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Puppy Love: Mia and Me

Puppy LoveI got Mia on Valentines Day during my divorce. She was exactly what I needed — a cute, fluffy, bundle of puppy love.

And, let’s just say — I had a lot of love to give.

One person told me I was “codependent” with her. Another worried I would “kill her with kindness.” And someone else said that when she died she wanted to come back as my dog.

I was just trying so hard to do everything right.

I cooked for her because I heard that was best. I read books that said I needed to socialize her so I took her everywhere those first few months. We completed three dog obedience classes together. I drove an hour to take her to the holistic vet. After a bad grooming experience, I took her to a special groomer. After she had a few teeth pulled, I started brushing her teeth.

Maybe I was a little overprotective. But, I just wanted to make her life as good as possible. I felt like that was my responsibility.

Mia was 5 years old when I met my new husband. I actually brought her on our third date – a hike up in the hills. I’m surprised he still wanted to kiss me afterward because I let her drink out of my water bottle cap which freaked him out a bit. He wasn’t really a dog-person yet. But, on the way back he carried her over a stream, muddy paws and all.

She hadn’t been around many men so he felt the need to be extra gentle and kind to win her over. Sometimes, it drove me crazy because he wouldn’t enforce all my rules. But, she sure did love him.

And he realized we were a package deal. In fact, he insisted we bring her along with us whenever we could. This usually meant more work for me. But, it also meant she got out quite a bit (and her pics around town are all over my Facebook page :)  He liked to say — we were a “pack.”

She never really slowed down like people said she would once she got older. Maybe it was from all the natural stuff I did. That’s why it was a huge shock last month when we discovered she was really sick and would need to be put down soon.

I started worrying about losing her when she was just a puppy. But, that hasn’t made the grief any easier. I guess — the deeper the bond, the deeper the loss.

I am slowly returning to life. And I will probably get another puppy someday. But, for now, I’m walking through my grief and adjusting to a “new normal.”

People have told me about the Rainbow Bridge where pets are reunited with their owners. I believe there is something that comes after this life and that gives me some comfort. It also reminds me to focus on what’s really important in this life — sharing light and love and hope.

So, I wanted to share with you — I know love is a risk. But, it’s worth it.

Puppy Love

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Ohhh…sweet story. Makes me cry, but happy you got and gave so much love.


  • Wendy Dytman

    I am so sorry for your loss….dogs are so easy to love because they know nothing other than giving unconditional love back….the bargain you make in loving a dog, is accepting that you will have to say goodbye to them.

    • Vondie

      Hi Wendy,
      Thank you for your kind, wise words.

  • Oh Vondie,
    I can only begin to imagine your loss. We had to put my Max down last December. I think of him every day – often with tears from missing him. We adopted Freddie from animal rescue who looks a bit like your Mia. So everytime I give Freddie a hug and kiss I will give him one extra for your Mia.
    Here’s one of Freddie’s many blog posts:

    with love,

    • Vondie

      Hi Judy,

      Oh my gosh, I didn’t know you lost Max! I know how much you loved him. And I always had a special place for him in my heart. In fact he’s what led me to you and Kathe and hypnosis! I heard you talking about your website, “Hypnosis to the Max” on one of Casey’s calls and I knew you would be an awesome person and I was right!

      Freddie is beautiful! And he does look a lot like Mia. Maybe he is part Havanese?

      I’m so glad you have him. At first I thought I would never get another dog. But, I am already beginning to have puppy-lust when I see puppies around town. There’s just something about that little wiggly body and those puppy kisses that is irresistible to me. So I know it’s just a matter of time.

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m feeling much better today.

      Vondie <3

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