I saw a darling t-shirt advertised the other day. It said, “BLESSED MAMA.” These days I notice t-shirts like I smell steak on a grill. Since my motto is, “the redder, the better,” you can imagine how I can sniff out a t-shirt like a backyard BBQ. I see t-shirts walking down the street or sitting at a cafe table and I try to figure out if it’s sublimation or HTV. I analyze how far down from the neck it starts, how much shirt space is used, and what kind of material it is. My skills as private t-shirt investigator do need to improve so people don’t mistake me for staring at their chests, or breasts.

Everything I am has been influenced by my role as a mom. It’s been a privilege to navigate this life with two people who drove my decisions, and when decisions went sideways, knowing they needed me to be their compass gave me cause to redirect. It’s an awesome assignment that I chose to accept. What choices would I have made were it not for these two lives who depended on someone to nourish their body, spirit, and soul?

I might be living life in NYC working for Everlane. I’d wake up, have coffee while doing a devotional, ride my bike through the city to work. I’d stay until 5, get a drink with a friend, go to the Columbia University talk on “Why Curbside Recycling isn’t Working” (or in my ideal world, I’d present), get home in time to read a chapter in Anne Lamott’s latest book, practice for the part I’m hoping to get in the new Off Broadway rendition of Legally Blonde that has been opened up to people who have never acted before, then snuggle in my clean sheets (that do not include Winky hair), and dream of my upcoming trip to Paris.

That sounds incredible! But while today I can imagine making choices that would lead me to that life, I don’t think I could have imagined anything like that in my early thirties. At age 34 when I got married I don’t remember any aspirations. I assume I sought happiness, but outside of that, I had no tangible goals or ideals. I lived day to day with a survivor mentality and good work ethic and I plodded along, hoping someone would fall in love with me. I loved God, but for several years I had abandoned walking with him. My decisions were only influenced by what felt good and seemed right enough at the time.

Someone did fall in love with me. We got married and two years later we had Bridgey and two years after that, Bradley. Instantly what once felt right or good enough, wasn’t good enough. Decisions took on more weight and relevance and impacted our children and their well being. When I was pregnant most everyone who was pregnant read a book called “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” It gave explanation to euphoria, vomiting, pickles and ice cream, swelling, and everything in between during this 9 month metamorphosis. Everyone read it (or rather, referred to it) because our bodies are fundamentally the same and there is a predictability in the pregnancy experience. But there was no one book called, “What to Expect When You’re a Parent.” Instead, there are more books on parenting than there are stars in the sky. No two families are alike, so there are many theories, angles, philosophies, and strategies.

I took this new role seriously, but felt I was stumbling along like a blind person. I touched my way through, anticipating a final destination. I’d find my way out, filled with relief and joy, but then discovered there was another door to go through. Tap here, try this, test that, stumble, scrape, and crash. Then another door, and another, and another.

If I had imagined raising my kids on my own, you couldn’t have dragged me through that door. Yet when I was faced with it, unknowingly, Bridgette and Bradley pulled me through it. These two souls who I longed to foster into the best they could be, regardless of what door, house, or circumstance they faced, created in me courage and determination to transform me into the best I can be.

I’m a blessed mama. I love you two!


Side Note: My alter self isn’t opposed to that life in NYC. You never know. I could get that job at Everlane!

January 12, 2019

During my talk with Bridgette this afternoon I discovered that this week is NEDA’s awareness week. NEDA stands for National Eating Disorders Association. For several years, I knew almost instinctually when it was NEDA awareness week. I discovered it during conversations at the hospital, or one of Bridgette’s providers might have mentioned it, or because I was reading an article on eating disorders, or maybe like a dog has a nose for a bone, I was in tuned to anything eating disorder related. That’s no longer the case. I’m glad we can celebrate that we are free from the world in which we dwelled much longer than we’d hoped, but today I felt a little guilty that I was unaware of NEDA’s week of recognition.

I recall visions of one day helping the world of eating disorders if we ever had the opportunity. It was a time that consumed us and defined so much of our lives that I was eager to be a resource should anyone ever want one. That is, if we ever got to a place where someone would consider me a worthy resource; as in, recovered. And we are. I’m still eager to be a resource, but our lives have moved beyond eating disorders and knowing the date of NEDA’s awareness week couldn’t have been further from my mind. Praise God. I don’t say that as an ordinary salutation, but with sincere praise and gratitude for the minutes, hours, days, months, and years that He held our hearts in his hands. Seven of them, to be exact. Not that he isn’t now, but I’m happy to say I’ve released my grip a bit.

