Pathworking My Current Past Life (Shadow Work)

This is pasted from my personal journal, and expresses what I intend to do here.

I did a self reading with my new mermaid oracle deck. The first card was The Mirror. All three cards were reversed. This card indicates that I am not seeing and embracing the truth of who I am, that I am living without personal empathy, and avoiding the pains of the past and what they have done to me. The second card, Farewell to the moon, indicates that I am able to intellectually grasp the details of my life, but that I am stuck in my head. I haven’t begun to relay on cycles or instincts, I am have a fear of darkness and night and a misunderstanding of said things. It also says I make too much of an attempt to fit in with others. The last card was Coral’s wisdom. Basically it indicates that I am expecting things to happen, faster than is reasonable. This seems like a reasonable and accurate drawing for me. I was surprised, based on my experiences with divination to date.

Sounds like I need to do more shadow work doesn’t it? I am the worst at holding myself to higher standards than I ever would anyone else. When I fck up I really hold it against myself hard, and I never do that with others. I always try to relate to how we are human and mess up. I think I am going to play a game with myself, where I will essentially analyze how I came to be where I am. I am going to start a journal on Balg, and start at the beginning. The furthest back memory I can think of.

I am going to attempt to remember something from my early years everyday. In theory, as I begin to record these older memories, I should start remembering more of my past. I think I will call this journal, “Pathworking my Current Past Life.” This is certainly in my past, but yet part of the current. Maybe I will be the only one who gets the title, but I don’t care too much.

The idea is to learn as much about myself and my habits and beliefs and instinctual reactions as I can. I think it will work very similar to dream recall. The more you attempt to do so, the better you get at it, and the more natural it becomes. I am a little nervous about doing this on Balg, but I am thinking that I have better chances of sticking with it, if I make a public proclamation. Who knows, maybe someone will pick up on something I don’t, and it’s not like I get tons of reads on Balg anyways.

If I get on the rambling car too much, just ignore me, it’s what I do.


Easy to do. I had a reading not too long ago where I was told to pay more attention to the mundane. I bet a fair amount of us on here are “guilty” of getting stuck in our heads.

Urban camouflage.

Also guilty. It typically makes us dependable and proficient at what we care about. Double edged sword.

Clever. Shed the old skin.

I respect that you put this on here.


Thanks. Little nervous as I contemplate my first real entry but I think it will be a good, painful and enlightening experience for me.


You could always Lounge it, if you wanted to, until you get more comfortable and move it elsewhere. I debated doing that with the shadow stuff and it’s not nearly as personal as your entries would be.


Nah, I think that defeats the purpose of embracing who I am. I might if it gets too personal, but for now I think I’ll leave it here and see where we go.


Day 1

What exactly is my earliest memory? It’s rather hard to pinpoint to be honest. When I think about the earliest era of my life that I remember, I have several impressions of partial memories that jump right out at me. I am not sure to be honest which is the first. I may end up with more than one memory per day to begin with, and I expect to find, that not all memories come in order. I may jump around a bit after I really get into this. That’s okay, I expect it as much as I expect that more memories will come as I work on this project. I am going to start with the first memory that came to mind. It’s usually the first one I think of, when I think about my early childhood.

I was three years old. I know this because my blood brother was born in February, just after my fourth Birthday in December. (my brother was born my sister, but he’s the only full blooded sibling of 8 that I have, thusly blood brother.) My biological mother was on the couch. I remember it being along the wall, opposite of the fireplace. I am not sure this is where it was really located, but I dream often about this house. It was on a road called Green Meadows. I remember she didn’t seem to feel well. I don’t think I understood what being pregnant was, only that my mother was pregnant. The walls were white, but often I dream of this house and they are tan, but I do prefer neutral colors, rather than expressing myself, I tend to hide the colors that represent me and never buy anything that is my color. I just admire it from a distance, keeping who I am to myself. Even if you’ve known me my entire life, you will not find my color in any of my past homes, and wouldn’t know it unless I told you.

