By Katy Cable -Thrive Global
On November 14th, I am celebrating my “little black Olive the Pug’s” 5-year “GOTCHA DAY!” That stands for the day her adoption was official and she became part of my family. In honor of this special event, I wanted to repost a blog I wrote for Thrive Global telling my story. Thanks for reading
Five years ago I became an “empty-nester” wondering what I would do for the Second Act of my life. I’d spent the last 18 years consumed as a stay-at-home “MOM-ager” to my daughter who had been acting professionally since infancy. I had just put her on a plane to attend college clear across the country and the time had come to get off the runway and let her take flight.
I sat in my quiet, clean, empty house battling severe depression while firing out job resumes through a waterfall of tears! I felt unqualified, irrelevant and OLD! While I was raising my daughter and managing her career, the entire world had changed and left me behind. Employers were now half my age and wanted to know how many Twitter followers I had. (Last count: 2) I didn’t have any of the new skills needed for the jobs I wanted and frankly I was just too overwhelmed and upset to learn.
To say I missed my daughter was like referring to a category 5 hurricane as a heavy rainstorm! I felt sick, hopeless and wanted my life to end. And that’s what true depression is. I wasn’t being a drama queen, I literally did not want to live. I couldn’t sleep, yet I couldn’t get out of bed. I cried so much I was dehydrated. How many times I had screamed at my daughter over leaving dirty dishes out, borrowing my favorite clothes, and staying out too late, now I would’ve given anything to have those petty irritations back.
In an effort to keep busy and get out of the house, I checked my ego at the sliding glass doors of PetSmart and took a part-time job consulting pet parents. My job no longer required high-heels, fancy meals and negotiating deals, but sneakers, a polo shirt and lanyard. Now the managers I was taking meetings with weren’t Hollywood’s top brass, but retail managers around the same age as my daughter.
Ironically the company I represented was a new pet food company called “NULO” and at that moment I did indeed feel I had hit a “NEW-LOW” and my best days were behind me. I doubted I would last through the first pay period without being hauled off in a straight jacket.
Then something snapped! Much to my surprise, I realized I was having the time of my life. Working with pet parents fulfilled me in a very special way no other career ever had. All my experience working with shelter pets over the years, made me a natural at my new “temporary job” and I found a new calling.
My new career made it impossible for me to live without a dog of my own and I began obsessively searching every shelter. Thankfully all my early attempts fell flat or I may have snatched up any three legged, frothing-at-the-mouth, rabid beast needing a home.
I was losing hope of ever finding a dog when I received a call from a shelter. They had found a young Pug on the side of a desert road who’d just had a litter of pups. She was likely a breeder dog who had never been out of a crate. She needed quite a bit of attention and care and they asked if I would be interested.
I raced to the shelter feeling like an expectant mom. And then I saw her! The second I laid eyes on this frightened, adorable little Pug I fell head-over-heels in love. I named her “Little Black Olive” and reassured her that life was about to drastically change. Little did I know, so was mine.
With this new dog my depression lifted like a helium balloon. Olive made me happier than I’d been since my daughter and my old life had “flown-the-coup.” I was having the time of my life getting to know and rehabilitate this darling, new (and previously abused) pug.
She was so adorable I jumped on social media to share her pics and stories. I began making videos and blogging about products and fun things for pet parents to do. Suddenly I was becoming, “Aunt Katy, the Pug Lady” the “GO-TO” for pet questions.
No sooner did I find my perfect new companion pug, I got offered the dream job I’d applied for a few months prior. With Olive at my side and the ability to be my own boss, I passed on the 60+ hours work week and non-stop corporate demands. -And not for one second have I regretted my decision.
Although I rescued Olive from her “RUFF” beginnings, she rescued me from myself. Taking that high-profile corporate position would’ve killed me. Instead, my dog gave me a new “leash-on-life!” She inspired my pet health & lifestyle blog, THE WEEKLY RUNT. In just a few years, it’s now published nationwide, and being made into a TV show. Everyday I have the opportunity to help others save money and live happier, healthier lives with their pets.
In my case, the hand of God was actually the paw of a dog. It came to my rescue when I desperately needed it and gave me a purpose and reason for living. So it’s no accident GOD SPELLED BACKWARDS IS DOG!