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Episode 2: Kait Dinunzio and the Art of Change

Show Notes

Kait Dinunzio is a change expert with Helios Consulting Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She guides companies of all sizes through industry transitions to stay competitive. Sounds completely unrelated to pet loss grief, doesn’t it? Not really. Kait takes what she knows about change management and applies to her family’s day-to-day life. Kait and your host Angela Schneider are longtime friends and in this episode embark on a discussion about the dogs they’ve loved and lost and how their losses have impacted their lives. 

Find Kait:

Helios Consulting

Her podcast, Pocket Change

Transcript

Angela Schneider

Hi, thanks so much for listening to One Last Network. In today’s episode, I chat with Kait Dinunzio, a senior partner and chief change officer at Helios Consulting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Kait travels all over North America training, coaching and supporting business owners and corporate leaders in the area of change leadership, communications and team development. I met Kait almost 15 years ago in Calgary on of all places Twitter. She is a dog lover and quickly gravitated to posts about my boy, Shep. Good morning, Kait Dinunzio. How are you today?

Kait Dinunzio

Good morning. I’m fabulous. Thanks. How are you?

Angela

I am wonderful. Thank you. And thank you so much for joining us on One Last Network where we are dedicated to supporting pet guardians whose pets are aging and getting ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge. You and I go way back. So I want to get started with you telling me your favorite memory of Shep because we talked about this every time we talk. 

Kait

Oh my favorite Shep memory. That would have been Christmas the year that we hosted an orphan Christmas here at the house. And the orphans included you and Shep and, wow, man, he was so big. And he was so comfortable here. Like I mean, he got along with my dog just beautifully. The two of them were just buddies. And by buds I meant they ignored each other consistently. And yeah, I think we were sitting at the kitchen table and I turned around to see him just kind of raise his head onto the counter and like, try and grab the turkey and pull it in his direction. It’s like, “oh, for me, thank you, thank you.” Lovely. 

Angela

There was another Christmas I spent as an orphan. And we were sitting in the living room and having our you know, turkey dinner on our laps, kind of dinner and somebody said, “Hey, where’s Shep?”. And I said, Oh, no. And we all went into the kitchen, there was about five of us. And there he was two paws up on the counter enjoying the turkey. And I was the only one who had seconds. I don’t know why.

So one of the reasons that I wanted to have you on the podcast is your expertise in change management. Can you share with us what exactly that means? 

Kait

Yeah, so change management is really a process. I mean, we all go through it psychologically, we all experience change. And we all have very what, what would be classified as very predictable outcomes, right? And when you’re thinking of the end of life, or you’re thinking of a grief process, there are different stop points, if you will, in terms of what will feel and what will experience and it’s no different in the in the pace of change. And as we’re preparing for an end of life journey, or as we’re with an aging pet or family member, we will experience these types of emotions. And so it’s really just understanding that something is changing and knowing that you have to manage it in order to be successful and to take care of your own mental health and well being.

Angela

Grief researcher William Morton, he’s defined four tasks of mourning. And the third task is to adjust to an environment in which your loved one is missing. And that’s really one of the things that I wanted to explore with you. There’s such a tremendous change in our lives. When someone passes or our pets pass. You know, especially with dogs. They’re such routine animals, you know, and we adjust to a routine a lot of times: we wake up, we feed them breakfast, we take them for a walk, we pick up their poop, we come home, we might go to work. You know, we come home, the tail is wagging. We feed them dinner, we hang out on the couch, you know, belly rubs all the things and then one day that’s gone. I know you’ve experienced that too. What’s that? Like?

Kait

Yeah, I have experienced that my, my Nikki was with me.

<barking>

Angela

Oh, pardon us, Miss Bella would like to say a few words. 

Kait

She’s our sponsor.

Angela

It’s a given with our podcasts, there will be dogs barking in the background.

Kait

How beautiful is that?

Angela

I cannot go a day without hearing her voice.

Kait

My girls are very high-pitched; you would not feel the same way, very shrill. I tell them all the time nobody likes their voice, not even their mom. So, you know, in terms of that process, it really is a readjustment process. And I had my Nikki for 13 years, rescued her from a shelter. She was very, very attached to me. We had a lot of separation anxiety. We moved a couple of times together. She was my daughter Ruth’s first friend.

And Ruth still grieves her, actually. I mean, she has been passed now seven and a half years. Her ashes still sit on our mantelpiece and her stuffed animal with her collar still sits on the mantelpiece. 