From here, I flash to a strong memory of my mother throwing up, it was thin and watery, and brown. It was like she had thrown up many times. It seems like my mother was not well during her pregnancy with my blood brother.

The next memory I hope to is off my daddy. He was holding me on his hip, talking to my mother on the phone. She was working as a nurse at the local hospital emergency room. He talked to her every evening, while she was at work. My dad had shaved, he only had a mustache, and his hair was a bit shorter than most of my memories. I remember he seemed kinda frustrated, because my mother had purchased a gag joke, that looked like spilled nail polish. She had left it for him to find on the counter before leaving. My dad didn’t do as she expected though, she was trying to get him to have a fit about things being clean, as apparently he must have, but I do not remember it for myself at this age, only that she would do things like this to intentionally try to get him going. I remember he picked it up and put it back down, as if he didn’t care and knew he was being played with. I honestly thing this was prior to the first memories as I believe it was before my mother was pregnant with my blood brother, if she was already pregnant she was not yet showing her pregnancy.

I had a few more impressions, but by the time I got through the last one, it seems I’ve already forgotten them. Perhaps tomorrow, they will come forward more vividly.


Perhaps I won’t always need to wait for tomorrow.

I was in the garage and was holding an orange Persian cat, his name was Morris. I don’t remember the cat food commercials from this age, or even having a television. I do remember someone telling me at a later date, that I named him for Morris, from meow mix. I may try to google it up, and see if I can find one of the older commercials later. I am a very late1985 model, and this was prior to my fourth birthday. That narrows the time frame down considerably, though it is hard to say how early we retain impressions. I really got off tangent on details and thoughts here, so back to the memory.

I was in the garage attached to our home on Green Meadows Drive, holding my cat Morris, like he was a baby doll. The hot water heater was along the back wall of the garage. My mother bumped the water heater when she pulled into the garage. Our car was a mid-late 1980’s Cadillac. I remember when my daddy brought it home, and how proud he was of the purchase, that my mother did not approve of. I found a picture, of how I remember the cars color and interior. I couldn’t find one however, where the four door version of this car, in this color was not beat the hell up. I don’t remember anyone being super upset, other than my mother for making a mistake that might possibly upset my daddy. I’m not sure if that somehow put the pilot light out, or if it’s a separate memory I have of watching my daddy relit the pilot.

The more I focus on this memory, the more I have pop up, that I had completely forgotten about.

I remember walking down our driveway to the mailbox. It wasn’t really a long driveway, probably the length I would normal expect to see in a nice neighbor. The length is important, because I remember skipping down the driveway on a beautiful sunny day to get the mail from the mailman. They pulled up a little further than the mailbox, so that they could hand it directly to me. I was so proud of how big I was, even though I was pretty little. Having permission to go to the end of the driveway was like having permission to go to the prom with Justin Timberlake to my tiny little mind. (Idk random popstar that was hot my teenager years).

I remember my mothers flower garden. It ran along both sides of the sidewalk that lead from the driveway to the front door. I remember using the front door, and the garage entry, what seems like many times. My mother loved plants, and had rose trees, celosia and I am not sure what else. I just remember her favorite colored rose was peach, and we had orange, red and pink celosia. I really liked them, yet they scared me sometimes. I remember being scared to walk by them, even though I knew they were only a plant.


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I am steeping tulsi for tea and for steam. It seems I am on a third day of just can’t get my lungs to loosen up- AT ALL. Usually I can get back to what I call ground zero. I’ve not had this much breathing trouble in months. My normal breathing is fine, it’s when I try to take a deep breath, I feel like I can’t- Almost like my lungs are filled with a solid substance. (Probably filled with mucus)

I hate steam treatments. I thought I had no idea what I hate them. I didn’t think, I had any memories of ever sitting in front of a pot with steam rolling off it. Then I realized I did, but I forgot.

