I need therapy

There are many ways to deal with life when the going gets rough…

The hardiest among us can simply:

img_8048Being of the non-hardy variety myself, I find that eating a cookie can help:


Eat your heart out!

Sometimes animals are the best therapy of all. At the university where I work, various groups will often hire a petting zoo to roll onto campus to alleviate stress during exam periods. The students abandon their books and fly out of the libraries and dorms as soon as they catch wind of the fact that the animals have arrived…Wouldn’t you?



“It followed her to school one day…”

Even my grumpy colleague can’t help but crack a smile when the petting zoo arrives:


Of course we have our own cute and cuddly therapy animals at home:



What’s that you say?! You mean you don’t find Darwin the mudskipper cute and cuddly?



Are you SURE?!

My friend Tina is a child psychologist. Her trademark tools of the trade are her therapy guinea pigs. They earn their keep by going to work with her every day. For years she’s been telling me that guinea pigs make great pets. If you’ve been following this blog, you may recall that my daughter was pining for a more exotic variety of pet. First she wanted goats, which I considered getting for her for a hot minute before coming to my senses. Then she decided she wanted to have ducklings. I was about to get her the ducklings, when I discovered hawks and foxes in our backyard. Remembering my friend’s advice, I finally convinced my daughter that guinea pigs would make far better pets. I made absolutely no move to actually get them for her however.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day we all had a day off from school and work, and I had scheduled dentist appointments for the kids. As we left the dentist’s office my son asked me if we could make a quick run to the pet store so he could pick up some marine salt for Darwin, the mudskipper…(Don’t all these stories start so innocently)?

My daughter was in a foul mood, having just had a recalcitrant baby tooth yanked out of her head and sealants placed on her molars ahead of the braces both she and her brother are scheduled to get next month. At the pet store, she grabbed me by the hand and dragged me to the back corner of the pet store. And there they were…two unfathomably adorable baby guinea pigs. Obviously, they came home with us.

My crabby girl perked right up. img_2640img_2635img_2655

We played with them all day long. They were so cute, my daughter and I could only tear our eyes away from them to look at each other with these expressions on our faces:

Not everyone in our household finds them to be so irresistible:



“Aaaaagh! Take it! Take it! Take it!”

Now when I get home from work, my daughter takes me by the hand and says, “Come. Let’s have some guinea pig therapy.”


And it works like a charm.

Now I totally get why Tina took those guinea pigs to work every day…because as everybody knows: therapists need therapy too!

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