I buy designer clothes, gourmet food, and therapy sessions for my baby, but she isn’t my daughter; she is my DOG.

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I buy my baby designer clothes, gourmet food, and therapy sessions for her, but she isn’t my daughter; she is my DOG.

Harley has everything a spoilt child could want, including a pretty red jacket, a pearl necklace, and a large collection of ­cuddly toys.

Except for the fact that Harley is a dog.

Cici Reagan, her owner, is one of an increasing number of women who prefer to devote their love and attention to a pet rather than children.

Last week, Pope Francis condemned the practice, calling it “a denial of fatherhood and motherhood that diminishes us and takes away our humanity.”

In the United Kingdom, there are more than 20 million cats and dogs, far outnumbering the 12.7 million children under the age of 16.

Last year, the birth rate was at an all-time low.

Three childless women who treat their animals like children, on the other hand, defend their lifestyle choice.

They insist that their love for their pets is just as important as any other parent’s love for their children.

CICI REAGAN, 30, from Newcastle, describes herself as the mother of Harley, her mini English bulldog.

She explains:

“My maternal instincts went into overdrive the moment I saw Harley as a tiny puppy.

I just wanted to cuddle her and look after her, just like a new mother would do with her child.

Harley is my baby in every way that matters.

She eats raw food meals that I prepare especially for her.

I love dressing her up in her little outfits, jumpers, and jewelry, and she sleeps in my bed every night.

She is the most important person in my life, without a doubt.

I never make a decision without first considering how it will affect her.

Even if I have to go out for a short time, she has a regular babysitter who comes around to look after her – and I always check in to make sure she’s okay and doesn’t miss me too much.

When she had issues obeying commands and playing with other dogs, I even had her see a therapist.

When I refer to Harley as my “little girl” or “daughter,” people stare at me strangely until they realize I’m referring to a dog.

But, like a baby I’d given birth to, she’s my child.

I’m currently single, but if I do find someone, he must unconditionally accept Harley and love her as much as I do.

Otherwise, he’d be on his way out the door.

Since I was 17, I’ve known I didn’t want children of my own.

Because of my mother’s terminal illness, I was forced to look after my baby sister and younger brother when I was just a teenager…

Infosurhoy’s most recent news in a nutshell.

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