There are many things that help a person walk the road of eating disorders (or any mental health). I am convinced of a couple of key elements to overcoming an eating disorder, but even with those two factors, I know I could not have succeeded without the Holy Spirit in me.

Below is a photo that God revealed to Bridgette and me on a day I was feeling desperate for relief. Relief from the lies my child told me, relief from the trust she had broken, relief from the meal plans I monitored, relief from the meals I prepared without her seeing me prepare them, relief from the meals I was forced to prepare to her satisfaction, relief from having to alter my cooking habits, relief from altering my own eating habits, relief from driving her to and from day treatments, relief from her volatility, relief from the dr. appointments, relief from the eating disorder circle up meals. If only relief could have been given from an Alka Seltzer. But God gave me much more than a pop pop fizz fizz. He gave us himself, Mary, and Joseph. One day, exhausted on every level and after pleading with Him, he appeared on a wall in the hospital in the form of Plaster of Paris. It was enough to get me through the remaining years, because even if he wasn’t showing up on a wall, through tears, anger, and disappointments, I clung to the day he appeared on the wall and peace that surpasses all understanding guarded my heart and mind. We continued to find relief in the form of an amazing dietician in Corvallis and her therapist in Portland. Two professionals that were integral in her recovery and for whom I have the highest respect and gratitude.

At St. Vincent’s Hospital, just for us.

Bridgette had the great satisfaction this afternoon of being a guest speaker at the St. Vincent’s Eating Disorder program. After years of in and out, we got to know the staff there well. At least 3 of the staff are still there. Working with a team is a very intimate vulnerable experience for the patient and the involved family, so they know the victory as well as we do. She was invited to come talk with both the adolescent and adult programs, sharing the details of the ugliness of her journey with the victory of where she is today. So many people believe that one never truly overcomes an eating disorder, but Bridgette was there to tell them differently.

Just like our behaviors and mind forms patterns of thought when we’re unhealthy, so do our behaviors and mind form patterns when we’re healthy. If one can get themselves to a place of recovery, and live in that space long enough to form new patterns, then overcoming an eating disorder is possible. Do I believe it can return? Yes, I do. Will I live in fear of that? No, I won’t.

As a mom of a now married young woman, I no longer have the same opportunities to observe Bridgette’s behaviors. I have to trust and continue to pray that this behavior is here to stay. One of the two factors I believe are critical (and pivotal) for patient recovery is the involvement of a parent. Some people might call this parent support, but it’s much more than that. It’s not a cheerleader telling your child they can do it. The parent who is involved, scrutinizing the food intake, the meal plans, eating the meals with the child, receiving the blows of the struggling child, etc. is the scenario that will be most helpful to the patient. I pray I will never go through that again. But as her mom, I will always be aware and will risk a harsh reply by checking in with her if I see something concerning. I love her too much not to.

So, we celebrate with NEDA a day of awareness. Eating disorders are serious. It’s not just a really skinny kid who won’t eat. It’s a really skinny kid who won’t eat and is being held captive by lies they can’t overcome. And those lies can kill them. Eating disorders aren’t just anorexia. It includes over eating, binge eating, and more. If you know someone who might need help, contact NEDA, or your local doctor immediately.

Like the first doctor said when I first took Bridgette, completely unaware of what the problem could be, “We’re not playing in the sand. Get help now.” That doctor knew the signs well. Bridgette went in for an evaluation, was admitted to the hospital and didn’t come home for over two weeks.

St. Vincent’s Hospital – A welcomed visit today.

Bridgette took this picture at the hospital today. It was a place she hated and yet the staff there saved her life.

Praise God. He is the bread of life, but we have to eat bread, too!

Bridgette has her own blog about her eating disorder journey. You can find it at:

Bridgette and Goliath


Upstairs in the bridal suite being Mom of the Bride while my friends were downstairs performing like an orchestra, executing every detail with precision.

Writing has taken a back seat to Bridgette’s wedding. I can’t believe that it’s already been a week since she and Cody were married and a month since I’ve been dumpster diving for seasonal greenery.

I sit at my desk this Saturday morning, revelling that I can actually sit at my computer and put some thoughts down. Wedding recovery surrounds me. There are boxes of items to return to friends, thank you gifts to distribute, a table full of Craigslist wedding decor that I’m sure will be snatched up because ours were so good, and a house still decorated in Christmas. Sugar plumbs of wedding memories dance in my head.

