Cindy DeCarolis

I Never Expected To Fall So In Love

I never expected to fall so head over heels in love with Asta. I always knew I wanted to have a dog and I knew its name would be Asta, from the Thin Man movies. When I met the breeder in a mall parking lot in a Baltimore suburb, it was a bright, crisp March day. He handed me two puppies, one in each hand, both males.

The puppy in my right hand was listless and lethargic. His fur was sparse and his eyes were pink; he was small and lifeless. The puppy in my left hand was full of life, his fur was white and soft, his eyes were bright. He scrambled up my arm and licked my face, his tail wagging like a metronome. I knew in that instant – this was Asta and he was asking me to bring him home.

At the time, I was 45 years old, single, and I lived alone. Asta became my constant companion and my family. When I traveled for work – sometimes for months at a time – he traveled with me. Always a trooper, whatever situation I threw him into, Asta adjusted. When I met and started dating my husband, he knew that Asta was part of the package.

When we lost Asta to a rare nerve disease at 11 years old, I was heartbroken. It may seem odd to say this, but I think it was harder losing Asta than losing my father. Your parents aren’t necessarily a part of your everyday life as an adult. But your pets are, giving you unconditional love and affection and relying on you to care for them.

After about six months I started to feel ready to get another dog. Serendipitously, we found Barry at Lollypop Farm. Once again, I felt like I had found the dog that was meant for me and he was asking me to take him home. I kind of believed he was an angel dog sent to me by Asta. After all, he was a stray and I couldn’t imagine anyone giving up such an adorable lovebug.

You may be wondering why I am writing about dogs in a blog about health, wellness, and aging gracefully. Well, here’s the thing – pets are great for your physical, mental, and emotional health in many ways.

Not exercising? Dogs need to be walked at least twice a day. There you go – now you are exercising and getting outdoors in the fresh air.

Depressed? They say that one of the best things you can do to help with depression is to focus on someone else. Your dog needs you to feed him, walk him, play with him, and love him (or her.)

Feeling lonely? Dogs are wonderful companions. And small dogs are great cuddlers.

I find that having a dog in the house only expands the amount of fun, laughter, and love. I highly recommend it!

At Blissful Balance LLC, our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Contact me at for a complimentary consultation. You can also visit doTerra to purchase essential oils.