This one is tough.

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Hi all.  Yesterday I saw Angela, today I put Joy down.  Perhaps I should just stop there.  

I am struggling.  Angela met me at the receptionist’s window and saw the new Covid-questions that ask if you’ve been in certain states.  Well, I mentioned that NY wasn’t in there, and she said NY was doing really good.  She said they started out bad, and I said that was because Cuomo had them put Covid patients in nursing homes.  She said he didn’t and I countered with, “yes he did”  — from MSN news site:

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial March 25 order that required nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients was deleted from the state of New York’s website, Fox News reported.
  • On May 10, Cuomo released new guidance that prohibited hospitals from sending people who tested positive for COVID-19 back to nursing homes, though his administration said the new guidance added to — but did not replace — the original order. 
  • At least 5,800 people have died in New York nursing homes and adult care facilities. 

And I was a little heated, not at her, I didn’t think, but she immediately said that she had NEVER seen me so angry with her, and it is not ok.  She had already, months ago said we can’t talk about politics because then she gets no say.  But then last week she was wearing a BLM button, so I asked her if white lives matter and she said, “yes, but don’t get distracted.”  So after saying that I was tripping over my white privilege, (she laughed) and I let that drop.  I was going to wear my God, Guns, Trump 2020 T-shirt yesterday, but with Joy dying, I just didn’t have the heart.  And I really don’t want any of this to be about politics. 

But the mask-thing is so political.  And Ohio, where I live has a RINO (republican in name only) governor.  And I am pretty passionate about politics.  

But, when she said, “that is NOT ok — so nothing about going to wear my Trump shirt, nothing about what everyone knows that Cuomo did mandate nursing homes to accept Covid patients, which has me so fired up.  When she said that, I had a major melt down.  It is so frustrating and embarrasing, looking back I think I crashed back into Babsy dying and Karen chucking me.  I immediately thought she did not want me there and that I should go and my mind was whirling and tears were rolling and I was scared and irritated/frustrated that I could not maintain control, and I was doing everything in my power to stay present, I was shaking.  I was looking everywhere but at her, because she had a mask on.  And she was saying stuff, I don’t know she finally said, “Ok, now I am feeling really uncomfortable.”  

I choked out the question, “Do you want me to go?”  She said, “No, I want for you to tell me what is happening.”  

So, I told her that I made the appointment, the appointment to kill Joy.  So we talked about that.  

The thing is, it wasn’t Joy.  Joy was 11 years old and I named her Evenstar’s Joyful Endeavor.  She was out of my Jenna who was out of Arwen.  The first litter out of Jenna and Gispo.  And she was very special.  I did conformation, agility, CGC, and Rally with her.  I had high hopes for her, because she was sweet and good, but her hips at 2 looked worse than any hips I have ever seen on x-ray.  I never bred her.  But she was loved.  Her hips did not cause issues until she was 10 and GSDs are given 10-12 years, so well, I can’t say it doesn’t hurt because it is almost killing me, it hurts so much.  I whelped her and had her every day of her life.  11 years is a long time to share with a magnificent critter.  But it wouldn’t hurt so bad if it wasn’t so good.  And we know going into it that we will out live them.  And Joy had been losing mobility for months.  It was time. 

I think the emotions were just on the surface because of that, and anything would have tipped them over.  I had a really raunchy mask-less weekend, with being refused to be allowed in the bike shop, after having been given the wrong parts (their fault) and driving two more hours out of the way to go back.  And having to get Cujo’s pills curbside because I am not allowed in the vet.  And then the lady at the bank drive through telling me that I would have to make my loan payment in the lobby now since it is open, whereas, I had to explain, they require a mask and so I am using the drive through.  And then some lady at WalMart making a crappy comment about my masklessness.  All on the same day. So I was already heated about the Covid stuff. 

And up to this point Angela was removing her mask when we got into her office.  Yesterday she left it on.  And when I mentioned it, she said she will lose her job if she doesn’t wear it.  I think that is bullshit.  But I can’t argue.  She knows why I have trouble with her wearing it.  I told her that I am afraid to tell them why I can’t wear the mask the whole time or they will try to make me tele-visit.  She knows I don’t have the internet, and I would have to do that at my parents’ house in there living room, which I cannot do.   I can’t wear the mask the entire time, and she is not making me.  But she is wearing it, and I can’t look at her in it without increasing my anxiety almost to the point of panic.  She wears hospital masks, and I have that white-coat syndrome.  But that really isn’t the issue, the issue is needing to see facial expressions to connect.  She says I know what her face looks like so she just doesn’t get it.  And maybe I am over-reacting. 