The last few months were consumed with wedding and Christmas. I tried to sort the two out, giving priority to Christmas, while doing preliminary wedding prep. Once Christmas was over, every spare minute was spent on executing wedding details. This project was like every other project. I didn’t consider how I would do it, I just moved in the right direction and asked God to bless it.

And that he did. One by one friends contacted me to ask what they could do. I try not to ask for help unless I’m desperate. That’s not because I’m shy or try to be a martyr, but managing a home requires constant upkeep, so I reserve tapping into my friends for situations like my water tank or refrigerator leaking, which they did in the last couple of months. As the wedding date approached and big ideas for the perfect wedding formed, I began to see that this “hot water tank was leaking”, and as friends asked what they could do, I accepted their offers and a miraculous team formed, one in which I almost didn’t have control. They went beyond what I asked and anticipated what I needed and we gave Bridgette and Cody “the best 24 hours of their lives.”

For me, this team gave me the gift on that day to be Mother of the Bride.  And unencumbered with executing the details, I got to enjoy “happy”.

We moms and grandmothers stood on one side of the room to be escorted to our seats. I was the last in line and having a hard time composing myself. “It’s a Wonderful World” serenaded us and was begging me to react. I stood waiting for my cue to meet my son, but turned to the wall to hide the contortions my face made as I willed myself to resist the poorly timed emotions. One guest and I made contact a couple of times, our eyes connecting, which comforted me but was also like that moment when you’re trying to hold it together until you see someone who knows and understands, and you lose it. As I inched closer to my place in line, on the other side of the room Bradley mouthed, “You can do this, mom.” He was right. The last thing I wanted was to make a spectacle of myself (or mess up my makeup).

I don’t completely understand the emotions I had. They were just there. We’ve had so many layers and components in our lives that seemed to all converge in this culminating moment. Experiences are different when they come from a foundation that is formed out of unity. Preparing for the wedding without a partner was difficult and Bridgette and I had intense moments of disagreement. I wanted Bridgette to have a wedding that reflected her personality, beauty and wholeness, regardless of the turns and complexities we’ve experienced. I’d worked hard so that nothing would get in the way of that, and I realized that everything for which I’d dared to hope was unfolding before my eyes.

In retrospect I realize that an overarching emotion was “happy”; happiness that we had achieved everything we both wanted. Happy is not an emotion I experience regularly, and I’m so good with that. Jesus’ life on earth has assured me that HAPPY isn’t the goal in life. Internal (and eternal) joy is a solid sentiment I carry with me that is difficult to explain. Joy is satisfying and allows me peace and comfort when I go to bed at night. HAPPY is a wonderful gift I received and it seems fitting that it surfaced to the top and exploded on Bridgette and Cody’s wedding day.

All night long, happiness was everywhere: In the message that was delivered (Go BEAVS! – see breakdown of that message below), in friends and family who came, in the beauty of the venue, in the sacrifices that people made, in toasts that celebrated and reflected on the relationships people share with Bridgette and Cody.

It was pure joy to experience that kind of happiness, and I owe that to God who blesses me with friends who walk this life with me in various ways. They were there before, during, and after (many cleaning up until the end and still the day after). They know the sorrows and frustrations I experience, and they know my joy. That makes me very happy.

Below is the breakdown of the message Bridgette and Cody were given in the ceremony by Cody’s spiritual mentor, Barry. 


B – Be there for each other

E – Encourage each other

A – Always put God first

V – Valentine’s Day every day

S – Share life with each other

And finally, a few people have asked me who did my hair and makeup, where did I get my dress, how did I do this thing or that thing. I’m happy to share!

Subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you all the info you want. I now feel very equipped in executing a wedding!

I’ll share two things with you now:

I bought my dress on line from Anthropologie’s wedding line. It was $80 on sale. I did my hair and makeup. I had help from a best friend who was my shadow that day. She ensured the bobby pins were in securely and that kind of stuff. But I want to give credit to a YouTube / blog that I follow for my hair and make-up tips. I wrote a post about her last year when I searched Messy Buns. The blog is called The Small Things Blog. Kate is the author, a darling young mom and half my age. I should probably be watching a blog for 50 years +, but I like Kate best.

