Words are my superpower. Pan. Queer. Wife. Dog mom. Spoonie. Novelist. Unapologetically Me. HuffPost published.

Her food choices belong to her, but talking about them can be a problem

Image for post
Image for post

(Content warning: This is a discussion that involves a lot of potential triggers for anyone with an eating disorder history, or even just a very bad history with dieting and diet culture. This is particularly true of some of the links I share, so please consider carefully if it’s safe for you to read those pieces, and even my own thoughts on the subject.)

So, let’s discuss this Lizzo thing. I have a lot of thoughts about it, but for anyone going “wait, what?” here’s the backstory. Apparently, she went vegan at some point earlier this year. That’s totally cool… her body, her choice. She’s been posting some on her social media about her meals and what she eats as it relates to veganism for some time now, apparently. I wasn’t even aware of this until today, and I’ve seen absolutely nothing that she’s said to suggest she went vegan to lose weight. Which has not, of course, stopped people from speculating over how much weight she’s lost and attributing it to the vegan diet. But that’s just diet culture for you. If a person’s body changes and is smaller, it’s always assumed that a. it’s intentional, and b. …

Mortifying maybe but also pretty damn cool... her and your mom both, trying to be more open and talk about it. Better than my family who made Puritans look slutty.

Not just you. I've been getting better about being more open in general when I talk about sex, but like... with my MOM? Uh, no. I'm 45, and granted I had a fucked up childhood and a disconnected relationship with her for a lot of it, but still.

In Memory of Flash: Part 7

A mostly black & white dog with shaggy fur and floppy ears yawning but looking like he’s laughing
A mostly black & white dog with shaggy fur and floppy ears yawning but looking like he’s laughing

This is the final piece of my series, written over two years ago following the loss of our beloved basset hound mix.

Dear Flashy,

Two weeks ago you became a big brother. Your little brother is a terrier mix we’ve named Yogi. He’s just over a year-old. One of the crazy things we learned after adopting him is that his birthday is January 4th, 2017. We said goodbye to you on his first birthday. That was a bit of a sucker punch at first, but it also somehow feels… right? Poetic?

Before we brought him home, I put away your favorite toys in a bag, where I will save them. Don’t worry, I won’t let him play with them. I know you’d hate that. You never liked sharing your toys even with your big brother Arthur, and you idolized him. …

In memory of Flash: Part 6

a black and white dog with shaggy fur and floppy ears sits with his tongue out like he’s smiling
a black and white dog with shaggy fur and floppy ears sits with his tongue out like he’s smiling

Is it too soon? I think it doesn’t feel too soon in part because of how long it already feels since we lost Flash. “Lost” Flash. I hate that expression. We didn’t “lose” him. That implies he can be found.

Since we said goodbye. It sounds dramatic or like I’m dancing around it. But what am I supposed to say instead? Since we chose for our dog to die humanely and with dignity rather than risk him suffering terribly when his heart couldn’t handle it anymore?

No one wants to hear that.

Since Flash died is accurate but feels inaccurate. Like he just died, not like it was a choice we had to make for him because we were his “parents” and it was our responsibility to do everything we could to make him comfortable and happy and to ensure his life was amazing… even if that meant making the choice to end it peacefully. …

In Memory of Flash: Part 5

Author snuggling her dog Flash. Both have their eyes closed.
Author snuggling her dog Flash. Both have their eyes closed.

Two weeks. It’s been two weeks since I pet your soft, warm little head last. Two weeks since I said goodbye to the best pal I could have ever asked for, to a love I never imagined possible because — as your daddy has said — humans simply aren’t capable of that kind of love.

It’s only two weeks since my world was turned upside down. Yet it feels like years. That might sound like a good thing. Grief takes time to process, after all. …

In Memory of Flash: Part 4

Image for post
Image for post

It’s January 13, 2018. I’m folding laundry. I see my bathrobe. The following thoughts run unabated through my mind.

The last time I wore this it was November and you were still alive. I was in the emergency room and then we came to get you from the PetsHotel and I was too sick from the food poisoning to come in to get you. Daddy had to go in alone. He said you realized quickly I wasn’t there and led him to the car to find me.

It was the last time we’d ever pick you up from being boarded. I missed it. Those two nights, not even two months ago, we left you. You were safe, spoiled, loved, adored. I ordered you every amenity, even aromatherapy (which made your Daddy laugh at me). You were beloved by the staff, and I know you were adored by your groomer. Yet, I still feel so much guilt and grief that I left you for those two nights. …

In Memory of Flash: Part 3

Image for post
Image for post

Note: This was published originally on my WordPress blog for Flash, along with the other pieces. I am sharing it as part of this series. I do NOT expect anyone to donate, BUT if you do want to, the campaign is still active.

The ASPCA sent me an email today to remind me it was time for my annual donation. I decided to turn it into something bigger, if possible. I created a memorial fund. We adopted Arthur from the ASPCA headquarters in Manhattan back in 2001, so it holds a truly special place in my heart.

In Memory of Arthur &…

In memory of Flash: Part Two

A floppy-earned dog sits “smiling” with his tongue out, wearing a Halloween bandana.
A floppy-earned dog sits “smiling” with his tongue out, wearing a Halloween bandana.

January 2, 2018

Flash has a vet appointment. He’s been really itchy. He’s had chronic skin issues since he was about 2 years old, so this is not new. But we’re also worried because he’s been coughing more often. Since he was diagnosed with a mitral valve prolapse in late August, any increase in coughing immediately sets me on edge. This time I’m also worried it sounds different. Maybe deeper. I don’t know. But my mom radar is up. His eating hasn’t been great, either, but he still has plenty of appetite for treats so we think it’s a bout of food boredom. …

In memory of Flash: Part One

This is the first of a short series of essays I wrote over the course of six weeks following the death of our beloved basset mix Flash. I’d forgotten about these pieces, if I’m being honest. I was so raw with grief when I wrote them. But today I found them and felt compelled to share them, especially because Flashy’s 14 year adopt-a-versary was September 16th. They’re as emotional as anything I’ve ever written. I’ve been sitting here bawling since I started reading them again.

However, they’re very important to me. I suspect other pet parents who are still grieving the loss of their pets will relate to much of what I share in these stories. It may be hard reading, and believe me — I understand if you can’t bear it.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store