Debbie LaChusa

Debbie LaChusa

I Decided Against Surgery for My Dog’s Torn CCL

My golden retriever Faith, sporting her pretty purple custom Posh Dog Knee Brace for her torn CCL

Why I didn’t follow the “gold standard of treatment”–TPLO surgery–for my dog’s torn CCL, and how she’s doing despite going against the vet’s recommendations. “Uh-oh,” my husband said, as Faith came in from her morning potty break. “What?” I replied. “She’s limping, again,” he said. We’d only been home one week from a trip to …

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What a Little Rescue Pup Taught Me About Pet Parenting, Life, and Love

My daughter at eight months old, with our rescue pup Sundance

What I learned from a dog who was a whole lot smarter than me. I got my first dog as an adult in the summer of 1988. I was twenty-six years old and my husband and I had just purchased our first house. It was a tiny, 700-square-foot bungalow on an oversized lot — a lot so …

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Women Who Inspire: She Was Only Five Foot Two but She Was a Force

On my wedding day, with Grandma C standing with us. I'm wearing the wedding dress and veil I made myself.

The small but mighty pioneer who inspired me to start my own business This story was originally written and published in Age of Empathy on Medium, in response to a writing prompt: Women Who Inspire, in honor of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2023. I don’t know much about her life before I knew her. From …

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I Found Hope on the Internet. She’s been my refuge ever since.

Hope, my golden retriever, at nine months old

I walk downstairs and into the kitchen. My husband is sitting at the table with his laptop open and a big smile on his face. As I enter the room, he swings the computer around. A cherubic golden face fills the screen. “Oh my God,” I say. “It’s Hope!” My husband looks at me, puzzled. …

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My Therapy Dog Faith Brings Light to Death’s Door

Faith, my eight-year-old golden retriever and certified therapy dog

A heartwarming story about my therapy dog Faith, and her visits with Hospice patients. I’ve been a pet therapy volunteer for eight years. I actually have two certified therapy dogs, both golden retrievers. Hope is ten years old, Faith is eight.  Hope has always been my steady, reliable, zen therapy dog. With a perpetual smile …

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Sometimes You Need a Respite From Recovery

View from “the rock” atop John Rock Trail Loop, Pisgah National Forest, Western North Carolina

Between my husband’s addiction recovery, and our relationship recovery, sometimes I just need a break. I went hiking last week, something I haven’t done nearly enough the past few months. Hiking is one of the main reasons we moved from Southern California to the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’ve often quipped that being in nature, on …

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