3 Ways My Puppy Makes Me A Better Human


Akasha's First Grooming

A defining moment that gave people a glimpse into my state of mind.

Many years ago I was having drinks with friends at a bar called Cecils. (Before it burned down.) It’s a place where you don’t wear your nice jacket. Back then we could smoke indoors. So we left smelling like an ashtray every time. It had super shady disgusting carpet. Dark ass rooms. And cozy as a mofo. A laid back place with cheap drinks. (They rebuilt it. It’s just not as gritty.)

Anyways, during our drunken conversation, one of my friends started to talk about their dog or cat (insert pet story) and I was so bored out of my mind. After about 5 minutes, I got up to get another drink and put something in the jukebox. Why would I get up in the middle of such a riveting convo?

I had to say it out loud. I could not pretend anymore. If they were my friends they would love me anyways, right??

I said, ok I have a confession to make. I HATE PET STORIES. Sorry but I can’t listen to another word. (that felt so good to say.) After their shock and disbelief wore off, I realized.. oh this is not how most people feel.

How did I know? Because from then on they joked that I was cold-hearted. (how rude.)

In fact pet stories was one of my pet peeves for YEARS.

I couldn’t imagine revolving my life around a pet. Having to go home and let it out. Limiting my freedom from going here AND there.

And then a life altering moment happened.

My girl Yumi (who has known me since like the early 90’s), asked me the most important question of my life. Will you come to Cali and stay in our home AND WATCH JOEY (her fur baby) while we go on our honeymoon?

Joey Ko

In which my response was, you do know who I am right? I’m so not a pet person. (I’m the gal who cringed if a dog walked up to me.)


My very own cousin won’t even let me watch her dog. So this was a huge responsibility. But because she asked me…I was ready to step up to the challenge. She trusted ME to watch her fur baby. For like two weeks!

AND in CALI. (Yea anytime girl.)

After that I was never the same. Joey cracked my heart wide open. And I started plotting my puppy adventure.

I FINALLY get it. How amazing these cutie pies can be.

It took me over a year to commit. But I did it. I fell in love with a sassy Shih Tzu. She loves to challenge my everything. The truth is in the first month, I was brought to tears multiple times. (I have a witness…not my greatest moments.) I felt like shit. Like no matter what I did I was going to suck at being a dog owner.

She would bite me. Jump on me. Growl at me. You name it. I felt terrorized. WTF. This was not the image I had in my head of a cute puppy sitting by my desk as I work.


I couldn’t sleep, I hadn’t showered in a couple of days. I started to eat crappy food. My life was turned upside down. A friend said, ok now times that by 70 and that’s what it’s like to have a kid. Fair enough.

I mean I don’t suppose you can put a kid in the bathroom for a time out when it bites you. (or you can but that’s illegal I think.)

That put things in persecutive. Awareness rules. (Get it together, Marla.)

After the first month, I started to see all the ways she was making me a better person. And if any of you really know me, you know that I dig that shit. (Personal growth stuff.)

Ok, so why am I better now:

For one thing, I get up EARLY. 7 AM y’all. Which means I have to get to sleep by 11 pm. (Not being able to sleep in anymore. What was I thinking!?)

So AKASHA (Like MADONNA. No last name.) has done the impossible. She has me on a schedule. A decent bedtime hour and embracing the morning sun every day. Even on weekends!

Second, PATIENCE is my super power. I mean picking up dog poop and cleaning up pee accidents from my wood floors. Never in my life is this something I ever saw myself doing. (It’s so fuckin gross.) And now totally tolerable.

And third, FOCUS. When I first got her I gave her way too much freedom. I had zero time to work. Could not concentrate. Now, Akasha is on a routine. So when I have my scheduled two hours free, you bet your ass I’m working and knocking things out. I set the day up so that there is a time block in the morning, and a couple in the afternoon.


So yea, AKASHA’s here to remind me to have fun, cuddle and take it easy.