Tobias Walsh…Toby.


Tobias, Toba, Tub of lard, Mr. Tobes, Mr. T, Tobester, Tobadia, Mr Tobadia.

Toby, for me

YOU will always be…just Toby. 1440421056303 (2016-11-02T19_58_20.842)

I want to write down the words that tell my feelings about



When I think of

USTED, I get all mamba jamba boogied up tight lip and my chest hurts, missing your bunny hopping days through Ppark.

The pain is so real and so there…as

TÚ is no longer here, and neither is Pi and I long to touch and smell

USTED as I do him.

Although, stink, Pi did, as did

YOU, and it did not matter because being all mine, all the time, unconditionally, lovingly far surpassed the dirty dog, musty stink after swimming at the doggy beach in Ppark brought into the house.

USTED passed into shadow on Monday evening, October 9, 2017, licking peanut butter from my finger as Propofol made its way through the vein that would eventually connect with other veins on a path to your heart-unstoppable as your personality and love was.

TÚ paused in the peanut butter licking, confused somewhat and before I could acknowledge what was taking place, the ER vet plunged Euthasol into that same vein, which stopped, and ended the pumping of your sweet heart that held mi alma intact and made me realize that yes,

YOU and your love were stoppable.IMG_2112

Pi took my heart…

TÚ my dear first fur baby, the oldest of the pack, took my soul (mi alma).

Beat on…run on…free at last from the arthritis, the crippling of the joints, the senioritis which left you at times confused looking for our house on return walks the sometimes incontinence, the sometimes-foggy vision, free at last, thank HIM almighty you are free.

Gracias me perrito  que vivir en mi vida por catorce años.

Gracias for choosing me.

I want to say to

YOU all that wasn’t said while this earth was lucky to have your soul in its presence, it’s concrete jungle, pseudo Ppark in the woods landscape with me by your side. Gracias a

TÚ for finding and choosing me to spend time in your life. Pi was not part of

the package, pero


USTED accepted him or better yet, tolerated him on your own terms.

The residents at the now defunct Bishop Hulces nursing home would also join in this thanks to

YOU, the certified therapy dog who strutted through the dementia ward bringing the gift of words to those who would not normally speak. 1094724054094 (2016-11-02T19_58_16.355)

USTED, my sweet baby boy would allow the locked words to flow in their gibberish, unstoppable, accepted and not challenged or corrected way.

I remember the young teenage girl who was placed in the nursing home due to her disability of severed legs sacrificed from her attempted suicide gone wrong pact with an MTA train. Mother and father were at her bedside during our visits and the tension and awkwardness were too real to ignore. They spoke no English and who knows what if they knew what to make of you grizzly Adams appearance.

YOU jumped on me, and unto her bed, snuggled up to a hip that no longer had an extension.  She in turn was happy to pet your fur which brought forth a smile easing the tensions from the parents who now mirar a

USTED at what I perceived to be respect and admiration. The visits to her room always brought out the best in the soul that resided en



TÚ and el alma that took my own away.

Bereavement is not so acceptable when it comes to fur babies because for many they are insignificant, easily discarded as the wrapper on a wad of gum. Going into shadow is as irrelevant as swatting a mosquito of an arm.

But guess what…

For me not having

YOU, the job of life can be done but trust me, it will be half assed done, for your unconditional no judgement love does not await me when I return home and I’m left with no defense to put the day’s sucking vampires behind me.


I go to work, forced to converse in conversations when I’d rather be home licking my wounds and thinking of you. Grieving for your lil bro was much easier-I was unemployed. 580

To pick up your ashes, I must return to the place your last breath was drawn and I will bring


YOU home.IMG_2164

Which is where you are now, my sweet Toby boy.






** TÚ, USTED = You.  Mirar=look. Gracias a tú=thanks to you. en= in. pero=but. Gracias me perrito  que vivir en mi vida por catorce años=Thank you my doggy who lived in my life for 14 years.