Yesterday morning gratitude hit me right in the eyes, literally. My contacts weren’t working right. My left eye was either blurry or clear, depending on whether I had my glasses on or off, while my right eye did the same thing, but opposite of the other. I was frustrated as I scrambled and then aborted plans to ride my bike to work, aware that my bike riding days are numbered as the morning temps go down and the promise of winter rain increases. I was also slightly preoccupied with my vanity. This was the first time I would have not only worn glasses to work, but in front of anyone who hadn’t spent the night with me (outside of my kids), which I can count on one or two fingers how many times that has happened in the last 10 years. However, I was reminded that at least I had newish glasses that with the help of modern technology aren’t quite as thick as they once were.

I drove to work switching my eyes shut and open, shut and open, using traffic like a vision board in my doctor’s office. I began to self diagnose my eye problem. Do I have a cataract? Do I have to go into the doctor (another annoying disruption of my perfectly planned day), is this the end of my vision as I know it? I began thanking God for my bad eyes. These bad eyes are great eyes! Cataracts would be bad eyes.

I had a surgery on my eyes before I was five. I remember wearing patches and playing with fuzzy puzzles right after the surgery. I wore glasses until I graduated from high school, when I was in charge of my own life and could purchase contacts. When I read stories from the olden days I’ve wondered if I would have been thrown aside as an inferior product. I wore a back brace when I was a junior in high school due to scoliosis and my eyes are wonky. “Throw her out!” they (who, they is I’m not sure) might have instructed. Given the chance I would have pleaded, “But look, my teeth are good! And if you give me a chance you might find my cooking okay, my home decor talents decent, and if you wait long enough, I’ll make you something with the new Silhouette Cameo 3 I’m going to purchase!” I am a genuinely grateful person for so many things, among them, for being born in 1960 and not 1801 (the truly olden days).

As I listen to the California fire stories and devastation, I am grateful not only for my house, but for the benefits of a healthy and capable body and the privilege to work. Things like the California fires heightens my awareness in times of frustration. Last week I was forced to pull $1300 from my savings for a new water heater. The week before it was $650 for new tires. The list goes on. For a fraction of a second, like when my eyes weren’t working or I was writing checks, I recognize the potential of freaking out, because I have done it before, justified or not. I admit this, knowing I can’t be alone in my reaction to financial fragility. But instead of freaking out, my gratitude is increasing, and I have to believe it comes from the practice I’ve learned: to give God the glory and gratitude for my life.

Over the last 10 years I have had to seek out things for which I’m grateful. It has been a conscious endeavor as the things that I’ve lost cause me still to tear up. The effects are felt every day. But my endeavor to seek out what God has given me has been the difference between joy and depression. I cannot claim the same things many others claim for which they are grateful. Especially during the holidays when the absence of family is pronounced. I cannot take a gratitude pill and make the hurt go away, any more than a person with an amputated leg can bring it back with positive thinking.

But I have learned that I have no right to anything. I have no more right to a home than those in California or in Haiti. I have no more right to happiness than the student at my school who dreads the long weekend because home is not a respite. While Paul was imprisoned he said, I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13

Paul doesn’t say that when we give thanks we are instantly healed and we won’t feel our losses. But he says, “I have learned the secret…”  I believe it was a process for Paul, and it’s been a process for me. As I seek God and it is revealed to me the things for which I can be grateful, I rejoice in the God to whom I owe everything, even when I am sad for what I miss. My heart fills up with celebration of a God that loves me so much that joy overflows in my sadness. It is a peace that surpasses all understanding that God promises us in Philippians 4. It is unexplainable and attainable.

Our creator knows us. While a grateful heart brings us peace and joy, God understands that we have desires. If that were not so, he wouldn’t have instructed us to also make requests: Philippians 4:6 and 7: “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” He didn’t ask us to replace requests with thanksgiving. He knows there are missing pieces in our lives. He doesn’t ask us to ignore them, but encourages us to acknowledge what we have, so we are not overwhelmed with what we don’t, and ultimately so we can recognize that it is from him that we receive all things.

So, on this Thanksgiving holiday, I am grateful for my gratitude.

And by the way, I don’t have cataracts. I just had two contacts in one eye. How ironic. My surgery when I was young was for double vision!

Love to my friends and family. I am so grateful for you,



Part 2 has been delayed because I don’t know what to say about this dog. Part 1 left me at the mercy of an imaginary judge who would put me in the slammer for considering giving this dog up. But maybe I could make an appeal and get a new judge who doesn’t own a Scout and has had some financial catastrophes and doesn’t have the luxury of extra money for dog expenses, or whose money is tight and just wants to go on a cool vacation some day.

