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I am writing, and sharing...

Hello Friends! 

I know, it's been a little quiet on the blog front. This is my first post in awhile, but I've actually been really busy writing. Like, every day kind of writing. I've passed the halfway mark for my latest book (54,000 words), which is awesome and exhausting at the same time. 

This piece actually works into the book in an odd way, at least in the first draft. We'll see how that goes. 
You can see my latest on my website  as well as on  Medium is cool if you haven't seen it yet  - it's a curated collection of work from authors all over the world on a variety of topics. I love the site because it is completely advertisement free, and their subscription model means that the readers are directly paying the writers. Kind of a cool concept. And then there's that whole exposure thing, which I'm trying to work on too. If you're inclined to "clap" that apparently helps with the algorithms in getting noticed by the editors. That's what the rumors are anyway. Again, me, like a toddler, jumping up and down - Look what I did!! Read what I wrote!!!!

So here's the latest, look what I did... Thank you for reading!

Does My Dog Really Need Anti-Anxiety Meds? Oh yes, yes he does.

In the past year or so, I’ve written about food insecurity, gun violence, women candidates and elections, and legalizing recreational marijuana. Right now though? I don’t want to say anything profound about big issues. I just need to talk about my crazy dog. And his poop. Just to share, mind you. I don’t need advice or help or a recommendation. I’m fine, all good. I just need to get a few things off my chest.

You may be aware that we have not one, but two, Bernese Mountain Dogs. My older dog is named Gryffin, and he is 125 pounds of pure love. He worships me, and is often content to love me with his eyes as he gazes at me. He once laid his giant furry head on my shoulder and waited patiently while I cried giant boogers into his fur. Gryffin is perfect in every way. When Gryffin and I went to obedience classes together, he passed with flying colors, and the trainers asked me to consider doing therapy dog work with him, as he was so kind and loving — a true gentle giant. And then my brothers-in-law, who are both doctors, told me that bringing a giant furry dog to a hospital or nursing home might bring back a little souvenir like MRSA, and that made me sad that we can’t do nice things. But that’s a different story.

So what could be better than the most perfect and wonderful Bernese Mountain Dog ever? A second Bernese Mountain Dog, right? Doesn’t that seem like a great plan?

It was not a good plan. I can see that now. But at the time, when I was advocating to my husband that I thought Gryffin needed his own pet dog, I thought it was going to help create a more harmonious universe. Obviously, we needed not one, but two, fabulous fluffy dogs with adorable doggy eyebrows that make their faces seem soulful. Two kids and two dogs seemed to make sense. And that’s what we did.

Nicky, the second Bernese Mountain Dog, is from Belgium. Our first breeder from our home state of New Jersey wasn’t in the business anymore because of her own health issues, so we sought out a new breeder. One referred us to another to another, and somehow our breeder in Pennsylvania hooked us up with a breeder from Belgium, and a few months later we had a puppy, complete with his own European Union Puppy Passport. He was cute, adorable, fluffy, and hilarious. Gryffin (short for Godric Gryffindor) would lie on the floor to nap, and Puppy Nicky (short for Sir Nicolas Flamel) would pounce all over him, trying to wake him up and make him play. He was a typical puppy, doing lots of puppy things that were exhausting, like trying to eat electrical cords. “No no, not for puppies!” we would say, and chase him off. We sprayed bitter apple spray, we hid things, we kept things off the floor. He found everything. Socks, underwear, orthodontic rubber bands, anything dangerous. I admonished my kids and husband about the leaving of laundry and nonsense. Nicky was relentless. We made it through the puppy phase and he started to grow into normal dog behavior.

And then he grew out of normal dog behavior and started showing some serious anxiety.

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Colleen Markley · Chandler Road · Chatham, NJ 07928-1804 · USA

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