I have no idea how old I was, we were still living on Green Meadows drive, and my blood brother wasn’t born yet. My mother was making me sit at the table, with a purple towel over my head. She brought a pot of hot steaming water and sat it in front of me. I was supposed to breath the steam in, for at least 15 minutes all the while not touching the pot. I felt so warm it was overwhelming. I was miserable and upset and didn’t want to do it again. I didn’t understand why my mother kept making me do this, when I was fine. I don’t remember my mother being anything but cool, calm and collected. She was working as a nurse, so I imagine she was diagnosing and treating my symptoms as they occurred.

I’ve always wondered how it was possible I got to be 22, before I knew I had asthma. I wonder if she suspected, or was treating me, with the thought that I got sick easy, or that I had the croup and just couldn’t shake it. I remember the steam making my nose run, and making it hard to see anything. Plus how could I do anything while I sat under a towel. I didn’t think the steam helped, it was uncomfortable and made me unhappy

I didn’t like when my mother put the towel around me, so that it touched the table and surrounded the pot, exposing my back. I was scared. I felt alone, I was uncomfortable and I saw things. Shapes and shadows I couldn’t explain. My mother told me I just had invisible friends and that it was normal.

I didn’t seem to be able to understand how to ask her, but it seems like I wondered, why they scared me so much, if they were supposed to be my playmates.


I remember the day that my daddy brought Morris home. I had asked for a dog, and even at such a young age I understood that a cat was not at close to a dog. I was upset, but I don’t remember expressing it. Supposedly, I had awful tantrums at this age, but I do not currently recall any of them. Rage is an emotion I have always done well however, and I’ve seen enough tantrums from children at this age, to imagine that I probably did having amazing tantrums.

My daddy brought Morris home in a pet carrier. The small size ones, just meant for transporting a cat or very small dog to the vet and back home again. Morris was already a full grown cat, or close to it. I am not sure where my daddy found him. I was happy, despite it not being what I wanted. I remember not wanting to tell him, that I still really wanted a dog. I didn’t want to disappoint him.

I remember that my dad came in the door that led into our home from the garage that day. I can almost see an impression of him, and the dining room table in the background. The table was a dark colored wood, and oval in shape.

I was disappointed, because though Morris would allow me to play with him-like he was a doll baby, he didn’t seem to bond with me like I wanted. Seems I knew I wanted a puppy for a reason. For a while Morris was an indoor cat, but eventually this changed. That memory is several months in the future however, after a change in our home and just prior to my blood brothers birth. I think I will save it for later, I seem to remember it well.


It took a little digging, but not as much as I was afraid. I remember this 1988 commercial. I would have been three in December of this year. I can’t seem to find when this commercial was released, or how long it ran, to get an idea of when I may have gotten the impression. I can say that my Morris had much longer fur, and the pug-like face, typical of persians.


I remember standing beside the ocean, the only time I have been to California. I know this was before my blood brother was born. I’ve been told I was only two years old. I bent down and tried to make a sandcastle. I was frustrated because I was so close to the waters edge, that the water kept messing up my little piles of sand. I thought the sand had to be moist to make the sandcastle, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the sand to cooperate. I wanted to make a big beautiful sandcastle. I have no idea how I knew what sandcastle were, or what they should look like. I just knew I wanted to make one with several towers, and a cave that led inside and I wanted to be able to play with my toys inside of it. The day was dreary and gray.

We were in California, because my great grandmother was sick. We had come with my maternal grandmother, so that my grandmother could take care of her mother. I have many relatives, on my mothers side in California. I remember sitting on my great grandmothers lap, and knowing she was going to die soon. No one but me seemed to know this. I have no idea how I knew at my age. Perhaps they did know, and just weren’t speaking about it because I was young. It’s hard to say, because adults will usually speak about these sorts of things with toddlers around, thinking they have no comprehension of the meanings. Yet I somehow did. She had an oxygen tube in her nose, and she gave me a bright purple bear, that I had up until around the age of 12.


I don’t remember the day we moved from the house on Green Meadows Drive, to the bigger, two story house on Cardinal Lane. I just remember waking up one day and being there. My room had bunkbeds, because eventually I was going to have a little sister.

