Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

Copy: Serena Faber Nelson

Photography: Petal Photography

Last year, a simple post by Jess Lively went viral (as in reached Oprah’s doorstep viral). Things I’m Afraid to Tell You. The title said it all.

We all have those ‘things’ we keep under wraps. As bloggers we claim to be ‘warts and all’ but that’s rarely the case.

So although I’m a year and a half late to the party, with our new site I want you to get to know me more.

Pretty Fluffy is not about me being the perfect dog owner. It’s about discovering and enjoying our lives as dog owners. It’s about learning, trying to be the best dog owners we can be, and sharing with each other.

So today I wanted to share with you, the things I’m afraid to tell you.


I’m terrified of life without Soda. Soda is currently 12. On January 15, 2014 she will be 13 years old. In Border Collie terms, she’s no spring chicken, but for me it seems like she just arrived yesterday.

I can’t even think about the idea of her not being in my life without bursting into tears. It’s actually come to a point that the idea that Soda won’t always be a part of my life haunts me daily. I’ll be patting her happily or playing fetch in the backyard and then like a gust of chilly air, I’m reminded that things will not always be this way.

It makes me hug her that bit tighter, have an extra sleep in with her at my feet, throw the Kong just one more time…because I know there’ll be a day where I’ll give anything to be able to do it again.


I wonder if I’ll love my kids as much as I love Soda. I’m 33. I’m well in the heart of baby territory right now. Lots of my friends have the babies, and many are looking at me wondering when I’ll have the babies.

Trouble is I’ve always been the person who’s loved puppies more than kids. So many people say when you have a child the connection is instantaneous, but I worry – what if I don’t have that gene? I can’t trade my baby in for a Spoodle.

My husband sees it in a different way. He thinks my connection with Soda shows just how maternal I am.


I don’t think I’m a COOL blogger. I listen to show tunes and Simon & Garfunkel, I watch Hart of Dixie and True Blood, I don’t meditate or drink green smoothies, I’d prefer to watch animal videos on YouTube rather than go to an art exhibition…

Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion, cinema, shopping, beauty, and design – but at heart I’m a girl who’s favourite place to be is on the couch with my dog watching Mad Men.

When I go to blogging conferences (ok I went to one) or catch ups I feel like someone’s going to tap me on the shoulder and say “Excuse me Miss, the non-cool bloggers room is this way.”


I talk to Soda ALL THE TIME. (She never talks back). Just to solidify my reputation as a crazy dog lady, whenever I get home from work I’ll ask Soda how her day has been. When we go for a walk I’ll ask her if she had fun. When she catches the Kong I’ll clap and say it’s time for her lap of honour.

The funny thing is, I secretly think although she physically can’t talk back, her face and body language answers me.

She’ll never be ‘just a dog’ to me and I know a lot of people struggle to understand that. And to be honest – I feel sorry for those people. They’re missing out on one of the strongest, most uplifting connections they can have in life.


Do you have things you’re afraid to tell?

Copy: Serena Faber Nelson

Photography: Petal Photography

Pick of the Week

Show Comments +Hide Comments -

Comments (55)

55 responses to “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You”

  1. Lisa Ellen says:

    Awwwww SODA!:) After reading #TWO I thought of this article I read this morning ….. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/opinion/sunday/dogs-are-people-too.html?pagewanted=all

  2. Ok are we the same person? Because I pretty much feel the same way about all 4 of your “things I’m afraid to tell you”.

    And I totally get you when you say: “She’ll never be ‘just a dog’ to me and I know a lot of people struggle to understand that.”

    I take Ammo with me pretty much everywhere (at least when I can). I even make my weekend plans based on, can I do this activity with my dog? I think a lot of people think its weird, or strange. And I’m pretty sure most people don’t understand the connection I have with him. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that feels this way!

    • I think if we met we’d be firm friends! I can remember when I was single, I’d turn down nights out because Soda hadn’t had enough time with me that day.

