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Mama Bear

I know most of you think I have two kids, but I actually have four. I know shocking right? Our boy is 7 and our girl is 10. The boy is a great running partner and loves to play with a tennis ball. And the girl pretty much has no rules and does whatever she wants - including drinking out of anybody's cup of water or milk. Don't leave your drinks unattended at our house.

Of course I am talking about our yellow lab, Dodger and our tuxedo cat, Tallulah Mae. I didn't realize I looked at our furry companions as kids until yesterday. Yesterday I went all crazy mama hulk, mama bear, or as I like to say mama bitch because it was concerning protecting our dog. Haha I couldn't help it.

Before I tell you what happened yesterday I want to explain something pretty rad that I didn't know happens when you become a parent. I first discovered it when I was dealing with our son's allergies and then later with our daughter's clear placement in the dauntless group from that teen Divergent  series. There is a powerful instinct inside every parent to protect and watch out for our children. That's why there's the often used term "mama bear". You know like when you are told never to approach a cute bear cub because the mama bear is somewhere close by and you do not want to mess with her. I think the superhero the hulk captures this instinctual protection mode pretty well.

One of the most terrifying things is bringing home a newborn baby from the hospital. There we were standing staring at each other eyes burning with lack of sleep wondering what in the world we did and how we are going to keep this infant alive.  I felt pretty helpless. That's before the discovery of the mama grizzly wolverine warrior woman. We all have her inside of us. It just takes an emergency to awaken her....

I hit the trail behind our house with my 7 year old furry son and ran hard.  The sun had a satisfying afternoon light to it and the steep ascent of the trail burned my legs. We rounded the bend, waved to a group of mountain bikers and headed into a neighborhood.  My feet hit the pavement in the only rythm I know how to do (running in a striaght line) and my mind wandered as I  listened to some kick butt running tunes. Then I saw it up ahead. Mama hulk - or in this case since I was with my dog child - mama bitch mode sparked. A man and his teenage son heading toward us on the sidewalk. The teen age boy barely had any control of a 110 pound German Shepard.

Everything slowed down. Including me. I figured it was not a good idea to charge in there direction but to walk past them. Dodger's hackles stood at attention and so did mine. As the huge dog bared its teeth and snarled, it lunged with its mouth open striaght toward my furry kid's throat.

Mama bitch  mode activated.

Being a veterninarian's wife I remembered something about dog behavior. If you seem confident and assertive dogs will respond as if you are the alpha. That was my one hope. This boy clearly had no control and our dog is submissive to our cat.

I yelled, "HEY!" three times in a voice I did not know I had. It must have been extremely loud because it seemed loud to me even over "survivor" blaring in my ears. Then a swift upper knee thrust knocking the dog's open mouth away from Dodger's throat. I looked the dad square in the eye and said in the same strange voice, "CONTROL YOUR DOG." Then we took off.

I prayed they had restrained dog because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to out run it.  After the adrenaline rush came anger. Anger which took a long time, deep breaths, and prayers to go away. That's the bear and hulk part. I didn't expect myself to react that way - but there she was deep inside me and I did.

All you mamas and dads out there have this mode. It's pretty amazing. I know there's a lot of scary stuff out there just around the corner coming toward us. Sometimes there's no way of avoiding something bad. It is just upon you and you have to face it. Well guess what? We all have that inner strength. The inner warrior who speaks with a voice we didn't know we had. And thinks clearly.  So whether you are a mama to human kids, furry kids, or have a whole mixed up pack go out and know you are fierce. Know you've got this incredible instinct and strength.

Because even though I may run in purple and magenta floral tights paired with a hot pink top, you'd better not mess with any of my cubs because mama bear is close by.


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