I survived my doozy of a Monday. It took forever to end as falling asleep was damn near impossible. In fact, I didn’t fall asleep until well after midnight. The good news is that once I finally fell asleep, I slept really well. In fact, I even got up in time for work today. What a feat! Actually, I got up early enough to go grab my own coffee before starting my work day.

Monday may have been an absolute drag, but the weekend was pretty fantastic. Friday night we ordered Sushi Yama for Goalielocks last dinner before heading back to school. As always, it was amazing. We really enjoy their crispy rice appetizer. The rice is so good and the tuna it’s topped with is delish. Naturally, the boys also enjoyed their usual helping of fried rice and chicken katsu. We ended out night by watching Messi and InterMiami.

Naturally, Goalielocks was packing most of Friday night and Saturday before leaving Saturday afternoon. Of course, he left the loft looking like a bomb of water bottles and text books had gone off, so that was nice. Hubby ended up cleaning up his mess Sunday while the Mayor and I ran errands. After Goalielocks left, we headed to our friends for a hockey family BBQ. It was hot as hell, but thankfully they had a gorgeous pool with some nice shade.

The BBQ was a last hurrah for our boys before they all head their separate ways for hockey. The Mayor is moving to Ft Myers to play junior. His Goalie is staying local, but also making the leap of juniors. R is heading north to Canada for a hockey academy. While B is heading to New Hampshire for some AAA U16 action. It’s crazy to see their youth hockey careers coming to an end. The Mayor was a mite for what at least a decade and now he’s playing juniors. It’s all just a bit overwhelming.

Sunday the Mayor and I went suit shopping. The Eels where suits to and from their games, so he needed to pick up some more dress clothes. Jos A. Bank had an amazing sale going, so I got him two new suits for $300. Prior to suit shopping, we also ventured into WalMart, while I charged the rental. I enjoyed driving the Polestar in Boston once it was reconfigured, so I wanted to see how the Hubby liked it. This time Hertz included a guide outlining the difference in using an EV versus traditional car, which makes renting an EV much less of a pain.

What brings you peace?

My dogs bring me peace. There’s something so innocent and pure in the way our dogs love us and our families. Their loving kindness brings me peace even during life’s toughest hours. Working out is an activity that brings me peace. It’s also acrucial part to staying both physically and mentally healthy.

She’s Home

She’s home. Yesterday Goalielocks picked up Athena’s remains from the funeral home. They did a beautiful job on her package just as they did on Maya’s package. Now Athena will join her sister in our bookshelf next to her sister. They’ll both be watching over us while we’re hanging out watching television or eating. Additionally, I’m buying a memorial stone for each puppy to put out front in the garden. I’m also going to add some orchids and a fountain, so it will be a beautiful peaceful space.

Last night we had a great dinner with my brothers’ families, less my younger bro who got stuck at work, in a Boca. It was an adventure getting out the door per usual. Three of us are ready to go waiting on Goalielocks. He then comes out the door flounces out the door angrily as if we had kept him waiting. As for the restaurant, this place has the best nachos in the world. Honestly, I don’t know why I order anything else because the nachos are so good. Of course, the company was just as good as the nachos. I realized this morning, however, that much to my mother’s chagrin, we neglected to get a picture of all of us together. Whoops! Hopefully, we’ll be able to see them again before they head North and Goalielocks heads to college.

We ate in Boca, so we ran into a people we knew. We saw the Berner’s from hockey, which was a nice treat. Additionally, the boys saw one of their favorite teachers from middle school. Consequently, the ride home was full over funny stories about that particular teacher, middle school and all of our school experiences. It was a really enjoyable ride home.

I started running again this week and boy am I tired. Fortunately, today was a cycling day, which is a much easier workout. Well, it may be an easier workouts but it’s not easy. Bakari, one of my favorite Apple fitness instructors, legit kicked my butt with his long as intervals today. While I was cycling over lunch, the hubby was enjoying a beautiful view of the water including two nice sized sharks. It’s a beautiful and overwhelming experience to see sharks live and in the wild. They’re such majestic animals that I would not want to share the water with.

Purple Weekend

I’m so excited about my purple weekend. Our community relationship manager from PanCan is in town, our dearest Addie, so we’re having a couple of fun events. Tonight we’re doing dinner with some of our top captains and affiliate leadership. Tomorrow, we’re hosting an amazing social event at a local brewery for our affiliate. We’ve had a lot of RSVPs for the event, which is exciting.

