Chapter One: Rescuing Robyn

This is very personal and as real as I’ve ever been & I don’t have the energy or desire to apologize for it.. It’s come to this.

The following is an excerpt from a note I wrote to a dog trainer recently:


It’s 2:36AM & I’m awake for the 2nd time tonite. Figured it’d be a good time to give you the information you requested about each dog & their behavior. But since I know that you’ll be here training me for the most part, it’s probably more fitting to first tell you why I’m awake..

Last nite I went to bed in severe pain from another rheumatoid arthritis flare-up. It’s getting worse & none of the meds seem to help, even the shots I have to give myself in the leg. Can’t even take any pain meds because they don’t work either. I woke up with an anxiety attack, choking, gagging.. Ran to the bathroom to throw up. Then I cried. Got back in the bed cursing out the dogs. They’re making it worse insisting on sleeping on top of me, all around, forcing me to contort my body to suit them. I wake up every morning not being able to move my hands & oftentimes my fingers stay asleep for an hour. It normally takes me about 3 hours to really function most mornings. These dogs I love so much were now fucking assholes & they had no idea why.

Auto immune disorders suck. This isn’t the old lady arthritis, btw. Best way to describe this pain.. Imagine thick liquid was poured into the tips of your fingers, filling in all the space down your arms into your shoulders, neck, etc. until there isn’t any more room & they feel as if they might burst. Now imagine every single joint in that entire area had cables tied in knots really tight around them. Then they were lit on fire. The liquid makes the joints lock up, sometimes staying stuck for days. The pain is debilitating & excruciating. The previous meds made my hair & teeth fall out. So now they’re experimenting with some new toxic shit.. But I’m desperate. So, yeah..

It’s been 3 weeks like this with no relief. The chronic pain is taking a toll. The fatigue has set in & my emotions are shot. You already know about the stress at my place, i.e. complaints about my dogs barking too much. I live in daily fear of being evicted & honestly don’t know how I’ve managed to care for them during this time at all, really. Been looking for a new place, another converted warehouse or the like, so the dogs won’t disturb anyone, but it’s really hard to find the right thing that’s affordable in this new competitive real estate climate. I don’t expect people to understand this weird lifestyle I’ve chosen, but I do feel a prejudice against it very strongly when trying to find a rental property in Houston.

And really I don’t blame them..”

7 dogs live with me. I have allowed them to rule me, define me, & take over my life & health in ways that were only apparent to everyone around me. I made excuses, justified, & continued to rescue more & more dogs in need. I needed to rescue myself.. A combination of writing the note above & a few Come To Jesus meetings recently has finally opened my eyes. There is so much to say about it, & I will eventually, but for now I’ll say that I’ve made the decision to rehome several of my dogs.

I put the needs of others including theirs in front of my own, ignoring the symptoms of my illness & other needs until the deterioration and pain forced me to finally address it. Their needs aren’t being met in a way they deserve..attention, emotionally, etc. I love each & every one of them. Period. But sometimes it feels as if I’m just dogsitting for 7 peoples’ pets.

I’ve been blessed once in my life already having the most beautiful pet relationship with Maya, so I know how it’s supposed to be. I have no idea what their favorite things are because there’s not enough time to cater to each one when there’s just one of me who has a time consuming business to run also. Somehow I’ve managed to maintain all their basic needs, gotten surgeries when necessary, vaccinations, but that’s taken a hard toll too. What about the families that are missing out on their love & blessings? I just can’t hold them prisoners here anymore. My decisions have hurt all of us.

So, after careful consideration over the last several months, I’ll be taking this one step at a time. Being honest about it publicly will not only make me accountable, but it’ll spread the networking net to find their perfect homes. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Harriet, a miniature parti poodle, is the first. She is the most sensitive to all the stress & chaos. Here is her listing on petfinder:

Thank you for your love, support, & understanding..



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robyn arouty