I’ve likely overshared.

About Me:

  • I am a licensed clinical therapist though I no longer practice as the career was too heavy for me. I’ve made peace with the fact that life doesn’t always follow the path we intended.
  • I am divorced, happily remarried, and live with my husband and two adopted dogs. I volunteer in the animal welfare community.
  • I am an outdoor enthusiast — hiking, biking, walking my dogs, and swimming laps with my head above water.
  • I am an introvert who appears extroverted. I hate the way make-up feels on my face. I love thrifting and getting to know strangers. …

Anecdote | Personal development

And how we eventually fell in love (mostly).

This Valentine’s Day marks my three-year “adopt-a-versary” with Millie. It was the worst Valentine’s Day of my life.

I adopted Millie too soon after my soul dog, Tovi, died, naively thinking that getting another dog would make my insurmountable pain disappear — as if relationships could just transfer. I was wrong. So wrong. If I thought my grief was bad then, it only worsened as I grieved my dog's loss and the reality that my impulsivity had once again landed me in a bad situation.

I literally chose the first dog I saw at the shelter. In fact, I hadn’t…

Calling all pets and their humans to join us!

When I began my journey of writing on Medium, I intended to write about the relationships we share with our pets. There was one snafu though: I was terrified at the thought of how my work would be received. My draft folder was overflowing with essays about the hard parts of pet ownership, not the warm and fuzzies I was used to reading about.

You see, I once had that dog who was my heart dog, my soul mate, my everything. The kind of dog that was lovable, laid-back, and loved everyone. The idyllic dog we think of when the…

Submission guidelines: 1) Write from your heart.

I was inspired to create this publication after I couldn’t find the right home for a creative non-fiction essay I wrote about the loss of my dog. And just like that, Pet Therapy Notes was born.

Think of Pet Therapy Notes like a journal of sorts, the scribbled notes in your journal capturing the moments of life with your pet — the beautiful, painful, and everything in between.

Write in your own voice.

Your work is welcome as long as it relates to your relationship with a pet, past or present.


Yes, and no.

I’m an anxious mess around my dog, Millie. OK, anxious mess can be a baseline for me, but my anxiety is exacerbated around her.

Due to her anxiety and overly sensitive nature, she can be unpredictable — growling or snapping at someone or pancaking to the ground at the sound of a noise; yet, other times, she is loving and gentle. As a result, I’m hyper-vigilant to manage any incident before it happens. It’s a heavy burden to carry, never to know which version of her will emerge on any given day.

We both take Prozac down to the same…


I first tried it in the Pet ER

I had a routine that anchored me during the extended time Tovi was hospitalized. The hospital offered a Keurig machine and a large selection of K-Cups on a shelf in the waiting area to accommodate pet owners in fragile states who were anxiously waiting — often for long periods of time — for any update on their pet.

While I waited for a vet tech to bring him out during my morning visits, I brewed a desperately needed cup of coffee to conceal my exhaustion from yet another sleepless night. I still remember the sound the Keurig made when I…


I fell in love with a dying dog

Today is the first anniversary of Dusty’s death. I adopted him at age 14, and he was my dog for 84 days. I knew it would prove challenging to adopt a third dog — a hospice dog — already having two young dogs at home, but my rational mind lost this battle. This fragile creature had only three teeth, his front tooth protruding out of his mouth like a dagger and a tongue that wouldn’t stay in his mouth because he had no teeth to support it. As a kid, I always chose the damaged stuffed animals, worrying they would…

Like other aspects of my life, it has its ups and downs

I often go back and re-read something I wrote and wonder how I produced that. Where did that brilliance come from, and how do I get back there?

Like many creatives with mental illness, my best writing comes from my highs. While I experience mood fluctuations more frequently than I would like, my highs, which are relatively mild (clinically referred to as hypomanic), are when I churn out my best writing. And I mean churn out like a machine — I have so much to say, the words spill out of me faster than I can type.

During my highs…

My sorrys are exhausting me.

It was my first session with a new therapist, and after a few minutes of listening to what brought me to therapy, like any good therapist, she observed: “Are you one of those people I’m going to have to remind ‘no is a full sentence?’

She recognized my type immediately.

My instinct was to defend myself. To explain how far my formerly people-pleasing self had come and that I know the ‘no is a full sentence’ thing. Still, as I heard myself, while I knew it, I realized I didn’t always practice it. These are two very different things.



Processing pet loss through writing and the precautions we should take

When I sit down to write about Tovi, I freeze. Is it writer's block or writer's pain? It’s a fine line I often wonder about.

Writing can be a great way to cope with loss. I have found solace and self-forgiveness through journaling. Writing for a broader audience, though, is more complicated. My thoughts have to be composed, maybe even have a subtle takeaway — something more coherent than my journal's loose sentences blurred by tear-stained ink.

Why does it matter if I write about the dog whose loss has left me in so much pain — pain that reawakens…

Elizabeth Weiner

Forever a work in progress. Writing about pets, body image, self, and other reflections. Always written with vulnerability and authenticity.

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