Close this search box.



Who else, but your dog, watches you with utter love and devotion while you floss your teeth? Even when I was in the “pair bonding phase” with the two most important men in my life, those first couple of years when we couldn’t take our hands off of one another, other than showering together, I drew the line at watching my activities in the bathroom. For the last two months, Annie’s been confined to her condominium as she recuperates from ACL surgery to repair a torn muscle in her knee. Day after day, she’s watched me do everything. 

She’s spent so much time watching me, I’m convinced if she had opposable thumbs, she could blow-dry her own hair.

Annie’s ACL tear came out of nowhere. On the first Tuesday in November, she was hot on the trail of Mr. Squirrel, but the next day, she was limping and yelping, unable to put her weight on her right rear leg. That Friday, a canine orthopedic surgeon implanted a two-inch metal plate, held in place with screws, into the bone of her knee. For the first two weeks, Annie could only leave her condo to go outside on a leash to potty. Since she wasn’t allowed to put her weight on her back legs, I made a sling out of a long scarf so I could lift her up and cradle her back legs as she walked.

But she’s a 50-pound girl, and my neck and my back went wonky, but that’s okay. Anything for my Annie.

I know she’s feeling better because this is her “I’m bored stiff” look. She lets out a loud sigh, then rests her nose on the bars and just stares at me.

Annie just had her fifth birthday and has many years ahead of her. I want to make sure she’s healthy and fit and able to enjoy every last lizard and squirrel she meets! To that end, I’ve tried to be a responsible and diligent caregiver. I made an Excel spreadsheet so I’d know what times she needed her three pain meds and set alarms on my phone to wake me at 12:30am, 3:00am and 4:30am to administer her meds with a morsel of food and then hope I could get back to sleep. I put cold compresses from the freezer on her knee to help with the swelling, and when it came time for meals, I sat on the floor in front of her condo and hand-fed her so she wouldn’t have to stand up. Through all of this, I heard nary a peep out of my girl. She’s so good!

If you’ve ever loved a dog then all of this makes perfect sense to you, including taking her to physical therapy—twice a week in another city—for cold laser treatments on her knee and where she walks on a treadmill underwater. I don’t want to think about how much all of this has cost me. Probably a first-class, roundtrip ticket to Bora Bora, but I can’t put a price on loving a dog, in sickness and in health, and having them love you in return. That’s just what you do when you love someone. 

Share this Story

Hi Girlfriends,

I’m proud to say that 1010ParkPlace™ has been voted one of the Top Ten Blogs for women over 50: the best-educated, wealthiest, most powerful demographic in history.

Here you will get a glimpse into the lives of other women, learn how they handled things life put in their path like divorce, the death of a spouse, serious health issues, low self-esteem, addiction and how to reinvent yourself after a major life change. You will find like-minded women and relevant conversations about finances, fashion, sex, books, music, films and food. We feature interviews with inspiring women along with straight-talk and bold conversations to reawaken your passions and make life count.

Brenda’s Blog has between a 58.4% and a 68.7% click thru rate, which is unheard of. My readers tell me it’s because I’m sassy and transparent, they trust me and no topic is off limits.

Tell your girlfriends, sisters and coworkers about 1010ParkPlace. We have lots of exciting interviews planned and stay tuned for updates about my memoir! 

#WhereStyleIsAgeless   #MakeLifeCount   #WhatAreYouWaitingFor

48 thoughts on “LOVING A DOG”

  1. I totally get it, I would do no less for our dogs and cat. Prayers for Annie for a speedy recovery ❤️‍!

    • Thanks for your note and your prayers. Would you believe some neanderthal emailed me and said I should have helped the homeless with the money I spent on Annie! Grrrr…. Obviously this person has never loved or been loved by a dog, and I’m positive I don’t want to know them. Brenda

  2. Reading about Annie just made my day so much brighter. You and Annie make a great team. I wish her a speedy recovery.

  3. Annie KNOWS your are LOVING her, and all will be well.

    Hope you never know the literal amount of money spent, repairing/healing Annie’s leg.

