Lucy Puppy Visits My Psychiatrist!




Greetings and happy Friday everyone!

Today I planned to write about my Dad, as it’s his birthday.  My father died in 2009, and I’ve written about him in this blog before.  I considered him to be one of my best friends, and he also had bipolar one disorder.  The link to my post about Dad is here:

I’ve always been into birthdays, and today I can’t help but feel down about the fact that Dad isn’t here with us to celebrate another one.  However, I’ve been comforting myself with the thought that he’d get a big kick out of what happened this morning.

I had my monthly check-in appointment with the best psychiatrist I’ve ever had: Dr. D.  Apart from being the most helpful pdoc I’ve seen over a span of two decades, Dr. D. is also the first dog-friendly psychiatrist I’ve consulted.  With all due respect, from now on I shall refer to him here as “Dr. Dog”.  (Ruff, ruff!)

A few weeks ago, when I emailed Dr. Dog about a med refill, I mentioned that the glorious puppy Lucy had joined our family.  I didn’t know if he liked dogs, but I attached a photo of her anyway since she was so damn cute.  Dr. Dog wrote back remarking on Lucy’s sweet face, and he said it would be perfectly fine to bring her to my next appointment at his-dog-friendly office complex.  I thought that was the coolest thing, and I knew that having Lucy with me would lessen my anxiety.  I was a little stressed about her going potty in his office, but I didn’t let that stop me from bringing her along.

To prevent a puppy accident from occurring, I packed doggy pads, spray cleaner, a roll of paper towels, a couple baggies, a dog toy, and a little container of water!  I’m sure I left something out.  (Just kidding!)  Honest-to-God, I felt like a mom with her a newborn going on an errand, carrying a plethora of baby objects in tow. While Lucy’s accoutrements were much easier to pack compared to infant gear (and infant), I found the task challenging all the same.

When Lucy met Dr. Dog, they hit it off right away.  I was the uber-proud mama of a fur baby!  Dr. Dog told me he was impressed my bringing my array of clean-up items, etc.  It turns out that he used to have a Sheltie who passed away few years ago.  (Lucy is part Sheltie, so of course I took that as a good sign.)

We reviewed my blood test paperwork, and then I brought up the two topics on my mind: my high anxiety, and my sugar & caffeine addictions.  Dr. Dog also considers my sugar and caffeine problems as bona fide addictions. He’s a longtime addiction psychiatrist and he knows what he’s talking about! I’ve become so discouraged with my lack of progress in these two areas in my life.  Diet and anxiety are strongly connected, and I’m perpetuating a self-sabotaging cycle in which the more sugar and caffeine I ingest, the worse my anxiety becomes.  Dr. Dog said he felt a “sadness” for me because these issues continue to bring me down and prevent me from being my best, happiest self.  I don’t foresee any quick fixes here, and I’m working on them with my therapists.  (My human therapist and my puppy therapist.  I’m joking once again – I smelled Lucy’s furry little head a few minutes ago, and I’m high on puppy.  It truly smelled amazing and not “wt doggy” yet. )

At the close of our appointment Dr. Dog remarked that I was doing “very well” despite my self-confessed challenges, which was music to my ears.  He said I could bring Lucy to my next appointment – more music to my ears indeed.  It was lovely to have her at my side in his office today, as she definitely helped me ratchet down my angst.  Lucy was so good and mellow, and she didn’t even go potty on his carpet! 🙂

Along with the bipolar gene, I inherited a great love for hounds from my father.  My Dad adored dogs and he filled our home with his beloved Irish Setters.  (Note to you dog experts out there – I believe that Irish Setters are much smarter than they get credit for!)  It was fitting that today on my Dad’s birthday I saw my psychiatrist with Lucy  by my side.  I know he’d completely approve of the arrangement and perhaps he even had an otherworldly hand in making it happen.  Who knows?

In any case, it’s fun to write about my joyful, vivacious puppy  today instead of dwelling upon Dad’s pain, suffering and death like I had initially planned to expound on.  I’ve “been there, done that” numerous times. This past week I wrote an essay about grieving my Dad for the upcoming issue of “Anchor” magazine.  I didn’t choose the topic; the upcoming issue’s theme is grief.  That assignment drained me, and I feel like I’ve met a “grief theme writing quota” that should last me quite a while.

I hope that my Dad is having fun in the Afterlife; perhaps he’s with his Irish Setters.  I see him in my mind’s eye playing the Tchaikovsky pieces he loved on his favorite Guadagnini violin.  His audience consists in part of Tanya and Amber, his mild-mannered setters.  Dad would understand my decision to blog mostly about Lucy instead of about him and my grieving his loss, especially since he couldn’t stand to talk about death in any way, shape or form!

