I wish things were different but they aren’t.

Photo by The HK Photo Company on Unsplash

Mother’s Day is my least favourite holiday of the entire year. Every year, the ads creep up on the radio, the billboards and my social media feeds. All of society is telling us how good and wonderful mothers are and the whole debacle eats away at the broken bits that I’ve tried to bury deep inside.

When I was little, I wanted nothing more than to be like my mom. We were homeschooled so I spent all my time with her. I was working with her by the time I was 8 and could be trusted to reliably place files…

There is a website called doesthedogdie.com where you can search books and movies to find the fate of canine companions. While not listed on the website, I can reassure you that the dog in this story is very much alive. And that is a true doggy miracle.

My family is composed of dog people. We stop to pet dogs on the street, have canceled plans because there was a dog sleeping in our lap and often remember dog names better than those of the humans that care for them. I begged for a dog almost as soon as I could…

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We have all been there. Your dream job turns into a nightmare, and you begin to dread the sound of the alarm clock going off in the morning. Whether the company wasn’t a good fit or someone flat-out lied to you, the end result is that you feel trapped in a job you have come to hate.

Over the last six months, I have applied for upwards of 150 jobs and had a total of 1 interview. This is not a good time to be job-hunting. I kept telling myself that I could tough it out for just a little…

Photo by Dmytro Davydenko on Unsplash

angst noun: a strong feeling of worry about what you should do, how you should behave, or what will happen in the future

The pungent smell of brimstone wafted through the corridors as Herman hurried along, tea slopping out the sides of his cup as he waddled side to side. His gait was an awkward combination of hop, shuffle and stumble as the ears of his fuzzy bunny slippers got caught on the rough stone surface of the dark hall. It was midnight, the moon was full, and the brethren of hell were gathering.

And Herman was late. Again.

Throwing himself into the door carved with the faces of a thousand souls cursed with eternal damnation, he managed to open it just a…

Kal, my dad’s dog, would really like some cheese

In August of 2020, the City of Calgary released a survey asking people to weigh in on their proposed changes to the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. Phase 1 of their engagement study indicated that people supported more stringent rules and harsher penalties for dogs that were determined to be dangerous. Somehow the word “dangerous” was extrapolated to include all dogs that have the capacity to cause harm as a type but have not shown a personal history for doing so. I grew up with pit bulls and have seen them demonstrate the most gentle, affectionate behaviour. In June of 2020…

Post-surgery. I’m not sharing the grisly ones.

I love dogs. This is not a secret to those who know me or even those who are just meeting me. I grew up with dogs, I’ve adopted dogs, babysat them, acted as a travelling companion for rescues, and had them tattooed on my body. So it was only a natural progression that I would foster them. Someone tagged me in a post on Facebook for a local rescue that was looking for fosters, and I quickly applied and was approved. There isn’t much in my house that isn’t already covered in dog hair, and my beloved furry piranha has…

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I’ve always loved nail polish, especially the stuff that comes in bright colours and sparkles. As a little girl, my parents would paint my nails for me to prevent the inevitable disaster that would result from a child having free access to a bottle of nail polish. Usually, it was my mom who would take up the role of artist but even my dad could be convinced to help out, especially when it came to painting my right hand. As I grew older and (slightly) less clumsy, I would paint my own nails and those of my little sister. …

Photo by Dương Hữu on Unsplash

“Do you have anyone who actually understands you?”

Throughout the last 7 years of my depression, I’ve been exceptionally lucky to have encountered many people who have shared my journey. Unfortunately, the first 21 years were not so blessed. Those who are familiar with the monsters of mental illness will also be familiar with the haunting feeling of loneliness that it brings. Even the most well-meaning comments can only serve to enhance this loneliness. My father’s initial assessment was that “I needed more sunshine" and there are more people than I can count who have urged me to give up…

Photo by Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka on Unsplash

Sometimes I am required to sit quietly and wait. I hate it.

It’s been an awfully long time since I had a particularly clear job description. My job is usually to figure out what needs to be done, do it, and then file the paperwork saying that it was done. Technically I am a project manager by trade but, when there aren’t projects to be managed, I also manage offices, crews and sometimes even piles of receipts so large and decrepit that they may as well be considered sentient beings.

The one thing that is consistent is the ebbs and…

Photo by Yuvraj Singh on Unsplash

At some point, I had decided that my heart was tough and scabby; I was wrong.

After a divorce, some truly epic dating disasters and other attempted relationships that had gone sour, I thought that I’d become resistant to heartbreak. It turns out that I was just used to ending the relationship in my head before it ended in real life. When I looked back, every relationship ended with me as the instigator, and a couple had dragged on long past their expiry date. It wasn’t that I was happy about the endings; it was more that I had made…

Dakota Montgomery

Crazy dog mom, mental health advocate, project manager and writer

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