I had a gigantic stuffed polar bear. At least I thought it was gigantic. All my early memories of this bear, it fully encompasses my vision. My daddy gave it to me sometime over the last year, when I had an allergic reaction to Phenergan. The Phenergan, was given to me for diarrhea and vomiting. The worst part, was I was not only allergic, I was overdosed.

The medicine paralyzed me- I couldn’t even breath on my own. I have memory of laying on a table, in an emergency room. I couldn’t move or speak and was scared. My mother was freaking out, while my dad put small chips of ice in my mouth and stroked my throat, forcing me to swallow. The doctor wanted to put a breathing tube in my trachea, and my daddy wouldn’t let them. He bought the polar bear for me in the gift shop at the hospital.

Eventually it turned out my daddy was right, or he willed me better. I am not sure which, though knowing what I do now, it wouldn’t surprise me if my daddy saved my life by refusing to let the doctors treat me. I had to relearn how to walk, how to talk, how to be a toddler. Eventually I remember waking up in the house on Cardinal Lane, and my giant polar bear was not nearly as giant as it had seemed up till then. It was a normal sized teddy bear, though perhaps a bit longer- maybe a foot in a half in total length. I had this bear until I was 13, then unfortunately it got lost in our move to a new home. I’ve tried to replace it a few times, and I’ve never found another like it. It was my most important and loved item for many years. It’s memory seems to be burned into my soul, and I hope I never forget it.

I am not sure why, but this memory brought tears to my eyes. I’ve recounted it many times, yet this is the first that has made me emotional.


My mom didn’t like to clean the litterbox while she was pregnant with my blood brother. This meant Morris turned into an indoor outdoor cat. I remember watching him, out the sliding glass window. He was crouching, as cats often do right before they pounce on their prey.

Morris disappeared not long after that. I was upset that he was gone, but mostly because of conversations I over heard the adults have. I knew that my mother was unwilling to clean the litterbox, due to her pregnancy due to the risk of Toxoplasmosis. I don’t think I could probably say that word as a child, but I have had babies now myself. I also heard mother telling my dad that the neighbor had asked for the Morris, and would give a good indoor home. My dad was furious at her, because Morris was my cat.

One day Morris never came home. I didn’t wonder where he got off to, thought it seemed like a while before I knew for sure that the neighbor had my cat. My maternal grandmother was visiting, it was nearing time for my blood brothers birth. My grandmother liked to take walks every evening. I always wanted to go, but found myself bored and tired quickly. No one ever wanted to walk slow, and notice the things around us like I did. We were walking, when I saw Morris, laying in the neighbors bay window. He seemed content.

I remember my grandmothers visit this time, better than most. My mother and grandmother took me to the grocery store, one that often frequents my dreams. It was named Cash Saver. Most of the time, in my dreams it has a different name and set up than how I remember it. I am usually hungry and looking at the pastries, or deli items. Anyways off the tangent and back to the memory.

We walked down the baking aisle and my grandmother paused to look at brownie mixes. Keep in mind, I was only three or just turned four. I took my grandmothers hand to get her attention, and had her bend over so I could whisper in her ear. I told my grandmother I thought she was a little fat to be having brownies, and we could probably find something healthier to snack on.

My grandmother is now nearly 90. Her memory is sound, but she has claimed my entire life to not recall this incident. I remember it because of what happened when I got home. I wasn’t scolded in the store, but as soon as we arrived at our house, my grandmother demanded my daddy punish me.

This was the only time, in my entire childhood, that my daddy ever spanked me. He took me in his bedroom, bent me over his knee, and told me it would hurt him more than it ever could me. I didn’t understand what he meant then, but being empathetically inclined, I do now. I remember my bum burning, and my daddy holding me close. My grandmother was upset he was comforting me, but he had rage behind his tear filled eyes. He never once laid a hand on me again.


I was looking out the sliding glass windows. I could see tiny red and green specks, almost like pixels. I had also noticed, that when I closed my eyes, I could see tiny vessels if I was in the sun. The little pixels of colors followed me around and even sometimes spoke to me.

