Mama’s little boy


Have we already touched upon the fact that I am living a cliche?

Empty(ish) nest mother fawns over new dog as if it is a child?

All across the land college announcements are followed by “look at our new puppy!” announcements as families try to find something to fill the gap when kids go and grow up on us.

As a mother, it is nice to have someone new that relies on you for food and bedding and needs you to pick up toys and clean up messes after all.


Our smallest dog, Jackson, is my supreme baby.

Our actual human children will tell you that “Jack can do no wrong in mom’s eyes.” They really aren’t far off.

With human children, I expect accountability, life lessons, and maturity. With this tiny dog, I’m fairly confident he will never be self-supporting so I feel comfortable letting him be pretty spoiled.

Our new “baby” is actually 3 years old. He is 9 pounds, 8 ounces, 18-inches long. He sports thick curls the color of caramel and soulful brown eyes.

He’s quiet. Not much of a crier and he sleeps a lot.


His food whims are legendary. I have spent hours trying to coax this tiny tyrant to eat.

I’ve got loaves of bread bigger than this dog. He can’t afford to drop any weight.

I’ve been known to sit on the floor begging, “You used to eat trash! Just eat this expensive food!”

I spent at least a week despairing of him ever eating as bowl after bowl went untouched, only to catch him sashaying away from the cat’s corner of the pantry with the satisfied look of a dog who had just eaten his fill of prescription cat food.


This dog owns me. Worse, after priding myself on never raising a picky eater, I have one now.

Jack doesn’t like chicken flavor or any food too hard or too large. His “sister” Nova is allergic to grain.

This combination means that I have created a spreadsheet of the different food combinations we have tried — and rejected.

As I was lamenting how deeply I had fallen down the “obsessive dog mom” rabbit hole, BoyWonder sought to reassure me.

“I had food reactions as a kid too, didn’t I mom? I’m sure you kept a spreadsheet for me.” Sure I did. Keep telling yourself that kid.

I have learned that much like the time spent rocking a new baby, the time of a new dog is equally soothing.


Jackson is a very snuggly dog and as such is prone to lots of impromptu napping. It is so nice to have a reason to just relax and…do nothing.

With a dog, I have a built-in excuse. “I can’t move the dog.”

Like children, the dogs have also come to expect that car rides end in treats. It feels almost wrong to admit how much these dogs love the Dairy Queen.

It is so right that each time we go I am tickled anew that despite my ordering “Pup Cups” they are always given spoons.

To work off these treats we take walks now. These dogs are just too small to be unleashed on acreage and told to “come back by dark.”


They need constant protection against coyotes, hawks, and particularly buff squirrels. Jackson loves to walk in town.

Country dog goes to the big city is his jam. He pees on all the things and I think that makes them his?

So far he’s claimed all the churches, half the park, and the south side of West Park Avenue. I do think he’s a Christian dog.

We went for a walk around Christmas time. (You should see his little coat. It’s precious.)

Dutifully, Jackson pooped on the lawn of the Methodist Church and then Grace Church immediately after. Guess he didn’t want to play favorites?

Imagine me, an embarrassed dog mom, bagging that up while apologizing to the nativity figures that I’m sorry the baby Jesus had to see that.


Don’t let his teddy bear fluff fool you. He can do some real damage to his Yellow Dog stuffed toy.

It’s about 3-inches long and he carries it around everywhere. I now have the entire family on Yellow Dog watch.

We even have a backup Yellow Dog in addition to our backups for the backup (they are pink and green). He loves Yellow Dog and keeps track of him all day.

Provided Yellow Dog doesn’t slide too far under the couch and he can’t reach it. Then he needs a little help.

Clearly, he is a fierce warrior beast who also happens to be a mama’s boy.

Look, I raised my human son to be strong and capable and strike out on his own.

At least let me have the spoiled rotten dog.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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