Besides, a Part 2 isn’t going to round off this story. I don’t know why I even assigned a “part” to it. I gave you the backstory, so I guess I could fill you in on current day. But at this rate, there could be a hundred parts to this story. After all, Marley and Me was a whole book and then a movie! And I can tell you, this story has no R rated scenes. I remember taking our kids wondering how we ended up in a bedroom in a dog story. But again, they were married. No scenes like that in Winky’s (aka, Bullwinkle’s) story.

I still vacillate between my love for Winky and my commitment to him and if there is a difference and if there is, does it make a difference on how I will move forward with my ownership of him? Will I pay the $1000 for the teeth care that was recommended, or do I follow some people’s advice to let it go. “Dogs have survived without dental care for years!” But for years, we didn’t know that their teeth were cracked and their roots were exposed and that without the dental surgery they could be in pain. As I write this, he’s gnawing on a cow’s ear. In this moment, in spite of the x-rays, he’s not making a good case for himself.

I didn’t set him up this morning to prevent him from peeing on the living room floor while I was at work. It’s a typical scenario. He doesn’t have an accident for a few days. Granted, that’s when I’m in and out of the house throughout the day, or on a day when I’m monitoring him as if he might sneak into my safe and discover a few dollars I have in there.  So on a work morning when I’ve gotten off track and am running late, I get sloppy and forget his bad habits. I begin work at 6:45, so it’s easy to be sloppy if I’m not on my game. I don’t get him into the garage or put up a gate in a designated area. He has full run of the house and I think, “Oh, he’ll be fine. He doesn’t want the money in the safe.” I mean, “He’ll be fine, he’s got the whole outside to pee and poop. He’s got pee pads in the garage and in my bathroom. Surely he’ll use those options before he’ll go on the bamboo hardwood that I installed because he and Rocky had peed on the carpet so bad I had no choice but to replace it, if I ever wanted to invite a guest into my home again.

But surely, he does not use those options that are obvious to us humans. I walk in the door tonight and there’s pee and poop on the floor. At least he’s consistent. It’s right where he always does it, right under the green chair where the planks are beginning to lift (again). Bamboo is pretty, but it’s the softest and least expensive hardwood, thus the most susceptible to damage of a peeing dog, or an outdoor toddler pool, but I have the peeing dog.

In Part 1 I shared that this summer I discovered what a lame owner I have been. I have a million good reasons, but Winky (or my imaginary judge) doesn’t care about a one of them. About a week ago I went to a conference for work. My boss offered to watch Winky. I was relieved yet apprehensive. When I checked in to see how things were going, as a typical educator she said, “He definitely has some sensory processing issues. He reminds me of working with autistic kids who like to be snuggled in and are afraid of loud noises.” Ahhhhhh…. There was none of that description when I picked Winky up that winter day in deep rural Oregon. The emphasis was on his sweetness and that he had papers. Now I’m thinking, “Papers Smapers. Tell me about his sensory processing issues!” When my boss had offered to watch Winky she assured me she would be fine because their family had had dogs with anxiety issues. I decided to ask her the other day, to really get her assessment of Winky, coming from a caretaker of dogs with anxiety, how Winky ranked. She said, “Well, you definitely have a special dog.” I guess I knew that, but now an expert had affirmed it.

So maybe those reasons matter. They contribute to the quality of care I can give to Winky. The whole thing is frustrating. And it’s complicated because Winky is truly the sweetest thing, and when I’m snuggling with him I forget that I’m missing out on the delight of a dog in the normal sense of the experience. My delight in these moments is how soft his fur is, how big and brown his eyes are, and how much he needs and loves me.

I really have tried to work with him this summer. He went with me to the beach and to Lake Billy Chinook.

An almost normal moment.

There he joined about 6 other little dogs. My friend is a dog lover and she brings her little dog and invites her friends to bring theirs. I questioned her before I took that big leap, but she was sure it was worth a try, as in, “How complicated can a dog be?” My friend was right. It was worth the try, but that’s about all it was worth because I was on pins and needles doing my best to manage his emotions (I have no idea what they are) around the other dogs who lolly gagged innocently while Winky protected the space around himself.  It was there that I realized how much Winky had missed out on under my ownership. That must be worth something.