    You’re doing the right thing, spend-spend-spend, as you nurse-nurse-nurse. How thankful you are, can be felt thru the internet !

    God is good.

    Godspeed Annie’s long healthy life with you.

    Garden & Be Well, T

    • we went through the same thing with Roxie. Carrying her up and down the stair in snow and ice. It’s a brutal surgery.

      • Jann, You DO know! I’m just grateful the surgeon could mend her knee, and I’m hoping we don’t have a winter like we did last year–snowed in for over a week without power and water. How did Roxie do with her surgery? Did she heal well and resume normal activities? xoxox, Brenda

    • LOL!! No way, Lee! She’d tell everything!! I think I come close to that. My mother sometimes used to say, “Brenda, you don’t have to tell everything you know,” but obviously I do, or I wouldn’t be blogging and writing a memoir. xoxox, Brenda

  4. I also totally get it! I would do anything to keep my dog healthy and happy. Our Gracie is our 4th dog. She turns 8 in February and is quite the character. I’m so glad to hear Annie is one the mend. You certainly have gone above and beyond for your girl.

    • I appreciate your note, Jeannette! As a child I wasn’t allowed to have a dog, so I didn’t get my first dog until I was about 30. Phydaux Ray was his name. Actually I’ve thought about writing about him because he changed my life. Maybe he was a child substitute, but he opened my heart in ways I didn’t know it needed to be opened. And every dog I’ve had since then has done the same thing. God bless dogs! xoxox, Brenda

  5. You’re a great dog mom! My pets have always been a member of my family. My last dog lived for 16 years and now I have a cat that I inherited from my son and he’s quite a character!

    • Thank you, Jamie! Cats are hilarious and sometimes inscrutable! Such different personalities from dogs. I’ve had a number of cats and loved them all madly. They, along with all of my dogs who are no longer here, are in little urns and wooden boxes with their names on them on a shelf in my library. After I die, my instructions are to add their ashes to mine and use us all to plant a tree at my church. James used his Father’s ashes to plant a tree at his church, and he continued to prune and fertilize that tree until he died. I’ve always thought that was a sweet gesture. Brenda

  6. Annie is “over the top” adorable. You both are completely dedicated to one another, and that is exactly how your lives together should
    play out. Brenda, you are an amazing mama to Annie.
    As you so well stated, “in sickness and in health.”
    Thank you for sharing the saga of Annie’s surgery and her recovery and all you have done to help her HEAL.

    • Thanks so much, Katherine. I’ll tell her you said she was adorable. I tell her that all the time. We’re a pretty tight little family unit, and I would do most anything for her. I believe “do unto others applies to the animal kingdom as well.” I appreciate you reading my blog and leaving me a comment, sweet lady! xoxox, Brenda

    • You’re a love, Donna! I’m glad, too! I fell in love with her little brown face the moment I saw her. Hope you’re staying well during this recent Covid uptick in cases. I keep thinking I’ll get up your way, but then Covid or Annie’s surgery changes my plans. Love to you and T, Brenda

  7. I’ve always had cats, but my sister has a dog I’ve fallen in love with and have started keeping her when Sara goes out of town. It’s made me think about getting a dog but I’d have to get it trained. I don’t know as much about dogs as I do about cats.

    • Donna, By having a cat, you’ve already shown you love animals. While a dog’s personality is different from a cat’s, they all want love and affection. If you get a puppy, get a book about raising a puppy. Have someone train it, then water and feed, shower with love and they will love you in return. I didn’t get my first dog until I was almost 30. I immersed myself in reading about dogs, and that dog changed my life for the better. xoxox, Brenda

  8. Awe – Sorry about lil Annie I know how hard it’s been for both of you –
    Just did it with Stormy!! We love them so much and they love us more❤️

    • Debbie, What! Did little Stormy have an ACL tear as well? I hope not, but at least she’d be easier to lift her up and take the weight off of her back legs. xoxox, Brenda

  9. Well, we know that Annie would do the same for you. You are a wonderful dog lover. They deserve nothing less.

  10. That is absolutely what you do. Good for you and Annie. Bless her heart. She is so lucky to have you. I adopted a basset hound several years ago and she came down with an illness that cost me several thousand dollars but I was more than happy to spend the money to get her well and she lived a good life for 4 or 5 years longer. Anything for my fur babies. Just so happy I could do it. Praying for Annie’s recovery.

