Believe in Dog

Episode 7. Liz’s Story: Tovi’s Gift

January 20, 2020

Liz’s Story – Tovi’s Gift

If you’ve ever lost a dog you loved, a dog that changed your life, your heart & soul dog, you may find a piece of yourself in Liz’s story.

Special thanks to Mindy of Hunter & Harvest Apothecary from Episode 2 for introducing me to Liz.

I start this episode sharing about losing our Lucy (Episode 1) and bonding with my girl, Penny.

Liz & Tovi had an amazing life together for 12+ years. In early 2017, Tovi’s health took an unexpected turn and a few weeks later, Liz was saying her final goodbye to Tovi. As Liz tried to navigate life without Tovi, she thought adopting a new dog would help her feel better. But she had a very complicated emotional experience after impulsively adopting her new pup, Mille. Liz struggled to bond with the unexpectedly anxious and fearful Millie and Liz felt a range of emotions from guilt to resentment. Liz is so open and honest about her emotional journey.

Through Tovi’s loss, Liz found the courage to pursue her childhood dream of writing. Using her background in psychology, Liz is writing about her own experience, as well as interviewing others about their experiences with pet loss or adopting a pet after loss.

Liz and I discuss:

  • Why it’s difficult for her to talk about her childhood family dog;
  • How pet loss can occur in many ways and we want to treat all of these with compassion;
  • How Liz stayed too long in her first marriage out of concern for her pets;
  • How our life experiences have helped us realize that life has many gray areas, not everything is black & white;
  • Liz’s background in psychology and how she got the courage to leave her career to pursue her lifelong dream of writing;
  • How a Greyhound bus ride led to Liz adopting Tovi;
  • Liz & Tovi’s beautiful life together;
  • That we try to make the best medical and end-of-life decisions for our pets based on the information and resources available, and we can’t use hindsight to question ourselves or second-guess;
  • The origin of Pet Therapy Notes;
  • How Liz was simultaneously mourning the loss of Tovi as well as her impulsive decision to adopt Millie;
  • Liz’s relationship with Millie today and what she has learned along the way;
  • An author who has inspired Liz’s writing; and
  • Finding meaning in our grief, honoring the memories of our dogs and honoring our dogs for the individuals they are.


Find Liz online:

Pet Loss Resources:
Liz's Blog:


Be a part of Liz's work:

If you or someone you know has a story about pet loss to share, please contact Liz through her Pet Therapy Notes website. Liz is particularly looking to interview people who have experienced:

  • a pet that was lost or stolen;
  • if you've had to re-home your pet;
  • euthanasia due to behavioral issues;
  • pet loss due to divorce; or
  • pet loss due to incarceration.

Links we discussed:

Meghan Daum's The Gift of a Great Dog


Let's Connect. 

You can find photos of Liz, Tovi and Millie on my Facebook and Instagram. If this episode resonated with you, let me know.


If you are enjoying this podcast, please subscribe and leave a rating or review.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App