He never socializes with other dogs, so he’s super protective. He’d never been to a body of water that I know of (except for the beach he’d visited the weekend before), he’d never roamed free and been chased by a black lab (which was a result of roaming into the campsite next door), outside of being lost for 48 hours when he ran away, he’d never slept outside in the open. This time it was with me on a couch, looking at the stars, and listening to wildlife all around us (the next day I discovered there was a lizard family hanging out at the couch where I’d just slept. I moved indoors the next night). It was at least a couple of hours before he could calm down enough to sleep. At every noise he jerked his head and he’d hold his nose high, like he was sniffing the stars, but I think he was just sniffing life. It smelled so much different than the house he’s left in every day.

With the two summer excursions, I felt we were on a roll, so I began a concerted effort to walk him daily. But regardless of my persistence, he’s really gotten no better. He seems slightly more excited than he once was. When I call his name with leash in hand I think he does an extra somersault than he did before the summer exposures to the world. Then we walk outside, I with my bologna bait, and still, it’s a painful exercise as he runs out wagging his tail in a doggy skip, then screeches to a halt just past the driveway. Some days I can coax him down the sidewalk to the intersection about 100 feet away (I know feet distance now, thanks to my navigation maps), but some days I’m unsuccessful. As the summer fades into fall, works gets busier, I have more on my plate, and the days get shorter, so does my patience. Those days when he stops as if he’s got glue on his paws, we do an about face and return home, a few steps away. I wish he knew that I’d give anything to walk two miles with him.

Our Golden Retreiver Lucky was a perfect dog, except we couldn’t take him on walks. He’s probably the only Golden Retriever who had leash aggression. We believe he developed an extra protective territorial sense because of the invisible fence we installed in our front yard. This concept was affirmed by a dog trainer. The invisible fence shocked Lucky whenever he went to greet a neighbor walking by. Grrrrr. By the time we figured that out, it seemed too late to fix, or maybe too late for us anyway. Then there was Mindy. We got her from the humane society. She was a medium sized dog that looked like a German Shepherd/Collie mix.  Unless you were a small child, she was great. We learned everyone over about 3 feet was safe. The problem was that Mindy’s hazel eyes and soft pointy ears begged to be caressed and loved, and humans under three feet couldn’t pass up the opportunity. As a result, I walked on eggshells and had to apologize a couple of times to friends after Mindy snapped at their children in response to their cuddles. Finally, one day when some good acquaintances were helping us move and their under three foot son was along for the ride, she drew blood on his hand. In that moment I knew Mindy’s life with us had come to an end, and for a flash, I wondered if mine had too. Walking on eggshells I could do, coming up with money for a disfigured child, I could not. I was fortunate and not only were these good acquaintances giving of their time, they also forgave this dog who bit their child and drew blood.

Finding a home for Mindy was traumatizing to the kids and me. Our emotions were depleted each day as we faced the reality. But also from a practical sense. It is not easy to find a home for a dog who bites small children. Both humane societies in nearby counties wouldn’t take her, nor would the shelters I called. I recall a news story when an anchor woman responded to a dog that had been found in a kennel in the river. It was a tragic scene to the unknowing bystander. She said that there’s always someone who wants to take an animal. Depending on the circumstances, that may not be true and I felt for the unknown person who had just been slandered. I considered putting Mindy down because I didn’t know where to go or what to do. For awhile I considered living with a dog who bites children. A friend’s friend realized my desperation and stepped in and dug deep to find a resource that we could live with. Giving up a part of one’s family is grueling, regardless of the reason. I haven’t even shared the story of the two dogs pre-children, but I will stop with Mindy.

I sometimes feel I’ve gotten the short end of the dog deal, but then I wonder if our dogs think they got the short end of the human deal. It’s kind of like a twisted Marley and Me story, but I don’t live at the beach and I’m not drudging through this with a spouse, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll become an author.

I have no idea if a Part 3 will unfold. I remain at a standstill with Winky. I don’t know if I’ll keep him. There’s never a day when I feel good about letting him go, but there’s also rarely a day I feel like spending the time and money on him that he deserves. In the meantime, I’ll continue to pet his soft fur, he’ll sleep with me in my bed, he’ll continue to hang out in the yard with me while I do yardwork (or I’ll chase him into the yard to keep him from the traffic in the street),

Supervising my back yard work.

I’ll meet his big pleading eyes when he looks up at mine, and continue to tell him, I love you, Winky… and it’s a darn good thing you’re cute.