But the immediate realization that she was becoming more frail was pretty hard on us. As a family, we struggled with that, but we saw it coming. And the compassionate thing to do with an animal that is suffering, and that is losing a battle to a disease or aging, or what have you, is really to give them the final gift of peace and serenity. And when we did that, it was a very, very hard and a very challenging day. 

And it was Easter. So we were about to leave town and Nikki had been quite sick. And we had been sustaining her with medication. We were hand-feeding her, carrying her up and down the stairs to go to the bathroom. And then she would pip up and what have you. And so it was really heartbreaking to make that decision. 

I remember phoning the vet, she gave me her personal cellphone number. And we made the appointment. We went in and Ruth took her for her very last walk. 

We had a new puppy at the time that we had kind of onboarded to the family to learn the ways of Nikki. And that’s how we’ve always trained our dogs in terms of helping them fit into our family and allowing our process to really flow is we see those things coming, we see our pet slowing down. So we pre-emptively plan for that so that we have that peace and comfort. 

And maybe that’s for us. It’s something that we have done as a family and have seen great success in our grieving process. Because now what we have is this little pup who has the same mannerisms and behaviors as our old dog that just passed away. 

And so when we onboard it, our newest member of the family, she now actually carries traits of Nikki and doesn’t even know why. Because Liberty has taught her that we keep our feet very clean. Like I mean, so clean, we have to lick our feet, 22 out of the 24 hours a day clean. But even things like how they sit, how they stand, the little baby dog. Her name is Justice, who has never in her life interacted with Nikki, does a cheesy grin. And that was something that Nikki did. 

So for us that replacement process was a really big key component of being able to allow her to live through these other pets. The immediate aftereffect of losing her was painful. It was so hard. She had been with me through so many things thick and thin. Marriages, divorce, babies, moves, you name it, she was there and was that one constant companion. 

For Ruth, it was very challenging because Ruth was only about nine years old at the time when we had to put Nikki down and I remember she had her iPad. And this was I mean, this was before it was hooked up to data or anything like that. But she had this little iPad in the car with her. She was too young to stay at home by herself. So she had to come with us and was sitting in the car with Liberty. 

She wrote an email on her iPad to heaven, subject “Nikki,” and it was this beautiful email to heaven for our dog saying, “I sat up in the car and I was crying and Liberty and I sat together and Libs didn’t get to say goodbye to you and I’m going to miss you and everything that you’ve done for me” and it just out of the mouths of babes. I’ll send it to you because I screen captured it and I carry it in my favorites. I’ve never deleted that picture. 

And, you know, we went on a family trip that weekend and our family actually grieved with us. And you know, when you’re a dog person, the people around you generally are dog people too. And we have that community surround us. And we had hugs waiting from our parents when we got home, and we got to be little girls for a few minutes and grieve that loss.

But innately, what we did was, we took the time to remember her, and we took the time to celebrate her, much like what you would do with a person. And I think that, you know, we had been sharing updates on our social media about her declining health. And so people were devastated and heartbroken with us. And, you know, for what it was worth, we have this new puppy, so our routine really didn’t change all that much, because we had put it in place to the point where we knew that that predictable behavior was going to happen. 

And we wanted to continue on with this journey of having this little credit of love. One of the things we did for Ruth, through her grief journey was we put a piece of paper up on the wall, and it said, “Memories of Nikki.” And what she did was she drew lines and numbered it like one, two, whatever. And whenever somebody would come to the home for the first couple of weeks after the dog passed, she would invite them to contribute their memories of Nikki to her list. And that still hangs on our wall, it has not come down. It is this rag-tag piece of paper with faded ink, and all of these beautiful memories of what this dog brought into our lives. 

You know, so we really took the time to really memorialize her and to really respect and love everything that she had given to us. And I found that what that did for us was it allowed us to feel what we needed to feel in order to heal through our grief process. 

And in order to re-establish and wake up and say, OK, well, I still have this little puppy that needs to go out and still needs to go for a walk and still needs the poop picked up and still needs the ear scratch and still needs to be fed. Right. So we had, like I said, planned for that. But had we not had that I think we would have felt a really giant chasm of emptiness that we would have had to fill in a different way.

Angela

Yeah, I am very concerned about my husband. When Bella’s time comes, if we don’t have another puppy to help us through the transition, because you know, losing Shep was hard enough. But Bella is his dog. I mean, she’s my dog. But, you know, this is his first dog that he’s had from puppy to through adult and it’s I think it’s gonna be rough.