Dignified Toby-001img_0555roomies-220140916_113709



Pieces…Bits and Pieces or WHEN

How quickly the quality of life changes from normal to abnormal


You shaved under your arms with a dull razor two days ago and now two days later your pits are burning


You apply aloe vera to the burning pits, feeling relief until you feel, the LUMPS


Survival mode kicks in, and you’ve been through this before with your mom and know the deal-time is of the essence, so they say, but when it’s happening to you, time goes on fast forward with you driving the train with a clutch when you only know how to drive automatic


Through the layers of receptionists at the doctor’s office and strategically planning, you finally get the receptionist who is willing to help you get that next day appointment


You go through a mammogram diagnostic (you don’t wanna know the details) and ultrasound on the day of your mother’s birth and you keep it on the down low, because your mom is 90 and can’t deal with the possibility of her daughter  being diagnosed with breast cancer, most especially when your mom went through the kidney bean episode  with her sister who died from it.



You realize how YOU are the THREAD that holds your precious family (mom and fur babies) together and don’t have any provisions or alternative plans for them to follow if YOU should GO before THEM


The diagnosis is normal.

Nothing’s wrong.

No lumps.

Enlarged lymph nodes due to shaving.


the doctor looks at you as if you have three heads but you could care less because being hysterically pro active when cancer runs in the family is far better than sitting back and wishing the lumps would magically disappear  overnight.

How quickly our quality of life changes from abnormal back to normal.

…Bye Felicia Razors…
Hello Nair!

Sadness to Gladness to Gladness to Sadness or…Dear Lord please stop the madness!!!


Cooking red kidney beans and coconut rice requested by your sister who is, inappetent and lies dying from breast cancer in a hospital bed.


You deliver the goods on the 2nd day of her request and she dies on the third day without tasting a morsel.


You do not cook red beans with coconut rice for a long time…


…until you decide to make the coconut rice for yourself and buy the red beans subconsciously at Key Food.


…when you realize the beans you bought are the red kidney beans you avoided for who knows how long because you have yet to recover from the red kidney beans and coconut rice incident from so long ago when your sister died from breast cancer.


…because your daughter who avoided red kidney beans like a deadly virus, accidently eats the red kidney beans mixed in with the coconut rice you made, because her mind was discombobulated in a strange way which is normal for her on any given day, but not on this day when her mind went far right instead of staying centered.

Glad but Sad…

My tía Nina (Bernice) died from breast cancer so long ago and mom, my mom did not take her passing lightly. I was by her side when the midnight call came letting us know Nina passed on. Mom cried, cried and cried, as I cried, cried and cried ions later when I lost Pi. I did not cry for my aunt at the time, as I was the crutch to hold my mom upright. I did not visit my aunt Nina (Bernice) during the hospital stay. My memories of her were meant to stay in the past, before the cancer: beautiful, dressed to the best, makeup and hair perfectly coiffed. At times, I say, bullshit to that excuse that acts as comfort when fear probably allowed that excuse of not visiting acceptable.


Mom and Nina were not the best of friends when they reunited in America after going their separate ways in Honduras. Mom, was sent away with an aunt who lived in Jamaica to be raised in a culture that didn’t accept the ‘coolie shitting callaloo’ looking Indian girl,  while Nina stayed in Honduras, going to school and perfecting her spanish language skills. Once the sisters reunited, got over the female drama, they traveled all over the Caribbean and became quite close.

My tía Nina (Bernice) always paid attention to me while the others (the Honduran aunts and uncles) had no time for the Jamaican blood that ran through my veins and made me the ‘other’ in their eyes.

Ma and Tia Nina in Ja096

I was not aware of the red kidney beans and coconut rice that transpired between them. Actually, I found out today. Mom cried when she told me how upset she was about Nina not eating the comfort food she requested before passing. I reminded her, how happy I was to eat it yesterday. SIMG_1538he smiled…and made another pot of it for my weeks’ lunch…


Out of gladness comes sadness and out of sadness comes gladness…

Tia Nina018 (2)

Fragile…or How grief takes hold.

