Chapter Ten: White Flags & StuffSeptember 16, 2015

Chapter Ten: White Flags & Stuff

I suppose now is probably a good time to tell you that this is NOT your typical rescue story.. _MG_7647-Edit I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the stories we tell ourselves. The ones that make the Universe drive negative feelings & consequences into our lives. And how if there isn’t some kind of intervention to challenge those stories, they just become how we define ourselves. They are the catalysts for our decisions, the orchestrators of our relationships, and the voices in our heads that play over & over. Let me try to explain..

David’s Story:

For the last few years, David has been a witness to the abandonment of neglected and deceased dogs at a remote site just east of Houston where he often goes hiking with his great dane Noble. He has emailed rescue groups and public officials who work in the area, but has been unable to receive any assistance. The thought of doing anything about it on his own has been very overwhelming. He feels very guilty. Sad. Hopeless.

He called me on Sunday for help. But why now? Why did he make yet another attempt when he’s been seeing dogs come & go for over 3 years out there? What was the X-factor this time? I wasn’t sure, but it definitely made me curious & I agreed to help if he was willing to assist with the mission too. _MG_2925 robyn arouty_MG_2890 robyn arouty Most of Monday was spent setting up a great plan and strategy for the 2 dogs David had been seeing a few days in a row. One of them was injured. I contacted my friend Liz to discuss and she put me in touch with Paige who is a vet tech and the director of Foxtail Pet Rescue, who immediately agreed to take on these 2 dogs. In a matter of hours we had enough money raised for all their initial boarding and vetting, a place for them to go, & several new doggie admirers. BAM! Paige named them Reptar (tan dog) & Anjelica (white dog) after the Rugrats cartoon characters. 2 girls.

As you’ve probably figured out, David is the guy in the photo on my homepage & above. He’s gorgeous. Successful in his career. Strong and resilient kind of dude. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of months until he picked me up to retrieve the dogs together yesterday. He said he hadn’t been sleeping much & was not pleased with some of the choices he’s been making of late. It sounded like he’s going through a really rough patch in his life right now.

Our conversation on the ride over was mostly about what wasn’t going well in his life. It hurt me to hear this. I just listened & prayed for his healing quietly. I know David to normally be a very happy & positive person. Not only that, he was such a caring confidant during the time I really needed it not too long ago. He gave me excellent advice about my dogs and was brutally honest with me when not many people were. I appreciated this so much. _MG_2915 robyn arouty The one thing I knew for sure was that David is a total dog whisperer. I brought along all the usual rescue stuffs..slip leads, collars, treats, etc. I asked David the best way to approach this for when we arrived? He said, “Oh, I don’t need the leashes. I’ll get them to walk in the crates on their own.” _MG_2904 robyn arouty After I snorted, I said, “Yeah right! I’m serious, we’re gonna be there in a few minutes. You know these dogs. What’s the freakin’ plan??” He wasn’t joking. I said OK, & that I would listen for instructions & play photographer. LOL! _MG_2910 robyn arouty Well, sure as shit if they didn’t hear his car coming & run up from the dirty ditch to greet us. And then he proceeded to do exactly as promised. Dogs in crates on their own. Check! Whoa. Hells yes & I cried after he hinged the second crate! _MG_2942 robyn arouty With dogs now safe & in tow, our car conversation took on a totally different tone. David was so jazzed and grateful and concerned about the dogs. They looked really bad and he hoped they’d be ok. _MG_2951 robyn arouty He was now out of his own head. He had taken significant action, & was giving of himself. There was power where none was before. That’s quite the change from feeling guilty, sad, & hopeless, wouldn’t you agree? We didn’t solve all of David’s problems yesterday. We saved the lives of 2 innocent dogs. When I got out of the car to say goodbye, his face looked years younger and it was positively full of joy. And I told him so. _MG_2960 robyn arouty _MG_2962 robyn arouty We just CANNOT see this stuff in ourselves. Ok, so I may have lovingly pointed a few things out to him just before I got out of the car. Someone else might have had a problem with that. He thanked me. IMG_2976 robyn arouty Then I told him that I believe the way to find our purpose is through our talents and passion. Everything else just falls into place. David’s talent is training dogs. He understands them in very unique and intimate ways. Now it’s time to do the soul work. Being of service is the best way to do it. It gets you back on the right path..the one you were meant to be on in this lifetime. Building on the success of this mission is a great place for him to start writing his next new chapter. IMG_3004 robyn arouty Oh wait. The dogs. The ones who came into David’s life to inspire him. (And others. But that’s a different blog post & this one is already a quarter of a novel.) They are now at North Durham Animal Hospital. Report from the awesome Dr. Dawson below.. reptar xray 33254921_1902947467_n Reptar: Snapped, broken right femur, Upper respiratory infectionEmaciated, Entropion, Heart murmur, Heartworm negative

