On Being a Dog Mom

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Mother’s Day is next Sunday. It’s a day which asks people to remember the importance and significance of mothers in their life and its observed as a day to give a special emphasis to the motherly figures in our lives.

Meaning it can be, for many reasons, very hard on some people. I just want to recognize those valid feelings because I have many of our dearest Rover-Time customers in mind as I begin this post.

This holiday has me thinking back on an old memory. Over four years ago, a well intentioned gal sent me this article while I was pregnant with my son Archie. I had a visceral reaction to it. I remember feeling deeply offended and hurt by the idea that my dog Chauncey would become anything less in our lives.

Why? Well, this dog came with an endearing story. He gave my husband and I someone to raise for the first few years of our marriage. Announcing Archie’s anticipated arrival was pretty difficult because it privately began my questioning about where he’ll fit in. But the steps we took before I had my son and the plan in place for after, helped.

Fast forward to present day, now a busy household of five that revolves around a terrific four year old boy with his little brother Lou, who’s now six-months old. And Chauncey often stands right in the middle of it all. Guess what? He still carries a hugely important role in our family’s lovely mess, especially my mess of a life. We love our dog immensely. 

No, he won’t make me a Mother’s Day card or build me a bird feeder, but he’s still my favorite. He remains my best friend and I snuggle the crap out of him daily, no joke. I put Lou down all the time to reach for my dog. And Chauncey and I still sleep close every night, his presence bringing me peace and deep comfort. On days I haven’t wanted to parent Arch or Lou, Chauncey being there has been quick therapy and got me back up and running with my responsibilities. And on days I’ve dragged my feet to my desk to start another work day, his prancey pitter patter running behind me motivated me to run Rover-Time.

Becoming a Mom has been a great honor. Infertility and loss is real so I know, I am very lucky to be on this parenthood journey that I choose to be on. But the day I committed to Chauncey was also important, in very sweet and simple way. And I take it seriously with fierce loyalty because as my best friend, he deserves nothing less. 

Before I sign off, I’d love to invite all my dog & cat parents out to this brunch benefitting CRISP or, “Chicagoland Rescue Intervention & Support Program”. The Real Dog Moms of Chicago are hosting it at Chief O’Neill’s on May 18, beginning that day at 12:30. Tickets can be purchased here.




Julia Rohan founded Rover-Time in January of 2012 and received her formal training at FetchFind Academy, a program for aspiring dog trainers, based in Chicago. Julia lives in Irving Park with her husband Mark. Together they co-parent Archer, their 4-year old son, Lou, their 6-month old, and Chauncey Billups Vanderhoff, an over-confident, territorial, and anxious 8lb. Chihuahua-Terrier mix. All the boys do a decent job of melting her heart hourly.


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