We’re all fighting upstairs battles.

Waiting for Kisses
Photo by Pro PetShots

Sometimes, the best laid plans just don’t work out anywhere close to right.

I know that I didn’t type anything you haven’t already heard or thought during your many trips around the sun. Hell, I know I’ve thought it multiple times in January alone. But this past Sunday, the greatest of plans just didn’t go any way but down. And all they needed to do was go upstairs.

Allow me to explain.

I am a HUGE fan of all things Dogs of Charm City. Lyndsay is the master (no pun intended) of all things Baltimore City Dog Life. She has created the hippest and yippest dog events – from pool parties and Yappy Hours to brunches and cruises – and each one is a must attend. It’s the place to see and be sniffed. Basically, if I’m in town, you can bet you’ll find Wyatt, myself and our dog-day adventure besties, Paige and Pedey, out and about at these events. Wyatt loves them. So much so that he will drag me on the Water Taxi for a DCC Canine Cruise. So when a Galentine’s Romp was planned at Dogtopia in Canton, we were all on board.

PC: just B more

The tickets were bought over a month ago, so at the time, I didn’t know this event would become the shining beacon to get me through a pretty shitty week. To avoid boring you with all of the details (and turning this into a cuss-filled rant), let’s just say the past week was one of those weeks. You know the type: no matter what you do or say, things are just going to go from worst to crap without even glancing at bad. By the time hump day started, I was looking forward to a day with the dogs.

Sunday morning, Paige and I grabbed our pet pals, checked that the collars, bow ties and harnesses were in place, grabbed treats and tickets and headed out. Not living in the city, we were able to grab prime FREE parking. The sun was shining, a coat was barely needed. Everything was set, it was a glorious day.

We opened the door to join the party, and my heart sank right out of the soles of my rugged black boots.

aviod kiss
PC: Pro PetShots


Fricking, stupid, uncarpeted, standard, perfectly safe yet utterly terrifying to my 80-pound Labrador retriever.

Ever seen a kid try to lead a baby calf, and it’s just like, “Fat chance, child,” locks its legs, leans back and drops its head? Then you’ve seen what I have termed Cow Pose, and Wyatt was in full commitment to it.

Don’t bother to ask me why he, after living 10 years on the second floor of an elevator-less apartment in which he has to scale flights of stairs multiple times a day, suddenly refused to go forth. I don’t know. It wasn’t even the first time, as he started to refuse to go up or down the stairs of said apartment building last year. I was seriously starting to worry about what to do, short of moving, when one day, the building mysteriously decided to get carpet and Wyatt decided that was cool with him.

But I can’t carpet the world. Stairs happen. So does struggle. And every restaurant I go to with the intent of ordering rabbit running out right when I get there. Life is really just a bunch of stairs that we have to climb just to find out there are even more. It’s completely and utterly tiring and annoying. I mean, why can’t there be more escalators?

Pedey Galentine's Romp
PC: just B more

And so I found myself walking around Canton with a dog who refused to heed the words of a 2009 Miley Cyrus and climb. All the while, I was thinking about each of the battles I already fought and lost that entire week. My problems and issues were real, honest setbacks and fails. Goals yet again postponed or falling apart. I was trying to move forward with all my might, and my stairs were not leading anywhere. And here was my dog, who had a party, treats and dog wine waiting for him right at the top of his! He could literally smell his success because it was peanut butter flavored and he’s a dog and can smell things like that.

After a few tours of the neighborhood, Paige texted to say she and Pedey were back downstairs. When I got back into Dogtopia, there they were with treats for Wyatt. As he munched on a snack and I took a sip of punch, I came to a realization:

That was NOT punch.

It was chicken broth and beet juice for the dogs.

At that moment something happened.

Ha! You’re thinking I vomited, but no! I did not! (Actually, the dog wine wasn’t so bad.)

PC: Dogs of Charm City

I realized that we’re all fighting upstairs battles, and the best we can do is try to lift each other up.

So that’s what I did.


I hoisted my 80-pound dog on my always-questionable, busted ankle and carried him up the stairs to dog playday glory.

Wyatt and Pedey had the grandest time sitting pretty for treats, playing with new pup pals, and getting compliments and scratches from random people. Paige and I had some human wine (honestly, better than the dog wine) and Lyndsay and I had a good laugh over the whole doggie drama.

Did I feel like a boss carrying my large dog and not falling down the stairs to my death? Hell yeah! Did I remember to lift with my knees? Surprisingly, yes! Did I hang out with good friends and great dogs? You bet! Did Wyatt want to sit with me in the kissing booth for adorable pictures by Pro PetShots? Of course not!

Because, as with all of life’s challenges, there are always more stairs to climb.

And what could just B more appropriate?

photobomb pedey
PC: Pro PetShots

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