Per Paige, “And Robyn, it’s the worst case we’ve seen all year..” _MG_2934 robyn arouty_MG_2918 robyn arouty Anjelica: Respiratory infection, Heartworm negative

Surgery for Reptar’s leg & eyes is tomorrow. If you would like to donate towards this, please do so via Click on “Send Money” & add Foxtail’s email address: Your donations are tax deductible. All funds above & beyond what is needed for the treatment, surgery, etc. for Reptar & Anjelica will be used towards care of other animals in the Foxtail Pet Rescue program. Thank you so much! These human & canine stories are definitely.. To Be Continued..



“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” —Charles M. Schulz

Reptar video showing injury:

Chapter Nine: Being BraveJuly 29, 2015

be braveI’m almost 2 hours into my 3rd gallbladder attack since Saturday. The doc told me today that we need to get bloodwork & an ultrasound ASAP & in the next breath said she’s fairly certain the gallbladder needs to come out. Joy. Sent me off with a look of pity & instruction to stay away from fatty foods. (And if you’re a client reading this, just know there are some sick days in my very near future, starting now.)

So, it’s like a kidney stone attack (I’ve had 5) but in a different spot. It lasts a few hours and then subsides and you can get some sleep. It’s so fucking painful..makes you cry & throw up & you can’t get comfortable & you cuss a lot. Horribly unpleasant would be putting it mildly.

I was just having a conversation with a friend yesterday about fear. She’s one of the strongest people I know, but with this particular happening in her life, she was frozen in fear. Tonite I’m the one who’s scared. Scared about surgery. Freaking that this thing will burst when I’m home alone. Petrified to eat & have another episode.

In the midst of my cries, I heard, “Follow your own advice.” These are the things I told my friend:

1. It’s new territory. How cool is that? Keep moving, keep walking, keep learning.

2. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. The Universe has blessed you with a built in lesson to build your character.

3. Do not spend time & energy on what is not within your control. It’s wasteful & has never worked to change a damn thing.

4. Asking yourself “Why?” is of no benefit. The reason doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with the moment.

5. Yes, it hurts so bad. Stay there for a little while. It’s a part of being human.

6. Courage isn’t picky. The same fortitude it takes to win a rugby game is the same you can use to get through a broken relationship.

7. Be still. Listen. Your team of guides up there will know what to do.

8. Be grateful for the crap stuff in life & the mistakes & the failures because it’s building you up to be the person you were meant to be in this world.

9. You haven’t changed. Only your perception of yourself at this moment has. You are still a badass. The guilt & shit talk is making you more scared. Quit it. File those thoughts away to make room for the ones that will pull you out of this thing in a healthy way.

10. There was probably more, but I can’t remember right now & only having 9 things would be too weird.

The episode has ended finally. Wish me luck in the days to come. Yes, my advice helped.



