I wonder if moms “smell” different? I have come to this question, because our 50-pound dog, who believes she is a still a tiny puppy, ran in the door, sniffed for a brief moment and raced to the dark corner where I sat at my computer. She jumped in my lap, threatening to knock over the stack of books on my desk.
Meanwhile the other dog barked wildly and bit the lap dog’s paw. She is jealous! Chaos reigns for a moment…and it’s simply because I am the mom of this household and in demand by everyone. All our animals—cat, dogs, horses, goats, chickens, and ducks—seem to have a honing instinct which keeps them tuned to me.
And this is not because I feed them and give them more attention…The kids are the ones who feed the dog and the cats, the chickens and the equines. The kids are the ones who have tried to train their animals and give them attention. But still all the critters seem to know that it is “mom” you come to for help.
They treat Jurgen, the dad of our household, in a special way too. With him, the animals show deference and respect. He commands, they obey. With me there is the frantic fight for attention. Clearly there is something distinctive about moms and dads—females and males—that even animals can sense.
“Babs” is an abandoned old dog who lives with us. She manages to open the bathroom door whenever I am in there! I remember the days when the kids were little and I accepted the fact that moms have no privacy back then; but now I have an old dog who can’t let me out of her sight either!
At night, the fat cat, sleeps at my head and the old dog sleeps on the floor next to me. I can’t turn in the bed, or stand up at night, without running into an animal! When I go outside, the barnyard cat, who is skittish around everyone else, lets me pick her up and carry her around. I take that back–she “asks” to be picked up and carried around!
The chickens and the ducks clamor at the gate when I come outside, while they hold back and watch the kids before leaving their pen. The ornery donkey responds to Jurgen by calling out for food by the window where Jurgen sits. But she puts her 12” ear up against my face when she’s worried about having a hoof trim.
All in all, I’m thinking that if there is something special about the essence of moms and dads that even the animals can sense, then our society better not mess with this. God created families in a most precise way!
I mean, hey, if even cats cry out for a human mom and dad, children deserve them too!!!
Copyright 2014, Judith Costello