My purple weekend will be the perfect way to honor Athena’s memory and distract myself. I’m really looking forward to spending time with my purple family. After the events, I have a lot of stuff to get done around the house. Unfortunately, while Athena was ill, we got very little done. The house work has piled up. The disorganization in my room is exacerbating my neuroses. One thing I won’t have to do is sweep now that I got my new Roombas working.

Write about a random act of kindness you’ve done for someone.

A couple of months ago, the Mayor and I were at Sprouts picking up some groceries. When we were in line at the checkout an old man lined up behind us. He was in a boot. I had to wear a boot for nearly four months, so I know how much it sucks. The gentleman was just picking up a few items. While the cashier rang up our items, he ran to the bathroom. Consequently, I asked the cashier to add his things to my bill. This way he’d come out of the bathroom and his groceries would be bagged and paid for. Obviously, we didn’t stick around to see his reaction, but I hope it made his day brighter.

I have been on the receiving end of random acts of kindness. When we were on the shuttle bus to pick up our rental in Boston, it was late and I was a hot mess. I cried most of the flight up to Boston knowing our time with Athena was short. I’m sure the Prosecco didn’t help. It was well after midnight and I’m feeling gross. At the stop before ours, the train station, a young family gets up to get off the shuttle. As they departed, their oldest daughter stopped to tell me I was pretty. It was one of the sweetest things someone had ever said to me. I certainly wasn’t feeling pretty and was feeling pretty low, her kindness put a smile on my face and warmed my heart.

I shared the story of the Bostonian, who on his lunch, re-calibrated and set up my EV rental to make it easy for me to drive. His kindness will stick with me always. On Tuesday when we carried Athena’s remains out to the truck, an older couple had pulled up to the vet’s office. When they exited their car with their sweet dog, they were crying for our loss. They both expressed their condolences and the husband gave me the nicest hug. Their compassion and kindness meant so much to me. It was a beacon of light during a very dark hour.

I guess the point in sharing these stories is that we have a choice. We can choose to be assholes and put negative energy out into the universe. Or we can choose to be a light. Random acts of kindness make a huge difference in a person’s day. A compliment may seem small to you, but to the recipient, it could mean the world. You don’t know where people are in their journey. Try to leave them better off than they are before your interaction.

Thank You

I wanted to say thank you, to all our friends, families, and readers, for the kind words of love and sympathy we have received since Athena’s passing. Losing a beloved pet is a heartbreak that many of us have experienced. I’m touched by the outpouring of love. Grief is a crazy beast. I know Athena’s passing may have brought back memories of pets that have gone before her.

Even before her passing, I was struggling with how to effectively honor her memory. I’m going to buy a stuff version of Athena and Maya for the family and for our puppies. Athena came into our life via an animal rescue event at PetSmart. If it wasn’t for the incredible folks that volunteer at these rescues, we would not have had any of our dogs. All four of our dogs came from rescue organizations in South Florida. In her honor, we’ll be making a donation to Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue, which is where we adopted both Anakin and Arrow.

The rescues in South Florida are full. In fact, two local shelters waived their adoption fees in July to help clear the shelters. Nonetheless, there are still many animals that need a home. A shelter is a much better place to be that the streets, but like a hostel it’s meant to be temporary. If now isn’t the right time to adopt, there are other ways to support the animals like donating money, items, and time. For local kids needing volunteer hours, Justin Bartlett is a great place to volunteer.

Thank you again for all the kind messages, texts, and phone calls. Your love and support have helped carry us through this difficult time. Now I’m off to make the second part of my liquid lunch.

Next Day

It’s the next day and the loss of Athena has started to sink in. I’m so sad. I know, however, we had to say goodbye to her, and am relieved that she’s no longer suffering. Her eyes and skin had become so jaundiced and her eyes had lost their twinkle. Athena had eyes that could convince you to give her whatever she wanted. They were full of love, life, and manipulation. I certainly couldn’t tell her no. As for yesterday, I had mixed feelings about it. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel watching her being put to sleep. In the end, it was a relief that she was free of pain instantly.

She wasn’t your average dog and certainly deserved more than the eight years she was granted. I know we’re not the first to lose our dog (or animal) and feel this way. So many of the people I love have experienced the loss of their beloved pet, which is a total gut punch. I wish our dogs could live as long as we do. I would have loved to have Athena by my side for the rest of my life. It’s almost cruel that we get to share the earth with them for such a short time.