I told her I didn’t think I could come anymore.  She said I was upset and should think about it.  I really don’t know.  I don’t know if she is helping me or if I am actually getting worse.  I feel a lot worse.  I think I am hanging on because the idea of stopping and finding someone else is daunting.  

We are miles apart politically, but it seems that the field is dominated by folks that tend to be liberals.  And folks say that we that support our president are racist and a bunch of other things.  I can only say that my two favorite people in the universe are 13 year old girls from Guatamala.  And, that I think we as a society should embrace everyone as human beings, and not separate people into races and genders, religions and preferences pointing out and celebrating differences, making victims of everyone for whatever minority they belong to.  I think we should accept all people as individuals on their own merit, stepping up when anyone is treated with injustice without regard to the groups the perpetrator and/or victim belongs to.  I am ok with everyone having their own views, so that shouldn’t be a problem.  But maybe it is.  

The vet came to my house this morning with a tech, and my dad came to help me with her body.  The vet and her tech were wearing masks.  But it was ok.  I wasn’t we were outside, and I think that made everything easier.  I did my balling for Joy yesterday.  I went to work, but had trouble focusing, so I took a half day vacation.  

I don’t know what to do.  I told Angela not to cancel my appointments.  But it so hard to not feel like a leper when people are wearing masks, so hard to read people without being able to see them.  Covid sucks!!!  Not because of the virus, but because of the lengths people go to try to have the power that only God has.  


Join the Conversation


  1. jlanderos16 Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,
    Thank you for sharing your story and coming back to AVFTI by giving us an update. I’m sorry to hear your bad week, but it could always get better next week. Yes, I agree about covid, it’s just a stressful time for everyone and I’m sorry for Joy. It’s hard losing a beloved pet. But I really hope this is the last time of you having a bad week and just move on with better weeks. Please be safe and can’t wait for another update from you.

  2. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I know it’s been over a week since you posted your above message, but I’ve been on vacation and just wanted to reach out. I’m really sorry to hear about your hard week. Covid continues to be a stress for all, and I know you’ve mentioned the issue with masks in the past. I’m really, really sorry to hear about Joy. Losing a beloved pet is such a difficult event to go through – I hope the passing days have helped you with the mourning process. I understand your frustration about politics these days. I think it’s become irritating for everyone, no matter what side people are on and I sure hope after the election is over that things calm down a bit and we can be a bit more of a united country than it has felt like as of late. I think it is good to always listen to one another and understand why people believe what they do rather than to make assumptions or think the worst of people and their intentions. I’m sorry that the political side of things caused you to butt heads with Angela, hopefully things are better now since you posted here, since it sounds like she’s always been understanding of your concerns in the past. It does sound like you should definitely steer clear of politics when you meet so that you can benefit from your therapy sessions. You both know where each other stands, but that doesn’t mean she can’t still be effective at helping you with your therapy. I know that you’ve had difficult sessions with her in the past, but overall it sounds like she’s been a great help to you, so try to keep that in mind if you find yourself wandering into any of the political territory. I sure hope that the past 10 days have gone better for you. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon!

  3. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    I’m sorry that you had a rough week. I understand what you mean about being fed up with covid and all the subsequent restrictions. If it helps, I certainly don’t think less of you for choosing not to wear a mask. I wish more people could be understanding of the vast reasons that others may or may not be able to wear a mask. Everyone has difficult days. I’m sorry that you bumped heads with Angela this week. I understand how difficult that can be for you. Hopefully next week will be better after you’ve had some time to grieve for your precious Joy. She sounds like she had a long and happy life with you. It’s hard to lose someone so close to you though. Take your time to grieve. We’re here for you. Hang in there!

    All the best,

  4. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    I can only imagine what it feels like to lose a pet, and I sympathize with you. It’s okay to grieve. It sounds like this week has been tough. This pandemic is affecting everyone in different ways, and adjusting to (and living with) all these changes is difficult.
    It is hard when others don’t understand our point of view. Personally, I have different beliefs than one of my friends. At first, I’ll admit that his beliefs rubbed me the wrong way. However, he told me where he was coming from, and I decided to hear him out. I can at least understand where he’s coming from, and I believe that’s a good thing. We’re able to talk about politics because we’re willing to listen to each other and connect on common ground. I’m telling you this to say that it’s possible to connect even with different beliefs. You can have your own beliefs, and Angela can have hers. If you feel you can’t talk about politics with Angela, maybe you both can focus on your common ground, which would be your therapy sessions.
    I’m curious – how are you feeling now that you’ve had some time away from the situation?
    Thank you for updating us. We’re here for you, and I hope next week is better for you. I believe you can get through this.