Kait

It was very hard on Erin with Nikki. I mean, and I think for her that was the first animal that she’d had that was as interesting. Like Nikki was really like … she was a human. I didn’t treat her like a dog. I had conversations with her. I have conversations with these dogs. I use these dogs to chastise my wife for not putting her dishes in the dishwasher. I’ll say, girls, can you believe the dishwasher is empty and there’s dishes sitting beside the sink? I don’t understand. And then she’ll respond to the dogs, right? Like they’re a very integral part of how we manage conflict in this house.

Angela

That’s not odd, you are always a little bit terrifying.

Kait

I am. I mean, like I am who I am, right? But you know what’s great, as you know, we spend a lot of time reflecting. We do a really great job of documenting the life and times of these little animals because they are so meaningful to us. And because they bring us so much joy. I mean, these dogs are so well trained, and they have a really unique relationship with each one of us. 

And I think that’s the other component too is that when we think about our grief process and losing our furry friends, it’s understanding the gaps or the things that are going to be missing when they’re gone. 

You know, I look at my mom who just turned 75. Oh my gosh, so when my dad passed away, he had this little service dog and this little service dog – he’s a maltipoo – was  adopted at four and a half months old. So he was just this little critter that nobody wanted. And his name is Hagrid. Yes. Little Hagrid. And my dad, when he got Hagrid decided that he was going to teach him all of his service commands and that he was going to train him himself and become certified that way. He was a little old man who didn’t have a whole lot to do with his time. So he had the opportunity. 

And it was funny, not funny when my dad passed away, but I mean, when my dad passed away, what was funny was that the doctor said to my mom, you will be served very well from having Hagrid as your service dog to help you through this point of grief. And also just to help you stay sharp, and so on and so forth. And so she signed a letter to my mom and said, “You can go ahead and take this dog, and you now have permission to use him as a service dog.”

Awesome. So my mom phones me, she’s very excited about this. And then she gets quiet on the phone. And she says, But I have a problem. I said, “What’s the problem?” She says, “Well, your father taught him all of his commands in dog mushing language. And I don’t really understand what they are.” 

So I had to go and do some research and, and I had to teach her how to engage with this dog while they were out doing service. So that, you know, they weren’t, you know, one way or the other being outside of the bounds of what their agreement was. 

What’s interesting, though, is now Hagrid is getting up there in age, he’s nine years old. And you know, our dogs do take on our energy. And the purpose of how we choose to live like our dogs … our dog Liberty is the same age as Hagrid; I think she’s maybe three months older than him give or take. But she is very, very, very puppylike, and she’s full of energy, but she also has little baby Justice Fur All – yes, that’s what I said; their names are Liberty and Justice Fur All … and so with little Lady Liberty, we have an old dog who is actually learning new tricks, because now this baby dog that has taken so much learning from her in terms of how we live our lives, and how we behave, is now teaching Liberty, oh, you actually can roll over and have your tummy scratched, Nikki wouldn’t allow that. So Liberty never learned that. So we’ve got these new things that are going back and forth. 

And so, you know, when I look at my mom’s dog, Hagrid, she’s staring down the barrel of a nine-year-old dog who has diabetes and three teeth. And he’s just a little old man, because he’s been raised by a little old man. Right? And so preparing her for what that grief journey might look like, is a hard thing, because then it will be you know, this is kind of twofold where we look at it, of you know, this is the last living piece that has the intimacy of her partner who she’s lost. And so when he goes, it’s not just losing him. But it’s like, it’s going to be like losing my dad again. Yeah. And that’s going to be really hard, right? 

Angela

Oh I think my mom experienced that when our Bear died. I never, I never really looked at it that way. I mean, she was, she was always so attached to Bear after he died that the dog that came after Bear was named Wee Bear. And then after Wee Bear died, she got two Yorkshire puppies, and the girl was Missy Bear, and the boy was Poohbear. So she never lost that attachment to Bear who was her attachment to my dad who died in 1996. That’s … wow … thank you for sharing that with me and blowing my mind.

Kait

Yeah, it’s powerful when we have those associations, and when we are able to really immortalize – I think is really what we do – and  when it comes to our grief process, I think I remember I would say to my dad, you know, and I remember the first time my daughter walked away on her own, to walk to a sleepover, and I’m watching her walk away, and my dad’s done this like four times. And I phoned him up, and I was weepy and I said to him, “How did you do this so many times? Like, how did you let go? Because it’s hard.” And he says to me, he says, “Babycakes, you just got to feel it to heal it.” Yeah. 

