I debated what to write about for this first challenge post. The first word that popped into my head was “animals” because after all, my life dream is to be a veterinarian. Next, I thought “arthritis” because well, Rheumatoid Arthritis is another major component of my life. And, interestingly enough, the one thing that could thwart my dreams of becoming a vet.

In the end, I decided on animals because only one of the above makes me happy. Better yet, why not talk about Affie, my 10 year old Coton de Tulear!


When I was barely 16 years old my father came to me and said “I love the cats but I grew up with dogs and I want a dog”. My dad is not a particularly impulsive man. Everything action is well thought-out and manicured, for lack of better word. But, for whatever reason, maybe he felt inspired, he opened the computer and two days later we had an 8-month old fluff ball wrecking havoc on our house.

Affie came from a very prestigious family. She and her siblings all had French passports and show blood running through their veins. Now, before you decide to raid my house and steal my dog, let me tell you this poor dog was the runt of the family and the coloration of her ears was not up to breed standards. Affie was not abused but she was neglected. She came to us half the size of what she should have been and a little wired.

Affie Pillow

Up until this point I was used to the two cats. I already had dreams of becoming a veterinarian. I worked at an animal clinic part time and I loved cats and dogs equally. However, Affie honestly made me wonder if I was a dog person at all. I had never met such a pig-headed, obstinate, disobedient dog in my entire life! She knew how to tug at my nerves.


I remember clear as day she refused to be trained or house-broken. She was the sweetest dog I had ever met. She was never aggressive and extremely loving but we worked tirelessly to train her and worried when she didn’t pick up even the simplest command. She snuck away, urinated and defecated in a different room and slunk back to the same spot looking like she never moved. Finally, I kept her on a leash, tethered to my chair or waist so I could always keep tabs on her at all times.



“See what happens if you wake me up One more time…”

I still remember the day she became trained. As a reminder to you, we adopted her at eight months. We immediately began training since she was nearing adulthood. Five months later (yes, FIVE months) we still struggled with her. One day she was being particularly annoying so I, irritated, said offhandedly, “Affie, go away and just sit over there!” and, she did. She sat down on the spot. From that moment on she was the best trained dog. She even knows what to do from one look!

It was like a light switched on in her brain. Don’t get me wrong, she is still the most pig-headed, obstinate stubborn dog I have ever met in my life but she is one smart cookie. She is still the most loving dog, she has never snarled or bitten anyone and is my dog through and through.


And, as my father so often loves to remind me if I were a dog I would be Affie. His not so subtle way of telling me I myself am stubborn, pig-headed and obstinate!

I hope you enjoyed this post and see you tomorrow!



Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.