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Well, It’s been a week since that visit, which means I had another visit today. I don’t know how I am feeling. I was losing it in there today, and she asked me and I had to say, “I don’t know.” She took me into a bigger, conference room, so we could be farther apart, but left her mask on, and I don’t know what the point of that was. I know I am having trouble connecting, and I was trying to focus on her eye balls, but it’s hard to get past the big hospital mask on the rest of the face. I think I’ve spent a lifetime looking anywhere but people’s eyes, so I have a hard time reading eyes. I’m depressed right now and I am feeling more and more isolated. There are some good things happening, some marks of progress. I forced myself to list them out in there today: I am taking my medicine, regularly; I am riding my bike; I am doing projects around the house and planning things for my house. So I told her I was better in some ways. I also listed the ways I am not better: I am way too emotional and having trouble regulating the emotions/ feeling out of control; feeling hopeless; feeling isolated; having a lot of nightmares. How much of that is just part of the grieving process, how much of it is the mask-issue, how much is just where we are in this whole process?

      Right now where I am in this process: It was horrendous what happened to me. All of it. All that I know of it. Who knows? There may be more atrocities that just haven’t reared their ugly heads yet, but we have enough to be getting on with. None of that should have happened, and in trying to heal from it, a part of me believes that I deserve to feel safe, to feel cared for, to feel unhurried. Angela thinks that as I am getting better, I am afraid of losing the relationship. It’s possible.

      1. music2799 Day Captain

        I’m glad you’re keeping track of your progress. It can help to remember the good things when we’re not feeling great. It’s awesome that you’re taking care of yourself in these ways and planning projects for your house!
        You didn’t deserve what happened to you, and you do deserve to feel safe and cared for. It may be possible that you’re figuring out how to feel safe in this therapist-client relationship, and maybe the mask is leading you to feel less safe (due to the various memories and associations it’s triggering within you). It can be hard to connect when we can’t see other people’s facial expressions.
        You’re working through a lot right now, and it can be difficult to feel all these emotions at once. Would it help to focus on what you can control? It’s definitely easier said than done, but it might help you feel more in control and less hopeless. Isolation can also be exhausting. I just want to let you know that you’re not alone, and you can always come here whenever you need to talk.

        1. Solongago Volunteer

          Thank you. The mask thing is making me crazy. And, no, I cannot control what others do about the masks. I have to think about what I can control. I want to go in there and put my bandana over my eyeballs so I don’t have to see anything. With the EMDR, which we haven’t done in a few weeks, most is done with the eyes closed. But then I can open my eyes and gage her response to what I have been saying through facial expressions, which I cannot do now. Sigh. I am not adjusting very well to what is going on.

  5. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Solongago,
    It sounds like you had a very rough week. Loosing our animal companions is extremely difficult and you have had to deal with that a lot the last couple of years. I hope that things are better now and that you have been able to think about how you want to move forward with thearpy in a calm state of mind. It is very easy to make decisions from an emotional state and I think that is why Angela asked you to take time before cancelling your appointments. Keep working on your healing journey in whatever way you need to do it.
    Sending you love and strength,

  6. Amysue43 Volunteer

    We’re glad that you are back to update us on your situation! I’m sorry about your situation with Joy. It can be really hard to lose a pet and adjust to the process of having to put them down. Someone once told me, “A dog may not be there for your entire life but you are there for theirs.” Even though that kind of obvious, it’s always stuck with me. Their whole life was with you and you made them happy and loved.
    Otherwise, I hope that you’re staying safe and doing all you can with the Covid situation. I saw your comment that you do have asthma and I know there are alternatives for a more breathable fabric. Perhaps googling some alternative could help you access the places that you love and want to enjoy again!
    Stay strong <3

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      I have asthma and a lung obstruction. I am not going to wear a mask. It is not healthy for me, and it triggers me. It takes me back to that pond where I was choking to death. No. No one can make me. It sucks that I have to sometimes tell people I have a medical condition. It’s ok. There aren’t that many places I go now anyway.

