After I wrote my previous blog entry, I let my service dog Atina out to pee and putter around.

Then I felt the scream building up.

Every once in a while, the pressure inside builds and builds, and the only way I can let it out is to scream.  A lot of screams, until my throat is sore, my head is pounding, and I’m too exhausted to scream any more.

But I can’t scream when Atina is with me, in the van.  She already gets concerned when I laugh, because she thinks I’m crying and tries to cover me with her body, which is her way of comforting me.  I like it.

And if I’m in fact crying, she licks away my tears while suffocating me.  She weighs 71 pounds.

So when she was outside, the screams overcame me like a boiling kettle, again, again, again, I couldn’t stop.

Then I heard her barking and scratching frantically at the door.  I stopped screaming and opened the door.

She rushed in and threw herself on me, almost knocking me down.  We clung to each other and she gave little worried yips, stood up and licked my face, and I had to go lie down with her for a while and cuddle till we both felt better and calmed down.

It was a beautiful day, so I figured the best thing we could do was to go for a walk.  As I closed the door of the van, I looked for the scratch marks.

They were right by the door handle.  She had been trying to get the door open, to get to me!

What a precious carrot.


Leave a comment


  1. Now that’s love.

  2. Ani is your savior! Amazing dog, Laura! Happy New Year! Chryssa

  3. Oops…Atina is your savior!

  4. What a precious carrot indeed!

  5. Does screaming help? I have never screamed nor have I ever cried over anything since I was a child…and alas, I have no animals to comfort me. You do indeed have a precious carrot.

  6. The unconditional love of pets is a blessing. They do not judge us the way people do. 💙

    • No, they don’t. Pure unconditional love, most of the time, although I had one dog who was insanely jealous of anyone who got even slightly close to me. That was a problem! It’s a good thing I don’t have a lover, or any desire to have one, as I’m not sure how Atina would react…And a Malinois is a loaded weapon. You always have to be thinking one step ahead of them. And they will fight for you, and lay down their lives for you…

  7. Reblogged this on Gentle Kindness and commented:
    The unconditional love of pets can be a blessing. 💙

  8. Yes… God’s little innocent creatures are truly beautiful…

    • Well, she’s MOSTLY innocent…New Year’s Day I left her alone in my van for a few hours and she rifled the place and ate all kinds of things that are bad for her kidneys (she has underdeveloped kidneys, very delicate). Typical teenager! She’s not yet two…

  9. Bless her. I hope that you’re also feeling somewhat less “argh” now too. Xxx

  10. Scream Laura scream
    I had to do that this morning
    Only I wrote
    Love, Hughes, and wiggles
    As always Sheldon

  11. On one hand, I’m saddened anyone has to undergo trauma or psychological distress, but if it must be, I’m heartened to read that you have Atina to comfort you. I love the story, sad though it may be. [My 2 cents’: Dr. Schulman, I hope you will consider, if you have not already, sharing your story with pet-related publications (or general-interest or literary or psychology ones); again, it is hope-inspiring, calming, and educational.]

    • Thanks for the suggestion and your kind support! I’d love to publish, but have no idea how. Do you have any ideas/suggestions?

      Be well and take care,


      • Yes, I can think of a number of publications and/or markets, although I don’t know when there deadlines are. Please let me get back to you in a couple days; I’ll compile a list. There are also, from time to time, Chicken Soup or Cup of Comfort type books for dog-lovers that would be a perfect market, it seems to me, for your and Atina’s story. (So, in other words, not just magazines, newspapers, and/or digital-based publications.) I’ll be in touch! 🙂

  12. Such a testament of love. You are blessed to have her. She, to have you.

  13. That’s one great dog. I love her.

  14. Oh, I’m in love with Atina. Good girl.


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