When I talk to women who have kids, one of the adjustments they tell me they need to make is the fact that their identity is challenged. In some settings like the playground, they lose their first names altogether in exchange for becoming so-and-so’s mom. I think I got a glimpse of this phenomenon in the Walmart pet food aisle today. Deogi and I had taken a nice trip to the park, and since Walmart is on the way home, I left him in the car and ran in to get some food for him. A girl in a PetSmart shirt caught me off guard when she said, “Was that Deogi in the car? I wasn’t sure I recognized your face, but I recognize people’s dogs.” She then informed me that she had parked beside me and thought she recognized Deogi when she looked over. On the positive side, I know that the employees at PetSmart take notice of my dog. (Of course, I think this may be because his doggie day camp behavior is…um…memorable. I’ve been informed that sometimes he has to be put in timeout.) On the negative side, I think losing my name to be so-and-so’s owner might be more challenging than losing my name to a child. After all, at least mothers are raising human beings, little people that might grow up and change the world. I’m taking care of Deogi, who spent the duration of my Walmart enlightenment slobbering and shedding all over the backseat of the car. Ah well…at least he lets me talk aloud when I’m at home without it seeming like I’m going completely crazy.