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




I so miss the Brooklyn that was me

Before they came with their Caribbean nannies

I miss the Brooklyn that was me

Playing red light, green light , one, two, three

Miss the Brooklyn that was me

Italian ices and of course Mr Softee

The Brooklyn that was me

No longer is what let me be

Brooklyn was me

Long before it became we






Homegoing or saying Goodbye to a neighbour…

Recently, I wrote on my FB page about the passing of a neighbour :

“Another neighbour passed on…three deaths this month on the block, in ‘MY ‘HOOD’ . She arrived on this block in 1958 , way before it became ‘other people’s neighbourhood’. My familia arrived here in 1962. We are losing the old timers on my block, the TRUE neigbours who are replaced by neighbours I don’t care to know or have. Mi alma is overloaded right now. The passage of time is not always nice. Rest in blissful peace Mrs *******!”

My FB peeps offered condolences and encouragements to keep on being keeping on. One in particular, a dear friend and my priest, reminded me, I was not to forget at one time, we were, the newbies on the block and to give the new neighbours a chance.


At first I was frustrated, reading his response for I know of conflicts my neighbours of colour endured from the Italians and Irish groups who were here before them. These neighbours would spit on the sidewalk as they walked past. This was the year of 1958. By the time I was born in 1964, those same neighbours who once spat, cooed at me as their teenaged daughter pushed my carriage up and down the block. Go figure. Integration is integration, first met with fear then dissolved into acceptance, once we see the other as not being as bad as we thought. The daughter and her family are still on this block and I adore them dearly.

“The neighbours I don’t care to know”, are the young couples, the hip singles, the expats from Manhattan, looking to score a bigger apartment with amenities and a doorman. Who cares if the rent is twice what you paid for the tiny studio apartment in your former four flight walkup? These invaders are on the scene, invading my ‘hood’.

And that’s it.

They arrive and spread, dissimilating the makeup of the neighbourhood, forgoing ‘Good Mornings’, blocking the sidewalks while conversing with other arrivals about pilates, the new restaurant, drinks, backstabbing and eloquent gossiping (talking trash in my language).

I’m ranting.


I meant to write about my neighbour.

The one whose Home Going was attended by most of the neighbours on the block who laughed, cried and rejoiced in the stories of her life, her giving and feeding of everyone. It was a beautiful service which lingered on after the night was over and brought smiles to us neighbours, as we reminisced about it the days after. I will miss seeing her outside, sweeping and cleaning up or stopping by her place to talk awhile after finishing my piano lessons with her brother who lives upstairs.

I guess it’s going to take a while to get to that place where I “see the other as not as bad as we thought”.

I’m not there yet.images.jpg

And, may move before it comes.

Mrs ******* may not have been thrilled about the changes of the guard (people) in the ‘hood’. We joked and talked about it.


She always said “Good Morning” to everyone regardless if she received a response or not.

I guess that is a place to start.

Just say ‘Good Morning’.


***images from the World Wide Web***






More words…

Soon to come.

For a bit of a spell,

 I lost my muchness.





Yesterday, I saved a dog on a Saturday morning in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

He was running across a busy street known as Prospect Park West, adjacent  to Prospect Park in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

I was on my way to work at the clinic about to cross this street to walk on the side of the park when a dog ran into the middle of traffic.


I ran out into the middle of traffic to stop the cars from potentially running over the dog.


The dog and myself were lucky enough to not meet HIM, our maker that day. I was able to hold back traffic but not the dog,  now running down a block. The Farmers Market was taking place at the time so lots of humans were roaming the area. I called out to a jogger, “Please grab the dog”. He did so, hesitantly.

I made my way towards the dog and slowed down my pace as I approached it with my hand extended. The dog sat down, tail wagging and the jogger released his hold on the harness.

I wrapped my fingers around the metal link and did not let go.

The dog had tags on the collar…!

This is not Gus but he looks like him.

This is not Gus but he looks like him.

I sat on the curb, with Gus leaning on me, as a small crowd of witnesses gathered. I called the owners, balancing the tag with the info and punching the numbers into my cell. Others from the crowd volunteered to hold Gus.

I declined.

I was not going to let this angel out of my fingers.

A voice responded to my call and the wife of the husband who was walking the dog in Prospect Park was hysterical. She was at work and had no idea this transpired. I told her our location and promised to wait until her husband arrived.

Meanwhile the crowd slowly dispersed as I relayed the information about the owner coming.

Boy…was I gonna be late for work.

I’ve worked at PPAC for over a year now and cannot recall a time I was late.

It was hard to move with him as he was too big for me to carry with my bags and I had no leash to guide him but we made our way over to a nearby bench.