Chapter Eight: Using My Words.July 23, 2015

Chapter Eight: Using My Words.graymalin

I got distracted.
In your thoughts of me.
At some point they became more important than any of mine.
I took the advice too literally.
They said, “Be nice. To Everyone.”
But they forgot to tell me about the quicksand.
And the ones who had agendas.
And the lies.
And the compliments.
And the confusion, because I never had an agenda of my own.

I gave too much.
Because I had enough.
I put others first.
Because I never saw myself as worthy.
I lived vicariously.
Because my life wasn’t as important. I thought.
I let others choose.
Because I missed the lesson about confidence.

Then one day the distracting dust cleared.
And I saw my gifts.
And I learned about the shades of gray.
Like being nice. It’s not an absolute.
And there are shitty people. Of which I am not.
I can make the decisions.
Choose to not step in the quicksand.
Appreciate the compliments but owe nothing.

I have an agenda.
Not based on fear.
Your opinions of me are yours.
And that is where that ends.
My obligations aren’t based on your expectations.
They are whispered to me.
And now I listen.
Loud and clear.



(Photo by Gray Malin)

Chapter Seven: HeartVisions.June 24, 2015

ozzy 091706Chapter Seven:  HeartVisions.

Statistically speaking, the odds were pretty good one of my dogs would be returned, although I hadn’t considered that prior to receiving this totally unexpected text from Ozzy’s new mama:

“Is there any way you want to take Ozzy back? I feel like I have really tied myself down. He needs a lot of attention and he and Baby really don’t play much now. Don’t get me wrong. I love him. If you can’t take him I will try and keep him. I feel really bad, but I also want to go on some trips and that is impossible. Please let me know what you think.”

There were too many words to sort out, lots of questions, and a tropical storm about to hit Houston. I knew the first thing would be to pick up Ozzy up immediately.

We met in the parking lot of a fast food place at the halfway point to save time driving in the rain. There I found a droopy looking Ozzy and sad Laura. He was unkempt and lethargic. She was worried I’d be angry with her. I asked several times if it was something that Ozzy had done? She told me he was “a perfect angel” the entire month and a half.

With permission, I can tell you that Laura was suffering with severe depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia. She would stay home all day, every day with both dogs and not leave the house. I had no idea. She recently sought medical treatment for these issues and I wish her the best. Something told me she had related to my story quite a bit..and wanted to help me by adopting Ozzy. And for that I am grateful.

Ozzy’s posture and mood over the next few days reminded me of the days that followed after losing his sight. He seemed pissed off and confused is the best way for me to tell you. Then suddenly he wasn’t. He soon was navigating my place, even the stairs, like a pro in no time. Started playing with toys and the other dogs like he had never left.

So, I had to rescue my own dog. Bizarre. This wasn’t a homeless dog in a shelter, this was MY dog of 7 years! Did I feel guilty? No. Was I angry? No. Did I call her names? No. I realized that Ozzy had a quick mission in Laura’s life and then it was time for him to go. He helped her “see” that she needed to seek guidance and get some help. And he taught me some things too:

1. Expect others to be Human. Then you won’t be disappointed.

2. Stress is what we make it. Make it temporary.

3. See with your heart. Your eyesight can be deceiving.

4. No matter what, be resilient. We fall down, but we get up.

5. Dogs are pure love and catalysts for change in our lives.

Ozzy is ready for his next mission now. (That’s his puppy photo above btw.) Here is his adoption page:



Chapter Six: Dreams Do Come TrueMay 26, 2015

Once Upon A Time, there lived a handsome prince named Diego.


Who dreamed of living a fairytale life.


There would be lots of fun toys.

And treats all his own.


And a bath.


Not really, he didn’t dream of having a bath. Ugh.


But he would feel a lot better afterwards.


Bubbles are always a nice touch but he wouldn’t totally understand the point ?


A donation to those less fortunate would be in order too.


Then he would top the day off at a pet friendly restaurant for dinner with his fairy godmother and fairy godfather. Yes!


And then drift back to sleep again a very happy prince.


The End.