I know there are people who think a dog is a dog is a dog. For me and my friends, our dogs have been like children. I know that I would not be half the mom I am today if Snoopy and Jasmin, my two dogs, had not started me on the path to being a mom.
I was self-fish, self-centered, and pretty thought-less when it came to others. I never really owed anybody anything. DH accepted me for me so I didn't really have a need to change and then Snoopy entered my life. Gone were the days of just running to NC for the weekend. I had a dog, a dependent, to think about. Martha before dogs and Martha after really are different Marthas.
So make fun if you must. My first child has four legs and so does my second. My third baby loves the first two and they love her back. We are a happy family of five so yes I would mourn my dog as a child; they made me a mom. So today I have K in my thoughts and prayers because she lost a child, a furry four-legged (well three-legged in Dig's case) child and she is in pain. So dogs are a better class of people, thank you B for reminding me.