DSCN0869     Today, this day, the sky is grey and rain comes down. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes taking a break and sometimes…still waiting for the next sometime to write.

In November I posted my blog piece, ‘I No Longer have a heart…’ on an animal mourning website. Not sure what prompt me to do so but at the time felt a need to release my mourning by whatever means necessary.  Forgot about the post, months passed and then Tuesday came.

I received an email from a pet owner. She lost her fur baby two days prior and was on her 18th hour of crying, screaming, lashing out and not knowing how to deal with the pain.

Like me, she had to make the decision to end her dog’s life and wanted to know how I was doing after six months had passed.

photo.PNGFloored I was.

Did not expect this.

Came out of nowhere into my email which I was checking via Iphone while sitting in Fairway’s parking lot.

Started crying in the parking lot.

Cried, when I got home.

Cried touching his ashes.


So f*****g sick of crying.

I responded to her email to let her know it does get better. Memories and pictures guide you through. Allowing grief to take its course is a given.

And it does get better.IMG_1071.jpg

I’ve surrounded myself with so many memories of him. His leash hangs on my coat rack, his collar on a peg in my bedroom where his ashes also rest. I live in the place, Brooklyn and in the house, Berkeley where the memories began. I run in the park he so cherished, especially on Monday mornings after the weekend barbeque garbage lays waiting.

Pi Patel will always be with me.


Let the rain come down…

Nov. 9, 2016

So here I sit in my lonely room
Lookin’ for my sunshine
But all I’ve got is two cigarettes
And this broken heart of mine


Cigarettes I no longer crave. I stopped smoking years ago.

I spend allot of time sitting around trying to figure out which way to go while feeling lonely for Pi.  Yes, my heart is still broken but not the broken of being just broken as on October 24 when he passed. It’s a broken of what was fragile, now gone and can’t be put together again.

It’s been 17 days since he passed and 17 days since a drop of wine has touched my mouth. Grief took place with no escape from reality brought on by a bottle of wine. In order for my grief to form, grow and dissipate to where it is comfortable to live with, my mind and body had to be completely clear. It’s working and for that I thank Pi.

The results of the 2016 Presidential election brings fear, trepidation, uncertainty and longing to be in the frame of mind I was in on Nov 7 before the shit let lose.


No regressing, the present is fleeting and the future ‘is not ours to see’ (Que Sera, Sera).

I miss Pi Patel.  img_1125

(Although, I told HIM, I’d drink three bottles of wine a day to have him back.)


As a dog parent friend posted on my FB on Nov 12, “Showing up for life when we don’t feel like it is very healing”.

It is healing.

And although I’d like to stay in bed, sorting through pics of my fur baby, it’s not possible.

Bills gotta get paid, and I gotta start living.

I no longer have a heart because Pi took it with him…

October 24, 2016 at 12:30am Pi Patel, at the age of 12 passed on.

He took his last breath, in my arms wrapped in a towel after receiving Propofol followed by Euthosol. He went quietly and at peace. The laboured breathing became soft and even and the discomfort/pain dissipated as his body shut down.

On the third day of his pass, I still grieve. Not as hard as day one when I returned home with Pi’s leash and harness but no Pi. The tears and physical stress were non-stop, to the point where my eyelashes turned inward and prick at my eyeballs. I learnt on that first day at 3am, it’s better to cry standing up rather than lying down, for the phlegm building up in the sinus’ does not drain in rhythm with the tears streaming down the face. Too painful to lie down so I stood in the kitchen and cried.

The steps of grief are making their appearance against my will.

It starts with…


I bargained with HIM to bring Pi back and of course he has yet to do so. I stopped drinking wine a couple of days prior to Pi’s passing because the consumption was becoming excessive. I blame HIM because I feel the help given to stop drinking came with a cost-Pi’s Life! Please, please, please bring Pi back and I’ll return to drinking and consume three bottles a day!!!! 1522175740119

Bargaining TO Anger

For a vet nurse the signs leading up to Pi’s critical status should have been obvious. WHY didn’t I see it! Too busy drinking wine to notice? He was lethargic, did not want to walk, had loose stools, relieved himself on the kitchen tile.