I miss him.




10 thoughts on “Lucy Puppy Visits My Psychiatrist!

  1. Happy birthday to your dear departed dad! So glad you were able to bring Lucy with you to your pdoc. I had a pdoc who had me go completely off caffeine and alcohol. My current pdoc recommends restraint. I limit myself to two cups of caffeinated coffee per day, on sunny days only one because the sun stimulates my mood. I will do half-caf and decaf to still enjoy the flavor and ritual of coffee drinking without over-stimulating myself. Caffeinated coffee is a known antidepressant and, as you know, can trigger mania and anxiety. Try half-caf and decaf to reduce the amount of caffeine.

  2. HI Kitt and thank you for your comment!! Well, my pdoc is hardcore. In my particular case he believes that I am a classic addict who must cut out my troubling substances 100% ***cold-turkey***. (Ahhhhhhhhhhh!) He brought up my using decaf in the past instead of regular, but after he got to know me better he felt it was best to cold-turkey it. Gobble gobble brrrr. Freezing cold it is to try to “cold-turkey” my yummy addictions. I was able to quit caffeine long ago during both of my pregnancies, but I didn’t do that with sugar. I have the potential to quit, but not the resolve. My therapist wants to work on this with me, so she has job security because this behavior is incredibly tough for me to change. Pray for me! (please…)

    • Hey dear c&b – thanks so much for your kindness. I’m so sorry lost your loved ones too. You understand. Having Lucy puppy helps take my mind off my sorrows, and I have no problem with that! 🙂 I’ve been really digging your blog over the past few days – can’t wait to read your next post! (((hugs)))

  3. Oh my. My Dad is 81 and slowing down every day. I am petrified of losing him!!! I’m so sorry for your loss of your father!!! I’m glad you have a beautiful pup, though! ❤

    • OMG girl, treasure EVERY moment you have with him! I know I don’t need to tell you this, but if you have the opportunity to see him more, take it. How lucky he is to have a child who loves him like you do.

      I’m not proud of broadcasting this, but this afternoon I’ve had an upset tummy and treated myself to watching the show “Long Island Psychic”. The medium says how it’s possible for a soul to reincarnate into another being – maybe my puppy is my Dad!!!!! Although she’s a very girly girl, so I’m not sure how he’d feel about that!!! 😉 (((hugs))) & thanks for stopping by!

      • Thanks for the excellent advice. I do try to see him several times a week. He has a lot of “projects” for me to do 🙂 which I do with a smile and we chat all along. I am very grateful for him.

  4. Thank goodness I’ve never been into coffee. Sugar, on the other hand, is my weakness. Good luck to both of us on that. I am so jealous of your new puppy love. I want one too!! (eventually)… The memories of your dad sound wonderful. I’m glad it was a good dad’s birthday with lots of puppy snuggles.

  5. Hi Dyane, I appreciated your.correspondence with me before, and wanted to let you know of something that happened to me…I felt very stuck and spent quite a lot of time with Dr. Google. Last week I flew to Chicago to Mensah Medical…it was pretty amazing. I just wanted to drop their name to you as orthomolecular medicine might be something to cover in your book…things like copper imbalances are very common in post-partum “dramas.” Mensah actually does outreach clinics in CA. The book about it is “Nutrient Power.” I hope you (and I) feel better soon–I virtually have PTSD over doctors, so it was a trying trip.

    I’m sure your dad’s birthday is a big part of this. We just celebrated our first holiday without our dad.

    Wishing you the best! Kathy

    • Hey Kathy! I bought “Nutrient Power” as soon as it was available for Kindle when it was first published. I was curious about the book and for the life of me I don’t know how I heard about it!!! In any case, I thought it was worth buying. Recently Dr. Walsh, the author, gave a webinar via The International Bipolar Foundation, so they respect his philosophy obviously.

      After reading his book , I referred one of my best friends to the Mensah Clinic whose doctors have been trained by Dr. Walsh, and she has been seeing them periodically in CA & doing the program with great success. She’s such a wonderful friend, and I’ve been thrilled to witness her being helped by the program. She has very strong opinions about copper and she wants to inform as many medical professionals and other women as she can about the subject – it’s that important to her.

      I didn’t feel the protocol would be the right fit for me after I read the book and looked into the Mensah Clinic, ***but*** I wouldn’t rule it out in the future.

      It’s so SO GREAT to hear that your experience was amazing – hurrah! I am proud of you for doing your homework and I appreciate your update! I’m sorry about the loss of you father as well.

      Take good care and thanks again for your inspiring experience with Mensah.

      Dyane :))))

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