Episode 67

I saw Angela yesterday.  

I got in there, armed with my notebook and book of soduko puzzles and diet coke.  I told her I felt a little better after last week.  And she asked what happened last week.  I told her that we went over the personality stuff.  To get started she asked on a scale of 1-10 where am I usually at, I think with how content I feel only she did not say those words.  It was in enjoying life.  I told her 3.  I thought I was being rather generous.  Because I am rarely happy.  Only I am feeling better.  I don’t know if I am finally getting over losing Babsy and Quinnie.  They were special.  This week I found a teet on Odie that is the size of a testicle.  I made an appointment for her, but there is not much I will do.  I do not want to put an almost 12 year old shepherd through surgery.  She’s the one that lost most of her hair and we are giving thyroid meds to now.  They did say the blood work is indicating something more.  Mammary cancer could be it.  And Heidi, she will be 13 on the 19th and I came out to feed everyone and she wasn’t moving.  Damn!  I called her name.  Nothing.  I thought she was dead.  But she was sleeping.  When she did get up, she was having trouble getting her legs under her.  But a few minutes later she was moving pretty good and all interested with her food dish.  I know it is just a matter of time.  

So, the change in mood could be the dogs, but I still have some trouble there.  I still miss my girls.  Daily.  Maybe I’m feeling better because I am not spending so much time trying to get Karen to be less hard with me.  And while I knew right away it was over, because I couldn’t trust her after she said she was referring me elsewhere, I am maybe spending less time worrying about what is wrong with me, and less time being mad at her.    I am maybe feeling less hurt.  

So my mood is improving.   I didn’t talk about this though.  Angela asked what needed to happen for me to get to a five.  And, being my typical self, I said, “if I could be independently wealthy.”  I followed that with something like she couldn’t help me with that.  She said maybe she can.  We spent the entire session discussing ways to earn income, secondary sources of income, like rentals.  She was asking about maybe making money off the knowledge I have about dogs.  I finally said I would like to, maybe when I am retired, be a person you could call when your dog is going to have puppies.  Someone experienced who can come over a week or two before they are due to make suggestions for the set up, and to talk about what to expect, get used to the bitch, let the bitch get used to me.  And then when she goes in labor, I can come over and be the whelper helper.  

I was a little frustrated because I think I should be working on the tough stuff.  I have changed things mid-stream, last week or the week before so I could talk about what I needed to.  But that didn’t seem to be something I could do this week.  Maybe she wants to still work on getting the relationship/connection to a certain place.  I don’t know.  Trusting her and trusting my judgement has been made more difficult because of Karen.  There’s that.  And there aren’t any short cuts.  I don’t want her to go into this stuff if she doesn’t think we’re ready.  But it is frustrating if I am not ready.  

It’s still good.  I am still cleaning.  I am enjoying some sports now — preseason football and baseball in Cleveland.  And I am getting my nieces this weekend and will take them to the fair.  Good stuff is happening.  My company changed hands and they were giving 25% up to 6% into my retirement, but the new company is giving 25% up to 10%.  So I changed it to 10%.  My hope is that by the time I retire, I will be able to replace the trailer.  We’ll see. 

Join the Conversation


  1. mkyuellig

    Hey solongago,

    Good to hear from you. I’m so sorry that you are struggling with the loss of your dogs. Animals touch our hearts in such special ways. A lot of people have the mentality of “it’s just a dog” but when you have the privilege of having a genuine connection with an animal, you know that we can love animals just as much as people, especially when they are apart of our everyday lives. Grieving is a hard process, and your pain is valid.

    I think your goal of being someone that helps dogs deliver their litters is a really cool and smart goal. You have so much knowledge, and a lot of people have no idea what to expect in situations like that. Maybe there’s some kind of course or certification you can get that could help you to reach this goal. Even if it isn’t your main source of income, I think its important to do work that you love, and I think it would make you feel good.

    I understand your frustration with how Angela seems to be taking things slowly and hasn’t gotten to the more serious issues. Trust that she is building a sturdy foundation so that you will have something to stand on when you do get to the point where those topics come up. Also, if you really want to talk about something specific, then it’s okay for you to bring it up. You are in the drivers seat of your sessions, and Angela is there to help YOU. You can tell her what you do and don’t want to talk about – and if she thinks it isn’t the right time to discuss something, the you guys can discuss it. Remember that she is there to provide a service to you, but at the same time the relationship between you both is important for the quality of your care.

    I think you are doing a really good job. I hope that you are able to get things up to at least a 4 – you’ve got a lot of good things going on right now.

    stay strong and be gentle with yourself

  2. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    I’m really sorry your dogs are going through rough times. Losing pets that you’ve had for years isn’t easy. I think using the knowledge you have about dogs to be independently wealthy is a great idea. You have the experience, and you like working with dogs.
    I’m glad you’re feeling less hurt about Karen. It may still take time to trust, and that’s okay. Maybe Angela is taking things slowly and making sure you feel more comfortable before getting into the tough stuff. Like Roxie said, this may be a good question to ask her.
    I’m also so happy that you have things to look forward to in your life and that you’re making time for what you enjoy. These things can help us achieve a better balance between work and non-work activities, and they can help us decompress.
    Thank you for updating us! It sounds like you’ve been doing better. You are strong, and we’re here for you.