      It’s great to know I’m not alone xx

  3. We’re the same age as of last week 😀 Thanks for sharing this! I love when bloggers are totally honest and real! I’m sure baby fever will hit you soon! It hit me hard over the summer and now we’re waiting to see 😀

  4. Kody says:


    The second I saw the title of this post I already knew what number one was, without even reading. My Lhasa Apso pup just passed at 17 this past April. I too was terrified of life without her. At 24 she was one of the most long standing things in my short life, and it hurt terribly when I had to make that final decision, and it still hurts now thinking about it. You are a fantastic dog mom and I did the same thing whenever I thought about the inevitable, threw the ball again, slipped her one extra treat, all the above. I’m so happy I did. I know you probably have no shortage of Soda photos, but take extras, I look back on mine all the time still and it helps so much!

    • I’m so sorry for your loss Kody. It’s just so heartbreaking, I’m so glad you have such beautiful memories to look back on. I try to not let that feeling of whats to come overshadow things too much. Thank you for such a beautiful comment – sending you much love x

  5. María says:

    I feel just as you…I have 3 of my own, and they are not just dogs to me. I rescued them from the streets and I think that makes our connection extra especial. Despite I’m in my thirties too I don’t have kids and I suppose everyone around me thinks I’m a crazy dog lady! Hahah they just don’t understand.

  6. Jayme says:

    Ugh. This hits so close to home. I love this post. My aussie pup will turn 1 this month and I’m already having those feelings. She filled a hole in my heart that I never knew was there. I can’t imagine my life without this sweet doggie in it. I’m going to be a total basket-case by the time she’s twelve! Big hugs to you and Soda!

    • Thanks Jayme. A one year old Aussie sounds gorgeous! You’re right, the bond is instantaneous and so profound, and just gets deeper over time. You’re so lucky to have each other. (PS. The upside of 12 is longer sleep ins for both of you!) x

  7. Julie says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only person to talks to their dog! I talk to Missy and Olive ALL THE TIME! Brian caught me doing it the other day and I realized that maybe it was embarassing? lol

  8. erica says:

    I feel like I could’ve written this post. we’re the same age and all…down to how your husband thinks your love for soda just shows your maternal instinct.

    • Thanks Erica – its nice to know I’m not the only one. I have to say there’s something in their thinking. I would do anything for Soda, and I’m sure you would be the same. I think it was Oprah who said “Biology is the least of things that makes a person a mother”. x

  9. Hi Serena, I read Pretty Fluffy fairly regularly but don’t think I’ve ever commented… so hi!
    Loved this post, am struggling at the moment with the ‘warts and all’ of blogging. Such a fine line to balance on, it’s so tricky to get right but then I think I shouldn’t be thinking so much about it and just BLOG!
    Our cavocker Tessa is 5, sort of just left the young dog phase and I’ve noticed a difference in her. I work from home with Tess at my feet, we live in an isolated area (an hour to the nearest town) so all day every day it’s just me and Tess. I sometimes wonder what life will be like without her, one day. Because it’s just me and her from 7-7 every day OF COURSE I talk to her. ALL THE TIME. I ask her what I should have for lunch, if she’d like to come check the chickens with me. I’m the crazy dog lady too.

    • Hi Emma! I can totally see you and Tess checking the chickens 🙂 To be honest I was a bit scared about putting this post up that I pushed it back for a long time. But now that its done its a relief to share, and such a beautiful thing to see that others can relate. Thank YOU x

  10. Allison says:

    I can pretty much agree with every single one of these points with me and my dog, Wallace. I think all it really means is that we have giant hearts, for our friends, family, and pups.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for sharing! Number 2 is a big one for me. I’m 28 but I’ve had people ask over & over when we’re having kids…I’m not good with kids and they freak me out. Dogs are easy. I just wish I could take my dog everywhere kids can go! Also, I am always asking my dog how “doggy day-care” was (he plays with my in-law’s dogs while we’re at work) and if he had a good night’s sleep, etc. Dogs are so special!

