When people ask me what my book is about, I feel silly saying, “Dogs,” so I’ve been trying to refine it. I got a little further: “3 Dogs,” and then, “3 dogs who were really important to me and also it’s about my friend Kevin and a funny play on words,” and then I took a break.
It didn’t really hit me until my mom got sick: This is a book about the purpose dogs have in our lives, about how they are here for a discrete space and time and change us for the better in very specific ways. And the beauty of it is, you don’t even know what that is until after the fact. I always assumed Brody would be my kids’ dog…but that was Kekoa.
Brody was my mom and dad’s dog. What he did for them, and for us, during the worst two months of our lives was nothing short of transcendental. I didn’t know he had it in him.
As for the the dogs in the book, Emmett also had a very specific purpose. In the excerpt below, I speak about the isolating days of discovering you have postpartum depression, and how Emmett- through a very disgusting work of pica- helped me figure out I needed help. (Click the image to read the chapter for free on Medium.)
Everything Three Dogs Taught Me
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Michelle Granzow says
I too battled PPD, for a full 11 months. It was 2004, I knew all about it- or so I thought. Like you, I thought I was just a crappy mother. I wasn’t sad, teary-eyed, with no energy. I was angry. Mad as hornet, no fuse, ANGRY. And it was ugly. I felt ugly. I felt inhuman. I felt like an alien had taken over my mind and made me it’s B@#$^. I was functional- made it to work daily, did my job, kept the house going, took care of the baby. But it was a living hell in my mind. It wasn’t until I called my husband on my cell phone one morning after a very bad drop off to an interim day care that I HATED. I called him and said “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to hurt anyone. But I DO want to ram my car into someone else’s just so someone else can feel the ANGER and RAGE that is inside my head!”. He said “Call your doctor now. If you don’t, I will”. So I did. and like your appt, it was like a light shined on me for the first time in forever. Within in 2 days of starting meds, I was feeling more like a human again. Now I still feel the guilt- the guilt of not giving my first child all that she deserved. My second child we were all prepared for it, starting safe meds the last two weeks of pregnancy. My experience with her was so, so so different. And it pains me to say that there are times now, 11 yrs later, where I can still react so differently to each child.. it’s like the neural pathways set during the PPD for reacting to my first child are permanent..and I have to mentally shake myself some and think of how to react better. I am now a one woman soapbox for PPD. I talk to everyone I know who is pregnant..or trying. I let them know it doesn’t always present the same way for everyone. That it’s ok to ask for help. It’s OK to use the medications out there. And when you do all that, that things will get better.. you can become ‘you’ again!