I didn’t grow up with dogs as my dad and brother were severely allergic. In fact, I grew up terrified of dogs particularly big dogs. My neighbors at our first house had a big, black lab that I found particularly scary. I even had a policy against dogs that could eat me like Rottweilers and pit bulls. Consequently, it’s a little ironic that as an adult I’ve had four large dogs including two black lab mixes and two terrier mixes. Maya helped me overcome my lifelong fear of dogs. Maya and Athena both tuned me into a dog mom obsessed with her big dogs.

When we first adopted Athena, I had no clue she had any pit or terrier in her. I sent a picture to the family group text and my sister-in-law pointed out the pit. Naturally, I freaked out due to my policy against dogs that can eat me and ordered a DNA test. Turns out Athena was fifty percent American Staffy with the other half being lab, boxer, and beagle. Or as the Mayor said, “Our dog is a bagel!?!?” What I learned throughout my eight years with Athena is that the breed I feared most made the best family dog we’ll ever have. She was the kindest, highest emotional intelligence, most gentle, loyal, and protective dog you’d ever meet. She was never inappropriately protective (I’m looking at you Anakin.) Athena would only become protective when someone in our family was threatened.

So here I am the next day missing my sweet angels. Maya and Athena brought us more joy than they could ever know. They opened a world to me that I didn’t think I could exist in. Now I can’t see myself living without a canine companion. At home, Anakin is grieving his loss. He’s been carrying around her blanket and his duck with impunity today. Athena and Anakin had a very special relationship. She was an instrumental part of Anakin’s life. It will take him some time to heal.

Good night Sweet Athena

Good night sweet Athena, you were the best dog a family could ask for. It was unbelievably hard to say goodbye to you today, but it would have been selfish to let you suffer. I hope you’re in heaven running laps with Maya free from the pain of cancer and safe in the knowledge that your family loves you unconditionally forever and always.

We brought her to the vet after celebrating Taco Tuesday with her. Athena enjoyed her taco even if she couldn’t finish it. We brought her blankets and her brother’s favorite ducks to the vet with us. I confiscated Anakin’s duck, so she could have it with her and have his smell with her at the end. The whole day felt surreal like a movie. I can’t believe we had to say goodbye to her so soon.

In memory of Athena, here are a couple of beautiful poems:

Four Feet by Rudyard Kipling

I have done mostly what most men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can’t forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.

Day after day, the whole day through —
Wherever my road inclined —
Four-feet said, “I am coming with you!”
And trotted along behind.

Now I must go by some other round, —
Which I shall never find —
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.

A Good Dog Never Dies – Anonymous

A good dog never dies, he always stays,
he walks besides you on crisp autumn days
when frost is on the fields and winter’s drawing near, his head within our hand in his old way.

Treasured Friend – Anonymous

I lost a treasured friend today
The little dog who used to lay
Her gentle head upon my knee
And shared her silent thoughts with me.

She’ll come no longer to my call
Retrieve no more her favourite ball
A voice far greater than my own
Has called her to his golden throne.

Although my eyes are filled with tears
I thank him for the happy years
He let her spend down here with me
And for her love and loyalty.

When it is time for me to go
And join her there, this much I know
I shall not fear the transient dark
For she will greet me with a bark

Running Up That Hill

I’m back to running up that hill. And by hill, I simply mean I’m back to running again. I’ve been itching to run for quite a while, so I thought why not give it a try. Originally, I had planned to start running again in June, but I hurt my left knee. Fortunately, it healed pretty well. Unfortunately, the outside of my left knee still likes to lock up while running. Hopefully, I can alleviate that pain by stretching my IT band. I really do enjoy the treadmill workouts on Apple Fitness Plus. It’s much better doing the treadmill workout than a normal run,

This weekend went pretty fast since I worked Saturday. It wasn’t the busiest day from a lead perspective, but I was able to make it a productive day. While I worked, Anakin and Athena kept me company. I’m sure going to miss spending my work days with Athena. She’s been my constant companion since I started working from home. Truly, she’s been one hell of a sales assistant. Since she was small, she had brought nothing but joy to our family. If I could collect dogs like Athena, I absolutely would do it.

