AMC Wall of Honor – for Maya


07-17-1999 – 08-14-2012

I’m still mourning the loss of my Maya, so it’s emotionally difficult for me to tell her story. All I can say for now is that I was blessed to have her for 13 beautiful years. She changed me by giving me hope that life can be good – she was funny, smart and had a personality that made anyone who met her, fall in love with her within minutes. There will never be a replacement for her, and I would give anything to see her swim again.
This is for Maya, the incredible soul who came into my life at exactly the right time. I love this picture because it shows her smiling and being her funny self.


AMC Wall of Honor – what a touching way to keep the memory of our lost pets alive! 

Resources for Summer Pet Travel

Great info for us pet owners!

Fur the Love of Pets

traveling dogMemorial Day has passed, school will soon end, and then comes the annual family summer vacation–an event which now more than ever before includes the family pet. Because pets are not always welcome at hotels, parks and on public transportation, planning ahead for your furry friend will help make your summer vacation memorable for fun and not for travel headaches. Here are some tips and websites to help you plan the perfect pet holiday.

General Travel Tips
For a good overview of traveling with pets, try one of these sites:

Public Transportation
During the busy travel months of summer, finding a parking spot for your car can be difficult, making public transportation especially attractive. gives…

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Cyber Time and FOMO-phobia

I’ve got to make this quick. My time online has been reduced to about 30 minutes per day. That doesn’t leave much for a scroll on Facebook, reading and responding to emails, online grocery shopping, and the one thing I miss the most – writing/blogging. If not for my iPhone and iPad mini, I’d be completely out of touch with the cyber world. I was not expecting to suffer so greatly from FOMO – the fear of missing out on who my friends were in past lives (Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde), which city they’re supposed to be living in, which flower they were meant to be. It’s one thing to choose to take a break from the online world, but being forced to choose how to spend half an hour a day (before Percoset kicks in) has forced a new way of prioritizing the best use of 1,800 seconds. Today I decided to post on my Chat Lounge, and I’m not even going to spell check or proofread for grammar fuckups. Yeah, I just cursed, BFD.

I’m really just dropping in to say ‘ello to my pals, let everyone know that I miss them and that I can’t wait to have my surgery and get back to normal (my normal, not society’s definition) and reconnect and catch up on the fun stuff I feel so left out of – like the notes to yourselves about never leaving the house without checking that your socks match, and to always be kind to strangers, as we’re all struggling with our demons and that your cats love you even though they don’t show it. I knew I was going through cyber withdrawal when I nearly had a panic attack on siblings day – luckily I made it just in time to post a profile pic of my sister and me but not without breaking into a sweat, searching for the “right” photo where we both look decent and uploading it (and cropping the thumbnail so we both have even space in the shot) – it was a marathon I tell you.

So while I have at best ten minutes to go on my laptop before my arms start to feel like they’re being pulled off, I still need to sort through about 100 resumes for a job I posted last week, order pet food for Anya, pay bills, and see if anyone’s cousin had a baby, if a friend of a friend I’ve never met in person is able to get WiFi (Yay!) during their holiday on an exotic island in the middle of who-knows/cares-where, and which teams are playing and which of those teams suck ass or don’t deserve to be on the field and who on FB is sitting on field level and must take a photo from every angle and post it like right now, like immediately, to show that they have THE BEST seats and how close they are to the players – so close that they can see the pores in their skin even under their helmets or hats. Personally, I am sad that this is Jeter’s last season with the Yankees. He’s turning 40 – and now I feel old, so I better NOT look at Facebook because I’ll feel even older, fatter and more loserish than I did 20 minutes ago – because EVERYONE on earth is living a healthier, more fun, more interesting, more fulfilled, more cultured and definitely tanner life than I’ll ever have.

Anya told me to bark hello to all of you and seriously hopes that I post a photo of her soon because she’s afraid you’ll all forget how cute she is. What’s that, Anya? You want your pic on Instagram too? I better go then, looks like those resumes will have to wait until tomorrow.

BC2M/Depression and Fear of the Unknown

I’m not okay. These three small words may make some of you uncomfortable. Perhaps they’re scary enough to make you reconsider reading this blog. If so, I understand.

I’m not okay. That does not mean that I’m on the brink of losing it, or falling into a dark hole. What I’m telling you, at this moment, is I’m afraid of those things happening. There’s a profound sadness making its way throughout my brain, traveling south in the fast lane towards my heart. I can only compare it to the aura I get before a migraine – tiny sparks flying before my eyes, forewarning of the pain and misery of what’s in store for the following 24 hours.

I’m not okay. The melancholy with which I awoke this morning is a telling sign that an episode of depression is about to strike. Or, maybe not. I can just as easily get up tomorrow and feel fine. That’s the frightening part of living with a chronic illness. Any sign, (or omen as I call it), of an impending strike, evokes a primal fear – what if this is it? All rationality dissipates when I’m in this place. The years of bouncing back from hitting bottom don’t mean much when I feel the magnetic pull of the dark side. Will this be the time when I reach the point of no return? But maybe it’s only a fleeting bout of the winter blues. After all, the past months in the Northeast have been filled with icy polar-vortex gunk, turning the roads and streets into dangerous sheets of slippery, pot-holed frosty pavement. My instinct to hibernate is at an all time high.

Writing about it helps. Especially when my sweet dog Anya is sleeping soundly next to me. I’m not up for talking it through – analyzing and speculating why I feel so off and so terrified. As a seasoned therapy patient, I’m well versed in the Q&A of treatment and don’t feel the need or desire to make a call. The big red panic button seems off in the distance, yet I still worry that maybe by tonight or tomorrow I’ll be in my crawl space, hiding from the world.

I wonder if it’s possible to have Major Depression and ever live completely without the fear of it paralyzing me into oblivion. Then again, trying to surmise about my future is robbing me of my present. If I had a dime for every time I’ve been told to live for today, I’d have a boatload of coins stuck behind my sofa cushions.

Live in the moment. Breathe. Make a mental inventory of the objects in the room and welcome the sunshine pouring through the windows. Take another sip of freshly brewed coffee from the I Don’t Do Perky mug and relish in the early morning’s silence.

As if on cue, Anya shuffles over to the sunbeams hitting the wood floors and stretches out, making sure every inch of her long body fits perfectly in the rays. She’s closing her eyes and drifting back into a carefree nap. I doubt she’s wondering if she’ll be able to do the same thing tomorrow. I bet all my virtual dimes that she isn’t scared of having her water bowl stolen or losing her favorite blanket. For all of that lack of concern, she’s able to soak up the warmth and live in the present.

My sadness has not gone away, however the fear of spending my life in an eternal state of despair begins to lift a tad. Some days I’m convinced that I have a tight grasp on my depression – I walk with pride, and stand tall while bursting with enthusiasm. I tell myself “I’ve got this,” and lap up every minute. I’ve learned to never take a good day, or even a good hour, a good minute, for granted. None of us should. So when I wake up full of dread and impending doom, I must shift my thoughts to the here and now, just to survive. It’s times like this that simply not getting any worse is something I consider to be a success.

In many ways, chronic depression is similar to the weather. This week’s forecast is calling for more bone-chilling temperatures with no end in sight. But winter is only one of four seasons and as time passes, spring will gradually arrive.

I’m not okay. But I will be.