I tried telling my mother about these tiny little things that would speak to me. I said they were smaller than flies, and she assumed it was imaginary friends. I couldn’t get her to understand that I wasn’t imagining it. I wasn’t making it up, I couldn’t make pictures with my mind. I didn’t know then, that what anphantasia was. In fact until about three years ago, I thought everyone thinks like me, with words, essentially narrating every thought.

For a long time I would call the little specks invisible flies. My mother was certain they were invisible friends wrought from my imagination. The red specks scared me, but I do not remember why. I considered them bad, and the green ones to be more friendly and pleasant to be around. I couldn’t always audibly hear them, but sometimes I could. I didn’t really understand what was going on, or why I was the only one that could see them. It was so real, out in front of me, that I thought everyone should be able to see my invisible flies.


I remember the day my blood brother came home, but only vaguely. I was in the kitchen at the table when they arrived. Or I guess it was the dinning room, because I was at the table lol. We had a big window across from the door that went out into the garage. I don’t think it was a bay window, but the width seems like it was that long. Our kitchen was separated from the dining room, by a bar, that had cabinets below it. I do not recall for certain, if there were cabinets above it.

I remember, the first time I saw my blood brother he was wrapped in a white blanket with little designs on them. They still make those, the hospital style blankets, not much adornment to them, but for swaddling babies they are just the right size, and usually not incredibly thick. My mother was wearing jeans, and high heels, per her norm. I’m sure my daddy was there, we only had one car for several years, but I don’t not recall him or my grandmother being present.

It didn’t take very long for me to decide that I really didn’t care for having a sister, and he was only a few weeks old, when I was caught pouring salt in his basinet. Apparently, I thought the salt would kill my blood brother, and we would go back to a normal little life. I don’t remember what I was thinking, or how I came to the conclusion that salt would do the job. I just remember having the big round, thing of salt- the kind you use to refill the shakers, or perhaps cook with, when you need to measure exact amounts of salt. For all I can remember for certain, perhaps I thought I was protecting him. I do know I hated him, for many years in fact. So many that it’s embarrassing. I also remember going all the way around his white basinet, and pouring it in a circle around him. I was in a lot of trouble over that, but seems my daddy wasn’t too mad when he got home and heard about it. I don’t actually remember my daddy ever being mad at me as a child…


I was somewhat saving the this next memory for later, because I believe it occurred later, but I had a dream with an escalator last night. I don’t really remember the details, I’ve gotten bad about sleeping until I have to get up, and not making notes of my dreams when I roll of the couch.

I was deathly scared of escalators, every time we approached one at a mall, airport or anywhere else I would panic. Terror set it in, and I would find myself sweating and petrified to the point of not being able to move. My daddy would then pick me up, and carry me. I don’t remember him ever being upset by my fear, but I do remember burying my head in his neck and closing my eyes until I could feel that we were walking again, and no longer being carried upwards. I’ve always thought this was due to hearing my mother talk about the news, and someone having had an arm ripped off, because their sleeve got caught in an escalator.

To this day, I will take the stairs if I can. If I can’t I approach the damned escalator, like it is a monster, waiting to consume me as soon as I set foot upon it. I sort of reach out with my right foot, make contact, then lurch my left foot into place next to the right. I will not touch the arm rest/moving sides. Once I reach the top, I practically leap off, and move as quickly as I can, to get away from the beast that owns my fears. My arm pits are sweaty, my heart is racing and I am, almost 35 years old, yet this escalator monster still wins, every time, despite what my logical mind tells me.

I was able to find data for 1992-2003. I would have been seven in 1992, and I had this fear, prior to that age. I am sure a deeper dig, might reveal a closer source to the time the fear began. The data and it’s source follows:

During this same period, the CPSC reported 24 non-work related deaths of escalator passengers in 12 states and the District of Columbia – about two per year. The states were Alabama (1 death), California (2), District of Columbia (3), Florida (1), Illinois (3), Maryland (1), Minnesota (3), Nevada (1), New York (3), Ohio (1), Virginia (1), Washington (2), and Wisconsin (2). The eight “caught in/between” deaths usually resulted after clothing became trapped at the bottom or top of an escalator or between a stair and escalator sidewall; seven of the 16 fall deaths were from head injury. Four of the fall deaths occurred due to falling off the escalator while riding the escalator siderails.


