The craving hit hard and fast as I watched my young Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie struggle to control her legs. Her brain and body were not communicating. I had rushed her to the vet to find that she was having a reaction to medication. There was a chance that the affects could be offset with a muscle relaxer. It was painful to watch my sweet girl struggle. I wanted a cigarette and I wanted it badly. This was my third day of not smoking. After bemoaning my lousy timing on quitting, I thought, “A cigarette will not cure Atty or change this situation.” I did not smoke. Atty recovered fully and was my faithful and trusted companion for 12 more years. I have not smoked since the day I quit all those years ago.


Last Wednesday had worked myself into a frenzy. Jolene’s breathe was labored. She had not been eating and was listless. As I waited for my vet appointment, my mind was dredging up my fears. I lost Atty to a tumor, and three years later I lost another Australian Cattle Dog mix to a ruptured tumor. My mind was convincing me that Jolene, an Austrian Cattle Dogs, was going to be like Atty and Riva. Suddenly I thought, “My worry and fear will not change the outcome of Jolene’s diagnosis.” I remembered a similar thought from when I watched Atty struggle.

After four days on antibiotics, Jolene is back to her high energy self and eating greedily, trying to make ups for several days of no appetite. She has an upper respiratory infection.


Thinking about he situation, I understand my fears. Letting Atty go was heartbreaking. I have had dogs all my life, but there was something special about her. It may sound crazy, but I often wonder if Jolene is my Atty returned to me. In the last five months I have quit my job, accepted a new job, bought a house in another state, sold my home of 21 years and moved. While I am exactly where I want to be, big change requires lots of adjustment that do not happen quickly or easily. I am grateful I did not have to face another major change.

22 thoughts on “Quitter

  1. Martha Kennedy says:

    I’m glad she’s fine. It’s really hard to make those big life changes — I did it in 2014. I had to so I didn’t have the luxury of feeling my feelings. But when I had to say goodbye to her (she was 17 years old) I couldn’t even let go of her to let my vet help her out. I think I might have growled at him. But he understood. He came back with a clean sleeping bag, spread it on the floor and said, “Here, Martha. Hold Lily for me.” Bear — who might have been born the very day Lily died — is a heart dog. I know what is down the road and I just hope it isn’t soon. 🐾❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alanna says:

    Something about those cattle dogs. I lost my 17 year old Bandit 2 years ago. When I layed eyes on him as a young dog I knew we were destined to be together. The problem was he was my good friend’s daughter’s dog. It took a few more years but she finally gave him to me when she could no longer care for him.

    Liked by 1 person

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