  7. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi there Solongago!
    Wowzers, it certainly sounds like a very overwhelming week! My heart is breaking with you over Joy. It’s ok to allow yourself plenty of time to grieve & feel sad or like crying. Thanks for returning to provide updates. I’m glad that you do as it has provided a safe haven for you to share especially after your times with Angela. I can totally understand about the connection of wearing a mask & facial expressions. When you can’t see the whole face, I know for me it becomes a challenge. I believe you can also tell a lot about someone’s eyes. Maybe try focussing on Angela’s eyes might help you get past the connection if having to see the whole face. I know I have to do that. Sometimes it’s easier & other times, it’s not. Please don’t allow the mask issue to cause you to run or retreat in your healing. You have come way too far to throw it in now! Be patient & take it minute by minute. Take several deep breaths when you see Angela. I believe that you will find the strength to continue. You are such an incredible person. I admire your courage to press on! Keep pressing on. You can do it!

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Actually, I was thinking of using that bandana thing to put over my eyes the next time I go, so I don’t have to look at her mask and she can’t see my eyes. That sounds fair.

  8. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thank you for coming back with an update. I’m so sorry to hear about Joy. That is always such a painful experience. Don’t be afraid to feel all the emotions after something like that. A good cry can sometimes feel good with something that painful. Generally, I feel like it’s a good idea to avoid politics in most situations, simply because things right now are quite tense. Not a bad idea to focus on working through other personal things. I think that even if you don’t want to wear a mask it’s important to respect the wishes of businesses that require them! It’s frustrating not to be able to get into the bike shop but they are just trying to keep themselves and their customers safe! I think it’s totally fine that you and Angela don’t see eye to eye with politics. That shouldn’t affect your ability to work together on you! COVID is tough, the best we can do is try and keep a distance from other people and wear masks and hopefully, it will be over soon 🙂

    Stay strong,


    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Thank you for your reply. I cannot wear a mask. I have asthma, but lots of people with asthma wear masks. I get that. I have a lung obstruction. I also have diabetes, and high blood pressure, a vitamin D deficiency, and thyroid disease, all of which I take medicine for. All of which makes it really, REALLY bad if I get Covid, not to mention the obesity. But I cannot wear a mask. And that is partly because of being raped and nearly drowned in that pond. Whenever I feel my airway restricted at all I panic. When I panic, I hyperventilate. When I hyperventilate I get less oxygen, asthma attack blood pressure goes up. I am likely to wind up being carted off to the hospital where the covid cooties hang out.

      In Ohio right now the current government mandate is for all people to wear masks inside in public except small children and people with certain medical conditions — me. I don’t appreciate the shaming, the people suggesting that I am not concerned with the covid because I am not masking up. It is terribly frustrating that every last thing they are doing to “make us safer” is putting me in more danger. But I can’t change that. Some days it is just harder to take than others.

      I am still a little crazy about everything, but I got my kitchen/dining room cleaned this weekend. I am still riding my bike. I got through my grocery shopping, my bank account was overdrawn — forgot I made my life insurance payment by check, and then called on Thursday to see how much money I had before paying the vet something on my bill. I had $500 so gave them $200 and acted like I had $300 to spare, when I had about $48 to spare, and a tank of gas and stop to subway and Mr. Chicken and a 33$ over-limit charge and WalMart spit out my debit card with less than half an hour to go before closing time. I called the bank. Damn! I called my sister and asked her to rescue me. She did. She’s a saint. I waited for it to hit my account and then paid for the groceries with 8 minutes to spare.

      It’s been an eventful week. I procrastinated all day yesterday, after staying up all night. But I got the work done today. I still have to clean my bedroom, the hall, and the bathroom before the kids come on Saturday. The living room may not get done. I figure I can wash the floors and clean out the car on Saturday morning before picking them up. I figure I can do the bathroom tonight, the bedroom tomorrow night and the Hallway on Tuesday night. Maybe. Been working over time, and Tuesday may be bad because I have to leave early on Wed. Thursday and Friday I can spend an hour each night on the Living Room.

      Then the girls can help me do a project or two. I am thinking of removing all the stuff in my cupboards and putting this paper stuff down on the shelves after I scrub them. Or cleaning the three kennels on the one side where Odie is, and removing the chain link between them, so that I can make a larger kennel for Kojak and Ramona, which will give more room for Kaiah, and for Uzi. Or I can have them help me buy and spread cedar chips down for Cujo and Hepsi, clean and fill the swimming pools. There really is so much to do. And thinking about actually doing that stuff means I am in a much better place that I was a year ago.

  9. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,

    Thanks for posting again. I’m so sorry about Joy – putting down animals is so hard, especially ones you’ve had their whole lives. It’s ok to be sad about it, though. It sounds like you understand that it was her time, so I hope that brings you some solace.