    • I know – dogs are so much easier for me than kids. I always joke I’m like Robin in HIMYM (hope you know that show!) and that I’m missing the child friendly chip. It really is nice to know I’m not alone (including the talking!!) 🙂

  12. love this! I love my pets to and kids not so much so I guess I feel the same way too lol 🙂

    Rowdy Fairy Blog
    Follow Me on Bloglovin!

  13. Oh Serena this post just made me love you even more!! I can completely relate to your worries about life after Soda, but enjoying every minute with him now, knowing how blessed you are to have him in your life will mean you can cherish your memories with him + know he will be in your heart with you forever. And for the record I think you’re super cool. Oh and I talk to Charlie ALL the time! xxx

    • Thanks Rach – living in the moment is something I constantly tell myself to do whenever those thoughts creep in. You’re completely right, we’re blessed to have them for the time we do.
      Ha – yes got my cool pants on today 😉 xx

  14. Oops, I did mean *her, not him…. xxx

  15. Hi Serena,
    You are an inspiration to us dog lovers. Thank you for your genuine posts that allow us to connect with you on a level I think only dog lovers know about. These points on ‘things I’m afraid to tell you’ rings true in my head all the time.
    I have a toddler and I think the best thing you can do is to teach them how to love your dog just as you do and suddenly you will see this wonderful connection between all of you. =)

    • Oh Hazel, thank you for such a beautiful, supportive comment.
      Your tip about teaching a child to love and appreciate dogs to widen that connection is heart warming. I will always remember that going forward x

  16. Cristi says:

    I feel the exact same way regarding the whole children scenario. I love Remi more then I love children at this moment. And I can’t imagine my life without Remi as well.

  17. Alice says:

    This is a great post! It almost feels like I wrote it, although I’d have to replace the dog bits with the cats, as I don’t have a dog at the moment. 🙂 And pets do talk back, if not vocally they do other things, so don’t feel weird about it! I’m pretty sure all pet lovers understand you.

    & You’re a very cool blogger to me! I love coming here.

    • Alice says:

      P.S. I can’t wait for Mad Men to return! It’ll be the final season though. 🙁

    • Aw thanks so much Alice. I think cats are awesome too. I’ve never lived with one, but we have nicknames for the cats that live in our street 🙂
      And you’re right – I think they DO understand us, Soda certainly gives me a look from time to time that says ‘You’re an idiot!’ ha ha 🙂

      PS. Cannot wait for Don and Betty to be back!!

  18. Eileen K. says:

    Oh Serena – I so know exactly where you are coming from. I am almost three years out from losing my precious baby, Murphy, a miniature Australian Shepherd. He was 12 years old when he passed from cancer. Not a day goes by that I don’t still think about him and even still shed tears over his loss. That’s the tough thing about pets. But I wouldn’t have traded those 12 years with him for ANYTHING in the world….

    • I’m so sorry for your loss Eileen, I can tell your love for him is something you with always carry with you. I bet those 12 years were wonderful for both of you. A friend of mine still lights a candle for her dog every night to remember him. They leave such an impact on our hearts we can never forget them. Sending you peace and love – and hugs to Murphy up there! xx

  19. I can not even begin to imagine my life without Charlie. He is my baby. I talk to him all the time as well and include him in as much of my daily life as possible – if I could take him to work I would! Lisa xo

    • I know – it would be amazing to have your dog by your side daily. I actually have turned down jobs that would have had me travelling for long periods of time away from my furry family.
      Charlie sounds like he’s lucky to have such a loving mum! x

  20. Chasely says:

    Anyone who didn’t tear up after reading number one… omg. I’m trying not to blubber at my work desk as I type!

    Reading that reminds me not to take any time with your dogs, family and loved ones.