I was running down a white corridor. I was petrified and knew I had to hide and fast, before it caught up to me. I ran into a room, that had another corridor, leading in on the left. The second corridor was only a few feet left of the one I came out of.

The room I had entered, was small, maybe the size of my apartment living room/with combined area or roughly 20’x20’. The corridor and the room, where both adorned with plain white walls. On the far side of the room from me, was a bed of sorts. It wasn’t made with covers and blankets, but it was a giant orange cushion on a platform.

I dived under the platform, supporting the cushion, and backed as far away from the edge, as my little body could go. I knew I was only moments from being found. The lion came calmly down the corridor, and approached my hiding spot. He clearly knew where I was. He was tall, and humanoid in appearance. He wore pants, and while I know he had been on all fours, chasing me previously- he was now upright on two legs. I woke as he reached for me.

This is my earliest memory of dreams, within which I can recall details. It occurred shortly after my blood brother was brought home from the hospital and I believed at the time it was related to my new sibling- though I could not put into words why I felt or thought that. I know I had trouble relaying to the the adults in my life, why I was scared of the dream.


I find it strange, how I have so many memories prior to my blood brothers birth, as it seems almost like I am missing an entire year before I can find the next memories of my childhood. I have no idea why, or what may have happened that would have influenced the loss of these memories over earlier ones.

Our house on Cardinal Lane, had a large kidney-shaped, in ground pool. My mother couldn’t swim, as she never learned how to properly. She recounted to me once, that she was afraid of water, due to be throwing into a lake at a young age. She apparently nearly drowned, rather than learned to swim from the experience.

For many of my adult years, I too feared water, but not because I could not swim. For one I truly dislike cool water, as the worst feeling in my book is being cold. I’ve wondered if this is due to the fact that my internal temperature, runs a bit lower than the normal 98.6f which is consider average. My internal temperature runs around 97.3 and while I can describe how a fever feels, it’s often pointless to point out that I am indeed running a fever for me, while registering a normal temperature. My fear obviously (I guess not yet) is not related to my body temperature or the even that of the water.

I fear water because of what it does to me. Because of the things I see and hear, when I am submersed. I have avoided water, most of my teenaged and adult years due to this. I can recount many arguments with my ex-husband over who would swim with the children when they were small. To this day, my children still think I am a horrible swimmer due to my asthma. My asthma effects my ability to swim for long periods of time, but it however does not negate the fact that my daddy taught me how to swim when moved into the home on Cardinal Lane, at the age of 3. I could not begin to add up the number of times, that I have suddenly not felt well, either due to the water causing me to see things that I knew were not there.

The day was bright and sunny. I was wearing my bright orange arm floaties and spinning around the pool. I loved to swirl and pretend I was a ballerina. My mother joined me, in the shallow end of the pool, and laid almost on top of a colorful inner tube that I did not care for. I didn’t like to be limited in my ability to swim, or to look under the water.

My mother dozed off, on this warm sunny day, and I continued to play and splash and talk to the little colored lights that appeared around me. Suddenly I heard my mother screaming, panicking, crying. She had drifted to the deeper end of the pool, and could not reach the sides, or touch the bottom with her feet. The pool was 8ft deep at the far end. I swam out and took hold of her innertube. She was too heavy to drag, so I told her to kick her feet, much like my daddy had when he taught me to dog paddle. I dragged my mother back to stairs at the shallow end of the pool. She never swam again that I am aware of, in her life.


I was playing in the bathtub, alone. My mother often would draw the water up, then leave me to play after being washed. I was only about five years old, but even then I wondered if it was not irresponsible to leave a small child in the water alone. They could drown after all.

I don’t recall what scared me. I went from having a good time, playing with my dolls and wishing I had a ken to play with too. I’d asked for one, but barbies were expensive. I didn’t really play like other kids I knew anyways. I would talk through scenarios, but I never understood how the other kids got so into pretending, the toys weren’t real, they didn’t respond. I liked my things neat and orderly and didn’t move them around to act out the actions I was imagining either.