    I don’t have any answers about your relationship with Angela but I hope it gets better for you. Please let us know if there’s any way we can help you!!

  10. rohina_kumar Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thank you so much for coming back on here and updating us! I’m really sorry about Joy’s loss; I can only imagine how hard it must be for you right now. You seemed deeply attached to her and you must truly be finding it a lot harder to adjust without her presence. Moreover, I can tell how frustrated you must be feeling right now about the fact that you and Angela aren’t on the same page about current political issues. That being said, I’m still glad you’re giving her a chance to help you during your recovery and still going for sessions. However, if this bothers you way too much, I’d really recommend changing your therapist if you can (while still continuing therapy, of course). I hope things become better for you very soon. We’re here to support you during your healing journey. Feel free to come back here at any time to give us another update. All the love.

  11. lizzi

    I’m so very sorry about Joy. I know how painful it is to lose a pet, but I hope you find comfort in knowing how much you loved her and that you gave her a great life. 11 years is a long time, and I can imagine it will be difficult getting used to her not being around anymore. I’m sorry to hear the struggle you’re having with seeing Angela due to differences of opinion. You’re entitled to your own thoughts and beliefs, and she’s entitled to hers as well. It’s unfortunate that you can’t do virtual visits, as that could help eliminate some of the barriers. However, it might be helpful to remember that she is there to help you through what you’re going through, and it’s not about agreeing on political issues. I know things have been hard lately, and I wonder if focusing on the masks and her political affiliation are a way of distracting from the difficult work you’re having to do in therapy. Did Angela suggest that you should cancel your appointments due to the mask issue? It might be hard to make progress if that’s such a big barrier for you right now. Sorry to hear your struggles, and I hope that things get better for you soon.

  12. haesol Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thank you for updating us. I’m very sorry to hear about your dog, I understand how difficult that is. Things seem to be very tough lately, but they will get better eventually, even if it doesn’t seem it right now. I wish you a lot of strength, and I hope your sessions with Angela get better too.
    Stay safe,

  13. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thank you for keeping us updated. I’m sorry that you had to put your dog down- that is definitely very tough to do. I hope your sessions with Angela get better, and if they don’t, I hope you can find a therapist that works for you!

  14. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    I’m sorry to hear about Joy. Just try to stay positive. I know things can get down and when they do they feel like they won’t get better, but I promise they always do. Continue to keep your head up and stay positive. Losing a pet is extremely difficult, but just remind yourself that they are in a better place and they aren’t in pain. They are always with you in your heart. Hopefully your week gets better.

  15. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,

    I’m so sorry about having to put Joy down. I can imagine how difficult that must of been. Sending positive thoughts your way. Take care.


  16. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Whats up Solonago i know how dogs are such a important companions and how they become family. I know the feeling of losing a pet and i am sorry you had a rough session. I hope you are having an okay week and please continue to keep us posted. I hope you hear from you soon.

  17. musicislove

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Joy. I know how important dogs are as companions and how they become family, losing them is really sad. I’m glad you had so much time with her though, that’s a blessing in itself, my dog I had before the one I have now died when she was 7 and I was heartbroken, I still miss her 8 years later. I’m also sorry your session with Angela was so upsetting. It’s difficult when someone you work so closely with has different views even though you’ve made a lot of progress while working with her. Covid and everything that comes with it also makes everything more stressful, there’s no denying that. I hope you have an okay week and thank you for giving us an update, I hope we hear from you again soon.


  18. zelda Volunteer

    Hi, Solongago, I’m sorry to hear about Joy. Animals bring so much light and happiness into our lives. When they get sick or have to be put down, it feels like our whole world has turned upside down. It’s not a fair predicament to be in, but I know you will be able to persevere.

    As for Angela, I understand y’all have different political beliefs. When we feel as if people don’t understand our point of view, it can be irritating and frustrating. My husband and I don’t see eye to eye on that subject, either. We just can’t talk about politics anymore. Instead of focusing on our differences, we focus on what we have in common. It’s helped us tremendously.

    Thank you for your post. We appreciate hearing from you, and we hope to hear from you again soon. Take care. ☮️

  19. pianogirl44 Volunteer

    Hello! I think COVID is affecting people in all types of ways. It’s a very challenging and difficult time to navigate. I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time. I think it is important that you took some time–even if it was just a day–off of work. You definitely needed the time to process difficult emotions.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  20. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I’m sorry it’s so tough with Angela right now. I know it’s hard to find a new therapist, but if you think she isn’t helping, then it might be worth looking at your other options. Thank you for coming back to share-we are here for you.