Canberra dog mums to celebrate Mother's Day with 'fur real' event

Everything Melissa Grantham does for her children, she does for her dogs; with one key difference.

She lets her greyhound Lucy spend every night tucked up in bed with her.

"I guess it's funny because I would say that I wouldn't want my children sleeping in my bed anymore," Ms Grantham said.

"I tell them they're too big, they have their own bed. But [with] Lucy, I'm like, 'Come to bed', even though she has her own bed.

"Otherwise, everything I do for my children, I do for my dogs. I get up and get my kids breakfast and I feed the dogs breakfast. I do the same things throughout the day."

Tatum Brown with her whippet Ollie and Melissa Grantham with her greyhound Lucy.
Picture: Jamila Toderas

Tatum Brown with her whippet Ollie and Melissa Grantham with her greyhound Lucy. Picture: Jamila Toderas

This Mother's Day, Ms Grantham will not only be celebrating with her children, but with her dogs as well.

Sunday's Mutts and Mums event will see dog-loving women come together for some mini-pamper sessions, a glass of wine and dog activities to mark Mother's Day.

But unlike Ms Grantham, those attending don't actually need to have children to celebrate being a mother. They just need a dog.

"We see ourselves as mums," organiser and dog mum Tatum Brown said.

"We go through the puppy stages and cleaning up after them, and the times that you need patience and to take them to the vet and being with them when they're sick during the night.

"It's exactly the same as parenting so why don't we celebrate it? There's lots of women out there that can't necessarily have children or may just not want children so this is a nice way to have that bond."

Recent years have seen the rise of the "fur baby", with an Animal Medicines Australia report finding two-thirds of households with dogs regarded their companion as part of the family.

Meanwhile, a Qualtrics report found Millennials in particular were more likely to not want or not be ready for children (44 per cent), than to not want pets (27 per cent).

Ms Brown is one person who has chosen to be a "fur mum" rather than having children, believing her three dogs suit her lifestyle better than children would.

"In my 20s ... people were like, 'That will change one day', but for me, I have always had a connection with animals and more so dogs, so that's why I've chosen that route," she said.

"But research shows these days that more women and men are choosing to go the dog route instead of the human route.

"It's a choice whether or not to have kids but it's still nice to come home at the end of the day and have the dogs there and have that cuddle time on the couch and be able to take them places and have experiences with them. It's not that I'm totally forgoing being a mum; I'm just a dog mum."

  • Mutts and Mums will be at the Mercure Canberra on Sunday from 2pm. Tickets are available from