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The Pugs of Procrastination: Honoring Those Who’ve Survived YOU

The pug formerly known as Reno's Victorian Martigra

The Pugs of Procrastination strike again! Since we can’t resist their furry little faces, it’s not fair to blame them. My pugs, Jack and Ella, are my writing companions, but before Jack and Ella…there was Marti.

For ten years, this little ball of fluff saw me though the most difficult time of my life. In fact, there were three occasions when I almost didn’t make it. Thanks to Marti and a very short list of humans, I DID make it. I don’t know how they did it…but they survived ME.

Healing from Post Traumatic Stress is the mental and emotional equivalent of being drug through a knothole backwards. Friends and family started looking at me out of the corner of their eyes, wondering where in the hell did she go? In place of the got-it-all-together wife, daughter, mother and friend, someone more like Sybil or the main character from The United States of Tara took up residence in my household.

Marti always knew I was still me. Regardless of the times I cowered in the closet, took eight hour naps (she loved that), brought her along to visit my therapist, or abandoned her (and my son) for six months with my alcoholic, then-second husband, Marti never failed to remember who I was…even when I forgot.

Somehow, I think it was her unflinching recognition of me, displayed in puggy kisses, nuzzles, and barks, that helped bring me back to myself and recognize a few things of my own. When people say they love and care about you, but suddenly disappear, offer empty advice, or worse, withhold life saving assistance at a time when it is, well, inconvenient for them, it’s time to take stock.

What kind of person had I become to attract people who would sacrifice whether I lived or died for their own personal comfort or unspoken agenda? I became frightened at the thought that I had inadvertently surrounded myself with people who would harm me. If I had done this, then I was the only one who could undo it.

I made a quick assessment. I could count on one hand the one’s who threw me a life ring, as I struggled to tread water in an ever expanding sea of PTSD: One, I paid. One, I fell in love with. Two, were family, so they HAD to, right? And one, furry little, pug-nosed, prima donna, who I thought needed me more than I needed her.

Now, six years away from having put PTSD behind me forever, I’m happy to say that my life is full of people (and two pugs) who’ve got my back. Thanks to Marti’s lesson, the haters, the co-dependents, the addicts, and the appearance-means-more-than-substance people are gone. Unfortunately, Marti is gone too.

Sadly, after all my trials and tribulations had turned into victories, Marti’s work was done. She had been there for me. She had seen me through. It’s been a year since she died in my arms. Not one day goes by that I don’t thank her for her part in helping me reclaim the life I have now.

Marti, this post is to honor everything you did to survive…me.

Little Miss Marti August 2000 - February 2011

Like The Pugs of Procrastination? Admittedly, Jack and Ella, my remaining pugs, are also my excuse for not meeting my quotas. At any time, I can be found snuggling, napping or wandering around the yard with the pugs instead of wooorking!

My only salvation? They’re homebodies and can sense a lap forming from half a mile away. If I’m disciplined enough to at least sit! stay! the pugs will do the rest – literally dog piling me with their bodies – keeping me in my seat doing what I do best…writing.

So, be sure to subscribe! Along with practical advice about healing from PTSD, you’ll see an occasional Pugs of Procrastination post…just to keep things in perspective. Have you had a furry friend see you through tough times? I’d love to hear from you! Tell me about your friend! Here’s how to connect (handy buttons at the top of this page):


2 responses »

  1. This is a beautiful post and tribute to Marti. The Marti in my life was a little Chihuahua named Peanut. She saw me through an emotionally abusive marriage, my cancer battle, the loss of my mother to cancer, a bitter separation & divorce, and a job change & relocation. I lost her almost 10 years to the day I lost my mom, and to the same kind of cancer. I don’t think I would have made it without her and like you, not a day goes by that I don’t think of her, thank her, and miss her. They certainly teach us the the true meaning of friendship and the priceless, rare commodity that is unconditional love.

  2. Pingback: Hiking the Blogosphere: From A Life Among Thorns to The Land of Ish « Elaine Smothers

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