The statement no parent should ever say. No excuses.

The statement that just isn’t acceptable.

Before my kids came along I had two fur babies.

An apricot boy with soft brown eyes and a wiggle-waggle tail called Murphy and a teeny black moppet called Maggie.

I brushed them every second day. I took them everywhere I went and they slept at the end of my bed, when they didn’t sneak up to my pillow.

Ten years later they are still a part of my family, but with the arrival of three kids they slowly worked their way down the pecking order to become just dogs.

Because, in reality that’s what they are.


It’s puzzling to think that any mother could see them as something else, as something that she loved more than her child.

And to publicly admit it in one of the world’s most read newspaper seems bizarre. You wonder what a mother expects to gain by making statement such as this”

“Matilda is not my daughter. She is my four-year-old West Highland White terrier, and I freely admit that I love her as much as I love my 11-year-old son, William. In fact, on some occasions I love her more than him. And I don’t feel a bit guilty about admitting that.”

"I love my dogs more than my child."

The authour's reasons for loving her dog more than her child stem from the fact that the 11-year-old boy doesn’t give her any recognition when she takes him to swimming lessons.

“No matter how many meals I dream up for William, how many of his clothes I launder or how many times I take him swimming or to after-school clubs, I barely get a word of recognition or thanks.”

To the fact that her dog will always need her while her son will grow up.

“I feel that Matilda's needs now are more pressing.” She writes.

“There is also the fact that she will always be a baby, while my son is growing up and away from me. “

She even somehow blames her divorce.

“And as a single mother, I have to hand William over to his father every other weekend, so my relationship with him is punctuated by periods when he is away from me. Not so with Matilda, who never leaves my side or suffers from divided loyalties.

It’s hard to understand how she came to any of these conclusions, let alone felt it was okay to acknowledge it to her son.

Her reasoning itself seems puerile, self-absorbed and narcissistic.


Dogs aren’t children. Dogs aren’t even like children.

Dogs aren't children.

Your dog might depend on you for food, a scratch behind the ears and a walk in the park, but let's be honest you could leave her with the neighbour for a few days and she really wouldn’t notice the difference.

Your dog might look appreciative when you plonk that bowl of chicken necks down, but in reality we both know the waggy tail and the liquid eyes is for the chicken necks not the provider.

Dogs are an amazing addition to any family but that’s what they are – an addition.

I am desperately hoping that this authour’s words are tongue-in-cheek, that when she says she loves her dog more than her son she is actually holding that 11-year old boy tight and telling him it's all a laugh.

Dogs are definitely part of the family. But just not the most important part.

Because words like this just make me sad:

“When her face is pressed into my neck, her nose cold and wet against my ear, her love for me palpable - that I really cannot imagine loving anyone or anything more. ... In my mind, though, and despite what anyone else might think, based on my love for her and the fulfillment of her needs over anyone else's, Matilda will always be first.”

You can tell your dog you love her a million times and it won’t make a scrap of difference. Not telling your child could change their life.

Do you think it is okay to say you love your pets more than your children?

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