The Meant To Be Stuff


I woke up on May 6, 2014 with a jump. I put Jack on the school bus and when I returned upstairs, I decided I needed a golden retriever in my life. So I started googling, looking for a North NJ breeder. And $1600 later, an 8-week-old pup was ours. All ours. 

Longtime Storked! readers know all about my Brandy girl. I got her when I was 13 and even though she was designated the fam dog, she was mine. I walked her. I fed her. I trained her. I played with her. I nicknamed her “Little” and “Moocha.” Brandy slept on my bed. She was as loyal as they come.

In 1997 I had a complete Spinal Fusion (14 hrs of surgery) to treat aggressive Scoliosis. It was bad and messing with my lungs. I was so scared to have that surgery. I cried, hunched in my closet so many nights and Brandy, to this day, is the only living being that knew—until now, hi worldwide web!

I was treated at Columbia Pres. in NYC by Dr. David Roye. My sweet Nanny (RIP) and my Great Uncle Carmen held down Casa Coppa, taking care of Carlo, 17 and Bri, 13 and Brandy, since my parents stayed in NYC with me. My Nanny would tell me how Brandy would lay on the floor in my peach-walled room or just sleep outside my bedroom door. Brandy was the best. At 16, that girl was my whole heart. She was true love.

The day my parents drove me home from the hospital, I was in pain, scared and anxious. As we pulled up to my sprawling childhood property, I saw Brandy, sitting steadfast at the front door behind the screen door. My dad helped me out of the car and walked me toward the porch. Brandy knew. She knew I was sick. At three-years-old, that sweet girl knew. She did not jump, or wiggle. She followed my dad, leading me up to the third floor where my Uncle Carmen was waiting with a gorgeous Italian meal. I wasn’t hungry, but this I knew was the good life. This was as good as it gets: Family, food, wine.

I sat at the table with my brothers, parents, Nanny and uncle. My leg spasmed and charlie-horsed up. Brandy laid quietly next to me. When my mom took me upstairs to my room, Brandy followed. I remember, clear as day, my mom helping me change into clean PJs and Brandy just sitting and watching. When I settled into bed, Brandy jumped up and rested her gentle face on my stomach. Those big brown eyes. This was true love. She never left my side through my 3-month recovery. She sniffed and hovered over the teachers that came to home-school me. She greeted my friends with a wagging tail. She sat outside the bathroom while my mom helped me shower. She was skeptical of balloon and flower deliveries. That sweet girl helped me heal.

Brandy died in 2004. I was 23 and working at , living in NYC in a teeny apt. It was Spring 2005 Fashion Week (which takes place in Fall 04) and I was to attend the Baby Phat fashion show and after-party. But uncle Brian called to tell me Brandy died peacefully in his lap in our home. And I wept at my desk and went home. Carlo, Brian and I buried our sweet, loyal girl in our yard. The yard where we all played. I was broken up for … for so long.


Maybe the universe is working. Maybe God is looking out for me. I brought home Lucia “Lucy,” one week before I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. And I know this sweet girl is here for a reason and I know she will see me through … And I know she is here for my Jack. His protector … Like Brandy protected me. The circle of life.



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