And we particularly in North American culture, we are not good with sitting with our emotions and allowing ourselves to feel the things that we shouldn’t be feeling to tease them out and ask ourselves why we’re feeling them or giving ourselves the time and maybe binding ourselves to that time to feel them. 

And, you know, I know with the loss of Nikki it was really, really hard for me because of the things that we had gone through and because of the relationships we’ve seen, kind of come and go and you know, we had 13 years of history together. You know, that’s a lot.

Angela

Especially when, you know, Nikki helped heal broken hearts. And, you know, loneliness. And you know, Shep did the same thing for me and I, you know, eight years later, I will still cry over that damn dog.

Kait

Absolutely. And, you know, we, there’s a song, I don’t even know what song it is. But if it comes on to any one of our music channels or anything like that, Ruth will turn it off in the snap of a finger, because it just makes her think of the dog that much. We are seven, eight years removed from this dog passing away. And when that song comes on, it has to be turned off immediately.

Angela

One of the things I’m learning through my own grief journey, since my mother dying in January, and becoming a grief coach to help pet photographers provide better support to their clients who are in anticipatory grief stages, I’ve noticed that I am terrible at coaching myself. I can know all of the things and I can sit with you and give you some ideas to help heal. But in the moments that the grief waves hit me, I cannot do it for myself. 

Do you ever experience that? In confronting the change that happens with grief and death? And or, you know, do you have a process in place that you can manage your own feelings?

Kait

I do. You know, I write a lot. I keep journals, something that I do religiously. And it’s not always like, you know, full-page entries. But when I lost my father, I really turned to writing. It really helped me do a daily journal, a friend of mine actually dropped this book off, and it had like, a daily summary of kind of like, what did I do today? What did I learn today? And so I use that for reflection. And I find that in grief, you know, again, I always come back, I hear my dad’s voice again and again, and again, “you got to feel it to heal it.” 

And I think that sitting with the emotion and being motionless with it and allowing it to hurt, I think is really powerful. And pulling that pain in and pulling those memories in and feeling gratitude from not just the ability to feel it and acknowledge it and not numb it, I think is a really powerful thing, especially in our times now. 

I mean, we have people who are addicted to all sorts of things to fix those things that they feel they need to in their brains, when really what it is, is we just need to be OK not being OK. Right? It’s when we hit that precipice, and we cross over that threshold of I’m not OK consistently. For a time, that’s unreasonable. And I think it’s all personal, right? What’s reasonable to you might not be reasonable to me and vice versa, right. 

I was home a couple of weeks ago and I was helping my mom go through some of my dad’s belongings, and I know you’ve had similar journeys to that effect, and oh my God, I gotta be honest with you. I’ve come home and I’m like, “I just want to throw everything in a dumpster now. I don’t want to put my children through that.” My dad collected so much stuff like, little known fact, I was a ventriloquist when I was younger, and my father saved my puppet. My mother made me take it back. Also, I came home with the biggest velvet painted clown. Yeah, it’s a clown on velvet, painted on velvet. It’s hanging over the guest bed in my basement in my gym. Right now. We’re …

Angela 

I’m never staying in your guest bedroom again, no, nope.

Kait

I’ll send you a picture. But, you know, it’s, I looked at that process. And I went through it. And it was almost as if I was in a container where nothing could penetrate. I use visualization a lot. When I’m about to go and do something, when I’m about to be party to something, when I’m being expected to produce something, and I’m feeling that grief or I’m feeling soft. And you know, it’s really interesting. It’s almost like, you know, in Beauty and the Beast, that glass encasement that they put over the rose. Yeah, yeah, it’s like that is what I visualize and it’s like, OK, in the moment when I actually have to produce or I have to do something or I have to do be a part of something, I visualize myself being impenetrable, that nothing can get to me because I have to do something. 

I have to be the strong one right now. So I go and I do that. But then when I come away from that, I mean, I was at, I think it was two weeks, I was home, dealing with these belongings and going through things. And, you know, oh my gosh, we found a picture of my dog from when I was like, like, 10, his name was Pogo, he was so sweet. And he was my dad’s best friend. And I remember when my dad had to put him down how devastating that was. 

