical read for any mom whose experienced elementary school parent drama. Trouble in Texas is a tall tale of what happens when a daughter lets her septuagenarian mom enlist her in a scheme that could end up with both of them in jail. And Four Seasons of Snarky is full of short stories that feature suburban revenge plots. 😉 Click this Amazon link for to experience the fun.