We made the appointment with the vet tomorrow afternoon. It’s going to be so hard to say goodbye, but it’s been hard to see her fading away. She’s still eating and drinking, which is good. Those days, however, are numbered. We’re going to give her one hell of a last supper tonight, so she can go out having enjoyed all of her favorite things one last time. I’m going to bring Anakin’s duck with us to the appointment, so she can smell his presence and feel less alone. We’re all going, so she’ll have her favorite humans with her. She loves her brother dearly, so having a piece of him with her should bring her comfort.

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill


As our time with Athena winds down, I’ve been searching for the perfect memento to remember her with. When Maya passed we had her cremated locally. The funeral home, which specializes in pets offers a package that includes a wooden urn engraved with their name and law print to carry the ashes, a clay paw print with their name engraved, a fur clipping in a jar, and a certificate. When Athena, passes we’ll buy the same package for her.

We’re a bit concerned about how Anakin is going to react to her passing. As a result, we’re trying to think of measures to help him cope with her loss. He loved her more than he loves food, hunting, or even his AFLAC duck. It will be a tremendous loss for him. Consequently, I found an Etsy store that makes stuffed replicas of your dogs. I’m thinking about buying one for Anakin, Arrow, and one for us. Although it may be a bit watery l getting one for Arrow as he destroys every stuffed toy he has within minutes. On the other hand, Anakin will treasure his memento.

My bestie said goodbye to her sweet dog Nema today. These past few months we have both been navigating the choppy waters that is end-of-life care for a beloved pet. It’s not an easy time that’s for sure. In fact, we’ve both found it difficult to determine the right time to put the puppy to sleep. Obviously, we don’t want the animals to suffer or experience pain, but you don’t want to pull the trigger too quickly either. It’s a bit of a balancing act that ends with the death of a beloved family member.

Back Home

We made it back home from Boston last night. Fortunately, the trip was completely uneventful and smooth sailing. The extent of our travel troubles was me missing my turn at the rental return center and the Mayor’s meltdown over food in the Sky Club. In his opinion, the food there sucks. In fact, it didn’t but he was happy to eat his Sbarro. Meanwhile, I enjoyed the locally curated food including one last bowl of clam chowder and a cannoli.

I ordered pizza on the way home as there was no way my ass was cooking dinner last night. It would have been nice to have a home-cooked meal after eating out the last five days, but whatever. Nonetheless, I was happy to be home and reunited with the puppies. Unfortunately, my sweet Athena is not looking too good. I keep hoping against hope that she’ll miraculously recover. I really can’t imagine our house without her.

The change in climate from Boston to South Florida was brutal. Our weather throughout the trip was quite comfortable. There was one evening of storms, but those hit after we had made it back to the hotel for the night. In contrast, South Florida continues to be unseasonably hot and humid. I noticed when we got home that our house was pretty hot. Apparently, the AC was not working so well. I’m not sure when it stopped working, but nobody seemed to notice until I said something. Fortunately, the hubby was able to get it working, so we could sleep comfortably.

It’s good to be home, but the trip to Boston was great. I’d be happy to never have to drive in that city again, but I did enjoy exploring it on foot. It was a great trip to connect with the Mayor’s new team and to connect with my dear friend Jenny. I can’t believe that we ended up in the same city on the same weekend. It was such a blessing to be able to see her for dinner. Now that we’re back home, it’s back to reality which includes work and eating healthy again. The splurge on tasty food in Boston was fun, but I’m ready to get back on the wagon.

Athena update

I thought I’d hop on this fine Friday afternoon and give an Athena update. After an incredibly rough weekend, she has rebounded. We were quite concerned that she wasn’t going to make it through the week, but she’s persevered. In fact, her gums are back to a nice pink color. She’s also back to playing with her brothers.

My baby girl

She loves her new bed and sleeps every night there now. Since I work from home, she’s with me every day. My workstation is in my room, so she hangs out in bed all day. The only exception is when she hangs out in the family room while I spin over lunch. I’m fortunate to be able to work from home and spend every day with her.

This morning and this afternoon, she was anxious to do her full walk. The last few days, she had been content to just hang around the yard. Consequently, it’s good to see her back to her normal habits. In fact, she’s back to aggressively defending our cul-de-sac from birds, squirrels, and other dogs. Unfortunately, this also means she’s back to alerting the household every time a package is delivered. I’m trying not to get too hopeful because it will hurt all the worse when she deteriorates again. If only our dogs could stay with us forever. That’s the Athena update for now.