I heard the husband-owner  calling to Gus before seeing him as my back was turned to the side. He ran up to us and Gus was so excited to see his owner. He thanked me profusely, saying I saved his kids’ lives because if he returned home without Gus, they would be devastated. He apologized and admitted while in the park with Gus, he took his eyes off him for a moment, and he was gone. He wanted my address, to send flowers, to drop off a gift. I declined and I stretched out my hand. He grasped it firmly and we shook. He had tears in his eyes and I almost broke down crying.


Prior to this happening I was making my way to work was feeling discouraged and experiencing serious second doubts about my career choice. It can be frustrating and confusing at times when doubt seeps in the alma.

I love climbing mountains, and I love challenges and I feel stuck in a rut right now-a rut caused by my own psyche and wanting to know everything all at once.

Gus was a sign, in a strange way. Meeting him on that Saturday morning was a wake-up call.

I am, where I am supposed to be right here and now.

When I made it to work, I was deemed a hero. I saved Gus’ life. The owner (wife) phoned and asked for my info to send a gift.

I declined…again.

I told her I was a vet tech and she laughed and said Gus was lucky to have run into me. She asked where I worked and I told her.  Hopefully, we’ll get another client.

In the meantime, thank you Gus.

Yesterday, a dog named Gus saved me on a Saturday morning in Park Slope, Brooklyn.


Taking a leave of absence…

The church I attend is going through a transition of the most unnerving kind.

Transition= looking for a new priest to take over the helm.

Our Rector of 25+ years retired.

The process involves the Vestry, the interim priest, the Finance Committee ,the Search Committee, Park Slope, Brooklyn USA and a dilapidated rectory in need of major remodeling. It also involves, the Bishop of the Diocese and his Canon-all must work together in the interest of the church and its ministries.


I am a member of this church, on the Altar Guild and once served as an LEM (Licensed Eucharistic Minister). I am also on the Vestry. The same Vestry that will soon receive my resignation letter. Hopefully someone who has more experience ‘playing in the sandbox’ with others (team player and head nodder) will sit in the empty chair.a6

This person will be:

-Someone who can weave in and out of the verbal obstacles, disagreements, rudeness, and get the job done.

-Someone who has patience to listen to rhetoric without seeing double after two minutes.

-Someone who tithes and sacrifices for the church-basically having a vocabulary where “no” is blasphemy.

-Someone who thinks as a whole for the greater good instead of the one.

-Someone who loves and cares about the future of this church more than how good we look on financial fiscal reports.

I am not a team player.

I prefer my own sandbox, with my organized grains of sand and my shovels, coordinated by size. I don’t like to clean up big piles of mess I didn’t make and usually don’t make my own big piles of mess to have to clean up to begin with.

Church politics and spirituality does not mix well for me.

It’s hard to play the game, be fake and smile while I would rather stare at you and throw imaginary lethal eye darts that turn to green ooze upon contact. Yes, it’s not the Christian thing to do. But, Christians do. We are not perfect no matter how hard we project to be.

In order to navigate through church politics while keeping spirituality in place one has to be malleable with a soft heart. Know when not to say hurtful things or at least think before saying the hurtful things (Oh yeah, the Four Agreements). Listen with reason, argue with love and never roll your eyes at someone as they look the other way.

What is difficult to be is why my resignation takes place.

I am not a team player.

But, with time and space, I may learn to play with one or two, definitely not three…maybe.

**photo from the web

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

It is now two months into my career transition from an Administrative Assistant to that of a Veterinary Technician Assistant.

The transition was subtle and quiet.

My former job was mundane and my interest waned. I arrived at my new job on day two and was tossed into ‘trial by fire’ for on that day the boss had me deal with cat/dog restraints, surgeries, and filling chemo prescriptions. I survived and did not faint or throw up during the surgery.

The cat restraints look like this:

I complained at one time of sitting too much at the former job-now I stand for eight hours a shift. I eat lunch standing, I fill prescriptions standing, I assist with surgery standing…I stand.

I complained at one time of being disturbed during my one hour lunch break. Now, there are no lunch hour breaks, no five-minute break, no eating my bagel before starting the day’s work. No break.

I complained about the mundane repetitive duties. Now, some duties are repetitive but the clients and animals always present a new experience.

I complained about boredom and no room for growth. I now give medical injections and express the bladder of the resident kitty, who cannot do so on her own, as well as walking and cleaning up after dog boarders and medical boarders while simultaneously running the washer and dryer and cleaning up cat litter trays…this stops here.

Am I unhappy with the transition? No. Do I miss my other job? No. Have I thought about my other job? No.

After a shift, I return home pumped with adrenaline from the day’s work and it takes a while for it to dissipate. I do not come home stressed out or angry. I do not go to work stressed out and angry.

My former job:

The sound of work at my current job:

I like my current job.

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