My baby the dog comes first

Sitting at the vet’s office early yesterday morning, I watched a woman about my age holding a white poodle to her bosom, patting it just like she would pat a human baby. The pooch, only two years old, has a serious intestinal problem. My dog, Sadie, a 13-year-old shepherd-lab mix, has cancer. She’s too big to hold in my lap, but that doesn’t stop me from lots of petting and baby talk.
We were all waiting while the vet dealt with a terrier who had been hit by a car.
In my surveys of childless women, I have found that most of them have pets and admit to treating them like babies. These days while my dog is so sick, I have to keep reminding myself not to ignore my husband. I suspect I’d have been the same way with kids. It would be all about the children and the poor husband would be doomed to sloppy seconds.
How many times a day do I speak to the dog and the husband says, “What?” Then I have to explain, “No, I was talking to the dog.” Why wasn’t I talking to the husband? Is it maternal instinct that makes us place the child or the pet first? If I had to choose between the dog and the husband, would I choose the husband? Ooh, that’s a tough one.
Any dog moms out there care to comment on this touchy topic?