I began screaming, I don’t know where my mother was in the home, but I was in the upstairs bathroom. I kept screaming until she finally arrived. She was angry at me, because I was physically okay. I was so upset that I could not tell her what happened, and instead told the first lie that I remember of my life. I told her that I missed her and wanted to let her know I loved her. This was not an acceptable answer, as she was in my life fulltime, and scaring her by screaming was not cute in her mind. I never did tell her that I was screaming because I wasn’t alone in the bathtub and something had happened. I don’t remember ever playing in the bathtub again.


Today’s memory, isn’t quite the same as the rest of this journals. It doesn’t belong to my childhood, and I didn’t intend to include any of these for a very long time, but It’s very relevant to my life right now today, this very exact moment, and yet it is also still part of one of my current past lives, because I most certainly was not the woman I am today, and I wasn’t then who I was when I was a child. It seems to belong here.

A few months after I got sick, my ex-husband thought it would be a good idea to start breeding our dachshunds. I was home full time, I could make sure everything went smoothly and well he could make some money. I’ve been involved in many things in my life, so it was a subject I was familiar with, I absolutely love puppies and worrying and watching over the mother and the newborns and watching them grow, and spoon feeding them their first real food and all of it. He thought it would be good money, as there was only one other breeder in quite a radius around us, he was an amishman, and he didn’t raise the puppies in the home with him. I thought about how it would help heal my heart and jumped on the trolley, despite my dogs being my worst allergen.

This meant we went from having three dogs, to six in the space of a year. A male, a female, and special ed pup we couldn’t legally sale due to it being stuck in the birth canal during birth, and my heart could never put her down. My long haired dachshund had been purchased intact, with the notion that I might someday want to have a single litter of puppies for that very experience again. Selfish maybe, but the heart is a raging beast.

I loved Alice, truly I did. I know all dogs are special and love and bond with their owners, but Alice had this way of looking at me like she knew. I would have imaginary conversations in words, in my mind with her, like, pretend telepathic communication, just because it made me feel better, and her big brown eyes, would just look at me, like they wanted to love it better, and like it hurt her that she couldn’t. I know that feeling, so maybe I just wanted her to feel it for me, but either way. She gave me that feeling.

She would get between the ex husband and me, she wouldn’t let him play rough with the children, I mean she truly saw me as the leader of the pact, and my children as her charges to watch over as such. Every night she would go in each child’s room, go in their closets, under the beds, look behind their chairs, then essentially tell them good night one by one then take up her place by my side. When my children were toddlers, 2 weeks shy of being 2 years apart, and their doors met in a triangle shape, she would lay between their doors any time I slept.

I truly felt that Alice was special, and that she would not only be a great mother as her instincts ran deep, but that her puppies would make wonderful pets for their future owners- because her genes felt strong, and I was sure she would pass down the personality, and didn’t really give too shits about the money that sometimes was, and sometimes wasn’t to be made raising puppies.

But there was a problem. Even though Alice was intact, she suddenly stopped coming into heat, almost the day the male dachshund came home. We waited for about 18 months, and as dachshunds only come into heat twice a year, and she was turning six the following April, we decided to address the issue. I didn’t want to be an awful person and make her have puppies when she was out of her prime and it would be harder on her body, and I didn’t want to have but one or two litters then have her spayed, as she was my personal dog, and her health matters. I knew every month I let it go, her health risks increased.

I can’t remember the name of the drug we gave Alice, I could probably google it, but it doesn’t matter. I researched for weeks, talked to the vet, got recommendations, I did the background work. I knew the risks, I knew the odds, and at the end of the day I was willing to take them. It was technically a hormone used in and produced by cattle, but that has been used in the u.k. a lot with dachshunds, and while there were risk, they seemed to actually occur very rarely. I made an informed decision, as I always try to do when it comes to things I love.