  21. jo says:

    Great article Serena and nice to hear your honesty.
    I’m 36, I don’t have a dog (believe it or not) or any children! What the hell am I doing with my life ; )
    It’s all fine though, we just do what we do and make sure we are happy. And what makes PF special is your imput, green smoothies or not.
    x x x

    • Thanks so much Jo! That’s exactly what I love about the response to this article though – we’re all unique and have different ways of expressing ourselves – whether we love our dogs to insane degrees or other things that make us special.
      Thanks for your lovely comment xx

  22. Stephanie says:

    So very beautiful and honest Serena. I know I can definitely relate with all of the points you bring up. You watch all the Mad Men you want with Soda and forget the rest. You are as cool, clever, and lovely as they come! xox + paw five, Steph and Harvey

  23. Devon says:

    Hi…seems like other people have expressed the same sentiment…but I have an 11 year old border collie named Kirby, and every time I think about him passing I tear up (oh look, happened again). He’s neurotic and anti-social and cranky but he’s mine. I joke with my fiance that he comes below Kirby on my list of my favorite people…but I’m not really kidding. And I need nothing more from him than to be there when Kirby moves to the big dog park to the sky (oh look I’m tearing up again)

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not as crazy as I sometimes suspect, or at least that I’m not alone!

    • Um Devon, are we the same person? 🙂 My husband joked that it must have been me commenting on my own post when he read your comment!

      Thanks for such a lovely comment – it’s nice to know we’re all in this together. Hugs to Kirby xx

  24. […] my Two Bright Lights inbox.   While preparing this post I was reminded of  Serena’s post Things I’m Afraid to Tell You and while I’m not really afraid to admit this, it did cross my mind that people might think […]

  25. Colleen says:

    leaky eyes starting at #1 as I had to say good-bye to my Riley last Saturday. Cancer – inoperable – age 9 – you never know when, where or how. I am glad for every photo, for every walk, every car ride, for making him special dinners and homemade treats, for the memories he has left me – sustain me. He will always live in my heart and in my soul. His was my teacher on earth when it came to unconditional love. He will be forever in my heart as my most faithful, enduring four legged love. He passed with his best friend holding him (that would be me), surrounded by a lifetime of love. His ashes in the plain box sit on my counter and remind me to never take for granted the gifts that God gives you, in whatever form they are in your life, hold them dear. I miss him so much …

    • Oh Colleen, my heart is breaking for you. Your words show such grace, strength and wisdom. I can tell that Riley was very loved, and so were you. You’re both so lucky to have had such a special relationship, that while it now may live on in a different form, it will always be there.
      Know that here you’ll always have people who understand. Sending you lots of love xx

  26. Leslee says:

    Serena, this was probably one of the best blog posts I have ever read. I can relate so much to what you wrote. I have three dogs, two Scotties and a Bichon. They are my fur babies and I love them more than anything. I’m away at graduate school on the other side of the country right now and my parents are puppy sitting them for me. Thankfully I can FaceTime with my pups (and my parents) but it still isn’t the same as a cold puppy noise against my check or a tail wag when I walk in the door. I’ve been away for a year and a half and all I think about is how I can’t get that time back with them. I turned thirty last February and I thought when I hit that age I would be ready for children but I’m not. I’m perfectly content with my dogs. I often think that I am the only one who feel this connected to their dogs and I am so thankful to know that I am not alone. Thank you for creating such a wonderful blog. It is such a treat to read everyday especially when I’m feeling homesick. I have made many of your DIY projects and treats from your cookbook (The Pack gives the book 4 paws up!). Keep on blogging! 🙂

    • Thankyou so much for such a beautiful comment Leslee. They’re such special parts of our lives, that even when we’re not with them, they’re at the top of our thoughts!
      So glad you enjoy the site – its all about celebrating that bond and enjoying the time we have together xx

  27. Bree says:

    Oh Serena, you are just too lovely (and a VERY cool blogger!). I admire your courage to share such things; I have too much fear to write such a post. May I have a cup of your strength, please? I’m glad to have met you xx

  28. a says:

    Link exchange is nothing else except it is only placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at suitable place
    and other person will also do same in support of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pick of the Week