That’s normal for Pi, except the relieving part. That’s it. Didn’t pay attention to relieving himself in the kitchen. I WAS NOT OBSERVANT ENOUGH! I LET MY OWN DOG DIE AND DID NOTHING TO SAVE HIM!. Should have questioned his doctors more, more testing, more bloodwork, more and more and more…and it still would not have saved Pi.

Anger TO Depression

dscn0030I miss him so. The pain and longing is unbearable. Prior to the euthanasia, I rubbed Pi’s head, inhaled his scent, over, over, over and felt his breath short and shallow on my cheek, over, over, and over. DID NOT WANT TO LET GO. He shivered and I held him tighter, trying to feel the little bit of warmth left in him. He was cold, weak and terribly uncomfortable. He needed to go, to get away from pain and I had to let him go.

Depression TO Acceptance

He’s not here at home with me and in two weeks time he will be home again-this time in an urn.

Ashes to Ashes

It’s easy to accept, yes, my dog is dead. Cold, heartless, steel, jagged edges=DEAD. My dog is dead and that’s that, over and finished. All that’s left in this house right now are his bed, bowls, leash, harness, tags, shampoo, medications, vitamins, lentil food sitting in the fridge, full bag of kibble, towels, winter clothing, booties…and his SCENT. I sniff his bed as much as possible. I miss him so and so and I’m so…  pi-patel




So Angry I could scream!!!

But instead…

I CRY in the supermarket

I CRY walking Toby

I CRY looking at his pictures

I CRY, CRY, CRY…   img_1118

I no longer have a heart because Pi took it with him.

Mean Girls pt2…

I returned to General Practice Veterinary Medicine after four months of working  12-14 overnight shifts in Veterinary Emergency care. Time spent in ER was incredible in terms of experience gained and processing death from trauma. I truly miss the doctors and eager vet students I was fortunate to work with. Their love of medicine and the desire to save all God’s creatures from injuries was unprecedented. I realize the privilege to work with this crew and although  BP misplaced me in terms of job title and where I truly needed to be, which inevitably led to my failure-I forgive. Nothing can replace what I saw, did, treated, prayed over, held as the last breath was released, can ever measure up to the experiences gained in working overnight emergency.

20151016_130102 (2)

Fate’s OHE-spay (uterus)


BP will accept me back.

After…20141128_154254-1 (2)

More time spent in GP.

Yes. I miss ER.


My body and emotional mindset is exhausted.

I no longer shed tears at PTS’s (put to sleep). 20141107_103448 (2)

Not in front of clients.

Not in the bathroom.

Not on the train going home.


At night, when I stare at the ceiling at bedtime.

I guess it’s all good in some sick way for I can now concentrate on the owners and offer more support from mi alma which no longer feels.

My blog on transitioning to this career has ended. My thoughts on the continuance in this career  as well as school is now questionable. 20151024_071642 (2)


The other side of this business is still present and for that matter,  will always be. As long as there are insecure, unstable nurses-the Mean Girls , in this field the drama will thrive.

Don’t want to end up on NY1 so I’ve grown thick skin, a thick heart an emotional void and most importantly the desire to have only working relationship with them.

No, you are not my friend or close confident.

No, I do not need your approval to validate how I do my job.20150417_152313 (2)

No, I will not gossip about other co-workers, maliciously or even constructively with you.

No. No. No.

Accusing me of not cleaning?

Please watch the video.

2016 is in full string and transitions seem to be lining up. I’ve thought about leaving the state in search of Tech Nursing work. My mind is working, talking to others who have relocated and gauging if this is a necessary transition to make.

Time will tell. Actually the Fall will tell.

I’m biting at the bit and I love an adventure.

20141003_124721 (2)

Why not?

Cali, Georgia, one of the Carolina’s. Florida? Virginia, Washington, Seattle?

Who knows.


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