We gave Alice the injection, everything seemed fine, until four hours later. It was time for bed and I couldn’t find Alice. See I carried her upstairs every night, then back down in the morning. The stairs were pretty steep, and she used to go up them sideways. She would put her front up to the right, then hop up her back feet to the left, then turn around and do the opposite on the next stair. It took her forever and I was impatient, but then she fell halfway down once, and she wouldn’t even try after that. Apparently it was easier for both of us for me to carry her up, drop her at the top of the stairs, then in the morning she’d stand there and wait for me to carry her down.

I looked all over. I couldn’t find her anywhere, I finally thought well, maybe she went up with me. Then I heard her rattled breathing when I went to brush my teeth, in the downstairs bathroom. She was in her crate. The crate she had literally chewed threw when my ex-husband insisted we get one for all of the dogs. Six dogs can be chaos when you leave the house and the youngest one isn’t allowed to be disciplined. I don’t want to talk about that one today, so just accept it as it reads. The point was, Alice never ever went in her crate. She wasn’t crate trained, she didn’t like it, and she wasn’t the dog misbehaving, so when chewed threw it. I laughed and life went on somewhat the same for Alice.

Alice was in the back of the large crate, cowering, shaking, head down, eyes rolling back where all I could see was whites… I Pulled her out, and the most immediate sensation was of impending death. Her body was cold, her nose was dry, her gums were white. Her breathing was shallow, and barely discernable, her pulse was low her eyes, were unresponsive to stimulation.

The first thing I did, was recognize the symptoms fit the rare instance of allergic reaction within dogs and cattle. I didn’t pause, I didn’t reconsider, I decided. My husband was clear she wasn’t going to the vet, technically we’d been in the wrong, and well the hormone did come from someone after all. I looked up the dosage for Benadryl, and administrated. I wasn’t even 100% sure, that it wouldn’t kill her, before giving it to her. I googled it a few hours later, but Alice was at the door of death, and there wasn’t time to care if that was going to be the thing that might kill her. My gut told me what to do, said do it now, don’t think about it- and I did.

I wrapped Alice in fleece blanket, then turned on the heating pad. I cradled her in my arms. I prayed, but I didn’t pray to the god I no longer believed in. I prayed to myself. I prayed to my will to heal her. I prayed that my good energy would flow over and warm her, and bring her back. I held Alice from around 10pm, rocking and cradling her, pouring my love and sorrow, pain and regret into her, willing her to want to live. Willing her to fight for my sake, because god dammit, I didn’t want life without her. She deserved better, but I truly didn’t mean to. I truly didn’t ever suspect she’d be the 1 in 10,000

I didn’t mean to. I’d done my best to make a smart decision and I fckd up bad- but I couldn’t have known. Around 4am, Alice began to stir. I had been using a syringe to drip room temperature broth, that I had made just for her, into her throat and rubbed it forcing her to swallow, so she wouldn’t dehydrate while her body raged war. Alice wanted down, but she could barely move. She literally tried to crawl to the kitchen door, unable to get up even to her front knee.

I cried. My damned dog, was such a damned good dog, well trained and so intent on pleasing me, that she tried to make it outside because she was about to have diarrhea. How fcking sad is that. I knew then that Alice had the will to live. She was going to make it, but I was upset still. She was likely going to have a long recovery, and it was all my fault. She might not even fully recover. Most allergic reactions died, or had brain damage, and simply didn’t have a good quality of life. I might have to have her put down, for her sake.

Over the next day Alice continued to get better, after I got her cleaned up and settled down on the floor to sleep next to her, she started to drink the broth on her own out of a bowl. She wouldn’t stay on the couch with me, and I was afraid as she didn’t seem to be able to move her back legs at all, that she would fall and hurt herself.

Alice continued to get better over the course of the day as well. I slept on the couch the next night, with her pallet right next to me on the floor, I was in for the long haul. Becoming alert, and crawling around and wagging your tail, isn’t exactly a full recovery. The next morning, I woke up to Alice standing on my chest and licking my face. She pranced out in the kitchen to go potty, as if nothing amiss had occurred and well. We couldn’t believe our eyes.