    • You’re my kind of woman, Sandra. It’s hard to see them struggle and in pain. They can’t tell you where it hurts, so we become better able to intuit their needs. Like you, I couldn’t think about doing anything else. Thanks for your prayers for Annie. She’s a blessed little girl. xoxox, Brenda

  11. Brenda, your sweet girl appreciates everything you do for her! She is so sweet and obviously loves and adores you as you do her. There is nothing like the love of a pet. We have spent a lot of money on our pups and they are worth it. A pet is a member of the family, just like a child, why do people think you should not spend money on them? Take are and have a wonderful weekend. By the way, how is the book coming along?

    • Thank you, Elizabeth! I chose not to have children and dogs and cats have filled that desire to have someone to raise and care for, and I would have done anything–and have–for them. Like children, they’re all so different, and they fill me with such delight! My book is in the hands of a well known editor for her second go round of comments and suggestions. I’m waiting to hear from her this week, then will make any changes she suggests and send it off to a copy editor to check punctuation and word choices. Then the scary part starts: Looking for a book agent. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for asking! xoxox, Brenda

  12. Aww, Brenda and Annie are a pair and take care of each other! She needs you right now, and you need her every day!
    Believe me I’ve been there with our little rescue dog. No expense spared and no explanation for her problems, just a cut-short vacation, many trips to the vet and emergency vet and then boom like that Maggie went from near death to all better. We still aren’t sure what the problem was but are so glad she is still with us.
    Remember to ake care of yourself too, while you’re nursing your sweet Annie! Hope she’s back to her full mobility soon.
    Xo Heidi

    • Heidi, Annie’s a rescue dog as well. All of my dogs are rescues. I loved reading how much you love and care for Maggie, and I’m happy she’s doing well. What an angel you are to tell me to take care of myself! Awe… Thank you, Heidi! Actually, Annie’s rehab has been great for my figure. I walk her, twice a day, 15 minutes each. As a result, I have very little extra body fat. If I were to give “get in shape” advice, I’d say walk your dog every day!

  13. annie is a lucky pup! our dempsey had been thru similar travail, and this kind of loving is what it takes!
    (all i have to say is thank god for pet insurance). between back surgeries, physical therapy,
    and his pesky habit of eating bad things…it totally pays for itself!
    love to you and your beautiful girl.

    • Hi Bonnie, Like Dempsey, Annie has a history of eating things that aren’t good for her, especially until she was two or three. She was like a magnet for things like wires, aluminum foil and thick, orange rubber gloves. I’d just moved into my house shortly before I got Annie, so I was stunned to learn there was five inches of “stuff” in the yard. I actually raked my SMALL yard with a hair comb and hauled away nine big trash bags full of stuff, and when things still kept turning up, I had another four inch layer of dirt removed by my yard man. Love to you and Dempsey, Brenda

  14. This made me smile from ear to ear! We’ve talked about our Annies and our love for them but to see Annie’s photo and put a face to her …. priceless! I suspect if you have a dog or cat or bird or bunny you love you realize they have saved you really …. they see you as their whole world … lucky us! Fabulous post again!

    • Hi Linda!!! You’re so right. They’re so dependent on us, and they give back to us more than we give to them and rescue us in so many ways. You can’t put a price tag on that. We–and our Annies–are so lucky to have one another!