  3. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Solongago,
    Even if you are only giving yourself a three, you sound so much better these last few weeks than you did for a couple of months. Your topics and your tone sound more hopeful. I am sorry that you are going through so much with your dogs, they are your family and it hurts when you have to start preparing to let them go. Helping others with their whelping sounds like something you would be good at and enjoy.
    Not being able to direct the course of your session sounds frustrating. Hopefully, that phase will pass quickly or you could bring up to Angela. From the way you describe her, it sounds like she would tell you why she keeps things light vs gets into the heavy stuff if you ask her. Keep doing what you are doing because it is working. You sound better with every post and that is a wonderful thing:-)
    Sending you love and strength,

  4. grothkat8 Volunteer

    Hello and thank you for the update!

    I am so sorry your dogs aren’t doing very well lately, and I hope that they get better. Dogs are such amazing animals, and it’s hard seeing them get older. I’m glad you are doing better, and hope therapy continues to go well. It can be hard to trust, especially after what happened, but I think with time it will be okay. Talk about what you’re comfortable with, and with time it will get easier.

    Hope you have fun at the fair with your nieces! We are always here to talk when you need us.


  5. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thank you for coming back to share an update to your story. I’m sorry to hear that your dogs are struggling so much. It does sound like they have had a very long life which is good, it’s really hard when dogs get older to help make sure they stay comfortable. Its good to hear that your mood is improving. That would be so cool to do some work with dogs! Sounds like you would be really good for that. Also, it’s always nice when football comes back! Browns are supposed to be really good this year, so that’s something to look forward to!

    Stay strong,


    1. Solongago

      Browns won 30-10. I know pre-season, but we take our victories wherever we can. Been a Browns’ fan for 50 years. I want this to be “next year.” We want it all. LOL. And the Indians. We lost Kluber, Carrasco, and Clevinsher (sp?) this year and Terry Francona kept us in this season. Clevinsher is back, and Kluber is pitching in Akron I think tomorrow, just sixty pitches, but he may be back this year. Evenso. what a ride the Indians are giving us! Yes, there are good things happening.

  6. Graciegrace22


    I am glad to hear that even though the process may be small that it is still there. I am gad that talking to Angela seems to be going well for you. I hope things continue to turn around for you and I am proud of how far you have come.

  7. Lizzi

    I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better overall and maybe even feeling less hurt by Karen. I’m sorry that you’re still grieving the loss of your dogs. Losing a pet can be so painful and it’s understandable that it would take a while to feel less sad about their loss. I’ve lost many pets in my life and even after years, memories of them make me cry. I think your idea of helping other dog owners with breeding could be a really good source of income for you, and something you would enjoy doing. It’s understandable that you’d feel frustrated that you didn’t work on anything difficult in therapy, but therapy also doesn’t always have to be tough. Sometimes it’s important to take a break from the deep, tough stuff to protect yourself. But if there’s things you really want to talk about, I bet she’d be open to that too.

  8. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    I am glad you are feeling better. I know losing pets is difficult and time heals it . Its ok to let your emotions out and I know how hard it is to deal with grief. So glad the company is giving more into your retirement. Just know we are here for you and we care about you. Take care and let us know if you need anything.

  9. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m glad you’re still feeling a bit better. I can imagine how difficult it would be to loose such beloved pets after so many years. I think it’s perfectly okay to continue grieving for them. There’s no time limit on grief after all. Making a business out of becoming a Welper Helper (love the name btw) sounds like a great idea for a secondary income. I’m glad that your company merger turned into a positive thing for you as well. That can be so stressful not knowing what’s going to happen at work. Have a wonderful time at the fair this weekend. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon.
    All the best,

  10. Leximcclelland Volunteer

    Thanks for coming back to us with an update!
    I feel for you so much with your dogs, I have had a few older dogs in the last five guests or so. Nothing is more heartbreaking, they are family. I am so sorry you’re going through that right now. Even if some of your pups don’t have much longer before they cross the rainbow bridge, I hope they are some great days spent with lots of cuddles and kisses.
    As far as seeing Angela, sometimes baby steps are good. And sometimes those smaller things build up so much that they can really effect your mood. I hope you’re finding it helpful to talk about the everyday things like extra income, at least a little. And go at your own pace, don’t beat yourself up if you need more time to really gain that trust with her to open up to the trauma you’ve endured. You’ll get there!
    I really think that’s a great idea about being a whelper helper!
    Yay preseason football! My favorite time of year, my team won their game last night. I hope this brings you some happiness to get into football, it really is so much fun to watch and gives you something to look forward to. I hope this weekend with your nieces is wonderful!! The fair is always a blast especially with kids.
    As always stay strong 💕
    – Lexi

  11. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    I’m happy things are improving. It sounds like Angela is really helping you. Like Erin said you don’t always have to talk about trauma because it is good to make sure you are in a good mental place. Talking about trauma all the time can sometimes not always be a good thing. Thank you for updating us. I hope your next update will be just as good as this one.

  12. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I think it’s okay that you don’t always talk about your trauma in therapy. I sometimes talk about things that might seem mundane, but things that have been really frustrating me, or just need to vent about. But I can also understand if you want to get to the tough things, because you want to work through it. Thanks for coming back to share with us.


  13. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    I’ve read some of your story, and I think that you’re making amazing progress, even if it feels a little stagnant right now. There’s a lot happening in your life right now, which might be why Angela hasn’t gotten to the tough stuff just yet. It might be helpful to express that concern to her the next time you see her. Your feelings are valid, and I think that right now it might help to focus on the good things like your upcoming trip to the fair. Keep making these good strides!