And so that brought a whole host of emotions back because there’s history and stories with that, right? He had to put that dog down right before Christmas, because he had gone blind, and somebody came into the house, and he beat them. Because they didn’t announce themselves. And so my dad had a Christmas where neither of us kids came home, his dog had been put down. So he canceled his Christmas party and was like, “I’m not even gonna put my tree up. I just don’t feel it.” And I was like, “No, no, we’re not doing that.” Right. And I made him put his tree up. And I phoned him at midnight, and I listened to him open his Christmas gift so that we were there. And I said to myself, “He’ll never be alone again,” right? 

So it’s like, these emotions. And these things are coming at me. And it’s like, OK, I’ve got to be strong, because my mom is having a hard time here. And I’m sending pictures to my sisters who we’ve not celebrated my dad’s life yet, because this all happened during COVID. And so, you know, I’m the one that people are leaning into. And they’re leaning on my glass case. And I’m in this glass case, and I can feel it coming in and out, in and out, in and out. 

When I went downstairs, I think I was on night 13 being there. And I had this giant piece of rose quartz that was my dad’s that my mom gave to me. And I just held it to my cheek. And I just sobbed. And I didn’t think about anything, I wasn’t forcing it. I just let the tears fall and I just invited that grief to come out. I just invited those emotions to happen. 

And I pulled the pride of enabling those emotions into myself as part of that empowerment of feeling grief feels like crap. But at the end of the day, it’s OK, it’s right. And it’s necessary. I can’t carry that with me every day all day, it will make me a bitter, angry, hostile person to be around. And that is not who my dad taught me and raised me to be. And I’ll tell you for sure. That’s not who my dog knows I am, right? 

And so I think about that stuff, what are the lessons that the departed left with me? What did they expect of me? Would Nikki have wanted me not to get out of bed and not feed Liberty? No, Nikki would have been batting her dish around the kitchen if I wasn’t up by 8 a.m. with kibble in the dish. So what do I do, I get up and I do what my dog would have wanted me to do. 

It sounds silly, when you think about it from the big global, thinking process of it all. But at the end of the day, we learn lessons. We’re taught these beautiful things from these people in these critters. And it’s their legacy lives in us, in our actions and what we choose to do and how we choose to show up. And so that is what I lean into. Yes, the grief hurts, it sucks. I hate that they’re gone. I hate it, because they were my closest confidants, my best people, the ones I could rely on 100% of the time.

Angela

But the memories, and the stories we have of our dogs, our dads or moms … they make us who we are. And we carry that with us as we move forward and turn our lives without them into something that matters.

Kait

Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s, you know, when I think about the upbringing that I had, and I think about some of the life events and traumas that I experienced as a very young human on this earth. The thing like I remember, you know, my dad had recovered us away from, you know, our mother abandoning us on the couch of a hotel when I was like four, and we were very, very, very sick. And he came in, he found us and he brought us home. And we had been in this tumultuous situation for two and a half weeks living in a hotel with two drunk alcoholics who were on whatever drugs they could get up their noses or down their throats. 

They had decided, “hey, these two kids are too much work. We don’t want them anymore.” They phoned my dad and said, “You want your kids back; here they are, come get them,” hung up the phone, sat us on the couch of this hotel in the Yukon, and then drove down the Alaska Highway … literally left us there. 

He got us home and we were very sick and he got us fed and nursed us back to health because that’s what you do. An amazing human being. A couple of weeks later, or maybe about a week later, we’re sitting at the kitchen table, and my sister is six at the time. She had lived through the trauma and the tumultuous times for two years longer than I had. And so she’s sitting there and the topic of “mom had left us and is never coming back” came up. And so she’s crying. And my dad says, I put my little fork down, and I got up on my knuckles, and I leaned across the table to her, and I said, “You know what? She is gone. And our dad’s all we got, and that’s just how it’s gonna be.” I sat back down, and I grabbed my fork, and I started eating again. Like that was it. Game over, bitch is dead to me. I’m four.

You know, and so we look at that. And it’s like, that’s, that’s a little bit of nature, I think. But it’s also a lot of nurture. And, you know, when we think about the lessons and the things that have been given to us, by the people who have left, our very best opportunity to honor them is to lean into the things that they either taught us or believed us to be. And, you know, there’s this really great line in a Macklemore song, and it is, “I heard they say you die twice, the first time is when they put you in the ground. And the second time is the last time somebody utters your name.” 