    • Love seeing you here, Nancy!! I’ll tell Annie you said hello. Except for instances like yesterday when I was hanging onto my neighbor’s brick mailbox so Annie wouldn’t drag me down the street to chase after the black Poodle, she brings me such joy and love. She weights 50 pounds, and my biggest fear is she’ll put me in a position where I break a hip! Hope you and yours are well. Love, Brenda

  15. So sorry to hear about Annie and wishing her a speedy recovery and lots of fun in the future. You don’t know how it makes me happy to hear how you’re taking such good care of Annie. Makes my day because I know that many animals are not being cared for by their owners. All animals need a Brenda. I have LOVED many dogs and cat and I was devastated when they died and some people couldn’t or wouldn’t understand why I was so deeply affected by their loss. As you said they obviously have never known the love of an animal. So good to hear you say it. I feel understood, at last. Thank you for sharing! Take care and prayers for both of you.

    • What a sweet note, Yvonne! Thank you very much! It breaks my heart when I hear about dogs who are neglected and abused. I would have ten dogs if I had the money and time to take care of them and make sure they know how much they’re loved. People who’ve never had an animal are missing something inside. I also know a few people who do have dogs, but they don’t love them like I love mine, and they don’t get why I mourn so when they’re gone. I have friends of almost every race and friends who are Democrats, Republicans and far right and far left radicals, gay, straight and lesbians, Christians, Jews, Hindus, agnostics and atheists, but I don’t have friends who aren’t compassionate to animals. xoxox, Brenda


    • Elizabeth, For those of us who love animals, there is NO OTHER CHOICE! Two of the pain meds needed to be within three hours of one another, but not together, and the third one helped the other two “kick in.” Believe me, I called the vet to double check that. I’d never forgive myself if I’d OD’d my Annie girl. Banksy sounds like he has some jealousy issues going on. He wants to be king of the roost and sees Betty as an interloper on his territory. He’s making it clear to everyone where he ranks. Since Betty’s getting to be such a big girl, from now on, perhaps you get them both new beds and blankets at the same time, although Banksy may still want to claim hers. As my late father-in-law used to say: Dogs (pigs) are funny people! xoxox, Brenda

  17. Ohhh Annie… what a human you have. Your Brenda is bonded to you and for sure the two of you share abundance of love. There is simply no choice. I am sorry this happened to your knee. I hope you are healing well with each day and gaining your strength. You are such a beautiful dog. Your 4 paws are wonders and soon the swelling and pain will be gone. Take care sweet one.

    Brenda…. We have been there. Our current 14 year old Golden has had 2 of these surgeries and my husband and I have done similar duties to aid in her healing. ( she was granted upstairs to our bedroom once a day in post -op week 2. We both assisted her hind quarters with a sling for the following 5 weeks, and we all slept better). I still get a weepy eye when I recalll taking her out to potty and the “tried and try again attempts” to potty in her wrapped leg position , how difficult it was for her. But never a sour disposition was displayed… her tail wagging always as she saw us. I did a lot of knitting on the floor next to her in the first weeks. It comforted her as well she really rested. I hope you are doing well. The love you have for this precious one … truly heaven sent. These animals that we share life with are gifts and I believe no other knows us in our truths. Take care. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Cindy! I just now found your beautiful note to me and Annie. Thank you so much! You are a compassionate woman! Dogs rarely complain, like your Golden when you helped her outside to potty and she kept trying and trying. Annie was the same. She was a much better post op patient than I would have been in her position… literally and figuratively. They know we love them and we’re trying to help them. You’re the first person to know: Today was Annie’s first “free day” outside of her condo, on her own, and she was a joy to watch! She didn’t know what to do first, checking out the corners of every room, but this evening she crawled up next to me on the couch and put her head in my lap and kept looking up at me. This kind of love melts my heart. xoxox, Brenda

Comments are closed.


Sign up to our list and we’ll send you our sought-after guide “50 Ways To Change Your Life”
I'm happy you've joined us! If you like what you read, I'd love for you to stay and subscribe to our updates by email. We have a great community of like-minded women, and your presence can only make it stronger.