Betta Tryptophan, I have so much to say in reply to your beautifully written and thoughtful response. First of all, thank you for everything you’ve said. You are someone I would like to get to know better, for you have a wonderful understanding of humanity, and you are a kind and introspective woman.

I agree that the writer of the abortion story wrote the piece more like a “travelogue,” and that was initially why I felt so upset. In retrospect, I should have taken a step back and steadied myself before going in for an attack. Perhaps it was the wrong thing to do, but I was compelled to do it at the time.

In saying this, I want you to know that this is not typical of how I would treat a friend or even an acquaintance. I am a very caring and sensitive person who always puts my whole heart into my relationships. I can tell you that the reason it was easy for me to lash out was because I didn’t feel there was anyone on the receiving end of my assault. I had looked up Tabu and found that it is a publication with many writers contributing. As a matter of fact, at the bottom of the story it says, “Originally published on Quora on April, 8, 2016. Thank you to the author for allowing us to re-post. We appreciate your story.” If Tabu had been an actual person, I would like to think I would have been more “charitable” and not jumped so fast to what perhaps was a wrong conclusion.

While I was writing my response, I felt like I was writing to the universe — not to an individual, so somehow I felt a disconnect and wrote as flippantly as I felt the writer did about a subject that is important to me. I don’t know if you read my abortion story that I linked to, but if you did you will realize how distressing it was for me. And that brings up another of your points. I was not writing with any regard to the emotions of the author.

However, I related 100 percent to the story about the loss of your dog and your husband’s inability to cope. I also related to your father’s attitude, as well. I will tell you a story that I’m not proud of telling. About thirty years ago, I was in a nail salon having a manicure, when a friend of mine walked in with photos of her dog that had just passed. She was crying over the loss of her dog and, although I wasn’t cruel to her face, my thoughts were unkind. And after she left, the manicurist and I laughed over it all thinking that it was “just a dog.” Well, six years ago, I adopted my own dog. I was still hesitant about being able to really love an animal the way others do. In fact, I made fun of those silly “dog ladies” who dressed and kissed their dogs and even took them for walks in strollers. What I learned from loving my own dog is that in my life whenever I said “never,” I would do the never. I even wrote a story about that here that you might find interesting. And to show you how much my attitude about dogs has changed, I would love it if you would read this story I wrote just a day ago. I am officially a crazy “dog lady.”

I worry about myself as you worry about your husband. I already know and think about the fact that I will be completely devastated some day and will barely function. I understand your husband completely, and I feel so sad for him. The love we feel for our fur babies is no less than we feel for our human children, and in some cases we feel even more. There are no words to fully explain it to anyone who hasn’t experienced this love.

I also understand how you felt after your car accident. I have also been close to death, and I remember feeling irritated at the circumstances — the hospital staff and doctor’s incompetence — but also so happy that I survived.

In closing, I would like to add that I took the time to respond to you because of the gracious way you wrote to me. Your tone inspired me to want to engage with you, and I thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to express myself more completely.

Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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