Adopt Nancy September 2021

Who wants a broken Golden Retriever scraped from the bottom of the discount bargain bin? While Nancy is currently fractured in a million places, she will soon be like a Kintsugi pot, more beautiful for her history. And her adopters will be rewarded ten times over.

A breeder surrender, Nancy has lived her entire eight years in a kennel, birthing as many litters as her owner could force on her. Today, she has learned that outside isn't such a bad place, with lots of things to look at and smell. If you enjoy stopping often to smell the roses, you'll love walking with Nancy.

Nancy is housetrained and has no desire to soil her home ever again. She has discovered the joy of chewing bones and bully sticks. While doesn't carry things around as goldens typically do (remember, she's broken), she does move things around, often times hoarding them in an unused dog bed. Kinda like a racoon. Last night she dug my bra out of the laundry basket and slept with it.

She falls back on the familiar. For example, with great effort, she's learned to use the three steps to the patio. She finds the front door very suspicious and refuses to consider coming or going through it. But she knows the back, so we just always use the one she knows.

Getting in and out of a car would be traumatic for everyone. Maybe someday soon Nancy will learn the joy of hanging her head out the window and letting the wind blow through her hair and catch in her jowls. Meet and greets will need to be in her foster home and transport to a new home will need to be very thoughtful and intentional.

For today, we're not making Nancy do anything she doesn't want to and she's getting a little more comfortable every day. She'll do best in a home with no stairs, another do to show her the way, and with people who enjoy leisurely strolls through their own neighborhood.

Nancy currently resides in a foster home in Overland Park, KS with @lucky13rescue.

Deep, Dark, Hole

Sometimes I feel like crawling into a deep, dark hole and dying.

Problem is just because you’re in a hole doesn’t mean you get to die.

In the hole it’s cold, dark, cramped and lonely.

So you claw your way out, dust yourself off, and go to work.

Things I Didn’t Understand

Traded for an antique free-standing, full-length mirror,

she lives in a kennel, her cage, lined up

with an unfinished section of privacy fence so she can see her family

through the sliding glass door

while swarms of flies worry her. She stands in piles of her own excrement.

Barks to drown the sound of her own loneliness.

At the next house she attracts suitors. Her chain denies her escape.

When she and the neighbor stud are stuck together I judge her,

like my good Catholic upbringing Dictates.

I never dwell on the fates of those eleven puppies nor my own culpability.


When asked where her son is, my Grandmother will say to jail if he doesn't knock it off, as if he couldn't possibly be doing anything boring or uneventful – as if his sole existence requires she be put out, decades after the last infraction.

3 Weeks Sober

I'm three weeks sober today.

I thought I would have been miraculously transformed into a better friend a better employee a better colleague a better daughter a better sister a better mother a better neighbor a better human.

But I'm still just me.

Only with a little more clarity regarding my shortcomings.

All I want

is for someone who loves me to kiss my forehead while I sleep

so my subconscious might believe that everything will be OK.

My Body is an Apple Blossom

I entered the world, much like a tiny apple blossom. Some days I attracted bees that helped me grow; other days I weathered storms and blazing sun.

I eventually grew into a bright, shiny apple. I attracted attention, and even got picked as tasty.

Today, I am slowly shriveling, although it remains to be seen whether I'll be dehydrated for a snack, made into fruit leather, or simply fall to the ground, becoming food for worms. And start the cycle all over again.

Here’s a poem I wrote a couple of years ago when I was pretty darn frustrated with my work. It’s interesting to reflect on now. Remember . . . I’m not actually a poet.

Work Rage

Tears of salt and trust Splat On my IT issued keyboard To later be Alcohol wiped And disposed of.

#Pulled Over

Yesterday I was pulled over for driving 39 in a 25. After checking my license, but not my insurance because I didn’t have my current card, the cop let me go with a request that I slow down.

Which got me thinking about my colleague AJT. AJT is a whip-smart, stylish and beautiful, well-educated woman. She is a person I admire. When AJT gets pulled over for speeding she always gets a ticket. And she gets pulled over. A lot. AJT is black.

AJT has shared with me several times about getting lots of tickets, and I thought we were both chuckling over her poor luck and gravity to speed traps. Even after she shared that she had to hire a lawyer to fight being denied a well-deserved promotion solely because of those tickets, I still didn’t intellectually make the connection between the frequency of her being ticketed and her race.

I don’t remember the context of the conversation, but another colleague of color once shared that he had gone through a bit of depression after looking around his neighborhood and realizing that no one else looked like him. And that is what finally struck a nerve for me. Someone I know is sad because of historical red-lining and persistent white-flight, our community lacks diversity in even the tiniest degree.

Hearing that expression of sadness, followed by BLM protests and pushback from racists I didn’t realize still populated the earth, have had me thinking about race and starting to do the work of understanding where we came from, where we are, how we got here, and how I can influence where we are heading.

With neighbors, I’m reading and discussing White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Race by Robin DiAngelo. It’s tough going. It’s very difficult to see myself within those pages and not retreat to the comfort of not having to do that work.

So, as I pulled away from that benevolent officer I was reminded of a question Randall Horton’ asks in an August 2020 article The Awakening of the American White Mind, “What privileges of race are you not willing to give up?”

Apparently, I’m not willing to give up a clean driving record and lower insurance. Had I, in the moment I was told “I’m going to let you go with a request to slow down” thought about the implications of getting off scott free, would I have been brave enough to suggest I be treated as AJK, were she the one in the drivers seat? Would I have been brave enough to ask that officer if he ever treated black drivers differently?

As I reflect on what being an ally means, I’m wondering how my looking inward and finding myself lacking can manifest itself into action. And do I have the courage, am I willing to give up the privileges of my race, to the benefit of AJK?

When Kerry was born, I was working 40 hours per week in a non-benefitted job, and attending graduate school. Our rituals revolved around surviving. After graduating, and moving on, and then up in my work, the pattern continued. I'm not a big celebrator of holidays, and have remained entrenched in The Grind. I don't know how to stop and celebrate.

When Kerry was in high school, his friend Mauricio had returned from Mexico without his parents. He had mostly grown up in the US. His friends were here and he was deeply depressed before making the return journey to couch surf and crash with whoever would have him. He eventually landed with us.

When Kerry was around fifteen, he and his friends spent all weekend at my house. From after school Friday until late Sunday, there were between three and six boys at my house. I committed to being available to drive them around because I knew that as soon as he or one of his friends got a car, I would never see them again. I wasn't wrong. They would stay up all night and sleep all day. I fed them and the other kids parents never checked in or contributed in any way.

I got so sick of them sleeping all day that any time they had a day off school, I would take a vacation day from work and make them go on a day trip with me.

We went to The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve, Shatto Dairy to milk cows, and we took a tour of the Harley Davidson factory. It wasn't always a good time. The boys wanted to sleep and Kerry had to act like he hated going on these trips, but I insisted. His friends were the good sports, otherwise I don't think we would have left our own neighborhood.

A few years later we were reminiscing and Mauricio said, “remember all those traditions you and Kerry had?” I didn't know what he was talking about until he explained.

Our traditions have evolved. When we shared a house and neither had to go to work, we would make a big breakfast. Now we occasionally go out, or take the dogs to the woods for long hikes. When I remember those little adventures and the impact it might have had on a group of drifting teens, I wonder if it isn't time to establish some new family rituals.

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.