So as long as we continue the storytelling, and we celebrate those times, we will forever have those people or those pets in our lives. And in preparing for the fact that we know that our furry companions leave us in half the time, or even a quarter of the time that a normal human being does. We in our family, we prioritize making memories with our animals so that we always have a highlight reel to look back on. Whether that’s doing formal photography, which we’ve never done. Good luck trying to get those little shit rats to sit still. I’ll bring them to you. And the second though, and this is something that I have believed fundamentally my entire life, I have done it since I’ve owned a dog. We celebrate birthdays,

Angela

Oh, yes, absolutely! Treats, cakes, everything.

Kait

Every year. We do two every spring, we have one in February, and one in April. And we celebrate them every year. We have those parties and we take pictures and we save them in our Snapchat reel so we have those memories that pop up every single year. With them looking entirely terrified of their little party hats and enjoying their pupcakes. And you know, in preparation of grief, we celebrate while they’re alive. 

Yeah. That’s what we do. I’m always what I would classify as the second mouse. The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. And what I absolutely loved about the lessons that Nikki taught me was, I had a ton of videos. I have a ton of photos. I mean, I have pictures. Like when I met my wife, she moved in and she had a hamster, which was the funniest thing I think I’ve ever met. I was like, you really are very gay with your hamster. And that dog would stand and stare at this hamster. 

That hamster ran his ass to death. I’m not even kidding you because he would see this dog standing there. And he’d get in his wheel. And he would just run and run and run. You’re not going anywhere. And one time I looked at Erin and I was like,”You need to grease his wheel.” She’s like, “No, you need to get your dog away from him.” I’m like, “No, this is her house and he is an intruder Go grease the wheel.” So there she is with a Q tip and like some cooking oil, right? 

But it’s those types of things where we know that the memories we create today are going to be the things that comfort us tomorrow. And I think that being proactive in how we choose to interact with and love our pets and live with them now, knowing that we won’t have any regrets, right. 

There was a time when I was going through a divorce and I was single parenting. And it was 50-below in the Yukon. I would have to get somebody who had a garage to come and pick me up and drive me to work. And so I was relying on the kindness of strangers because I couldn’t get my vehicle to start and if I could my tires were like Flintstone tires because it was so cold, right? If you didn’t have, you know, nitrous in your tires, they’re just like squares. 

And I remember it was just so bad because I was coming and going so frequently because I couldn’t afford oil, so I was doing wood heat. I was getting someone to drive me home so I could stoke my fire so my pipes wouldn’t freeze. And then I was going back to work and then coming and going and coming and going, and that was really hard on Nikki. 

She started doing things like messing in the house, and we were at heads constantly during that period of time of me trying to correct a behavior. I tried to kenneling her, she thrashed to the point where she would cut her nose, so I couldn’t kennel her. I got a different type of kennel, a wire kennel, just thinking that maybe that would help. She would thrash to the point where she would collapse it and then she would be really bad. You know. So I think about those times. 

I think to myself, you know, as a young pet owner, what could I have done different? How could I have served her better, and I don’t want those types of memories with my current pets. And so I always tell people, I wake up in service and that doesn’t mean just to only two-leggeds.

Angela

That is an incredible place to wrap it up. Kait, I know you are a busy human. So I am going to let you go. But I will tell you that I am planning a road trip to Calgary in September, October, and you will get formal photography done with your dogs when that happens.

Kait

Oh my gosh. They’re gonna love you. You’re gonna love them. 

Angela

Because you owe me breakfast too. Because the last time I was there, we had to skip breakfast because of a snowstorm.

Kait

Yes, that’s right!

Angela

All right, my love. Go do the rest of your day. Thank you so much for joining us on One Last Network.

Kait

Wonderful. Thank you so much for having me.

Angela

Wow, Kait, and I dug into a whole lot of grief issues that I didn’t have planned, including helping her child grieve the death of their dog, Nikki. And I just love how much she touched on storytelling and how keeping the memories alive keep our loved ones from dogs to dads and moms alive in our hearts. 

Kait is an incredible storyteller. She and I can sit and gab for hours. And it should come as no surprise, she’s a podcaster herself. Kait hosts Pocket Change for Helios Consulting, exploring personal growth, resilience and leadership. You can find the links in the show notes. 

Among all the advice Kait gave us in this episode, I want you to remember most that it’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to grieve and miss our loved ones, especially our pets. I need the reminder myself every once in a while. 

I’m Angela , owner of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, Washington, and your host at One Last Network, signing off to go get some Bella snuggles. Listen to One Last Network on whichever podcast platform you prefer. We’re on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Music and Amazon music. Don’t forget to hit follow or subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. 

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Thanks for listening.

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