watered by the village dog…


Kobayashi Issa


Some of you may know that there are many branches of 12 step recovery. There is a group for just about every addiction and for the families and friends that are associated with the addict.

There may need to be a special group called Ala-Dog. LOL

In the last twenty-one years I have raised and fostered many dogs.  I am happy to say these dogs were cared for in a sober home. My punk rock dog that I had in the 80’s maybe not so much. We gave her beer and she basically lived with us above a bar on a roof. She never went hungry or had any real trauma, but when I looked back on her life, she was in a lot of danger. She spent the last 5 years of her life in a house I bought to make amends to her.

Ten years after I got sober I adopted and rescued dogs and put my heart and soul into rescuing dogs for the next 9 years. I even put in a pool for one dog who had special needs leg problems. My life was all about dogs.

In 2009, I switched out of rescue and began volunteering for music event fundraisers and teaching rock to young girls.

But I still have an adopted three-legged, one-eyed dog I raised from a puppy. This crazy puppy has really taught me to lighten up and be happy. She has grown up with such love and crazy fun and thankfully I have a pool that helps her legs.

One of my sober friends who comes to the pool with her dog frequently in the summer says this,”I think my dog may be teaching me how to love in a healthy way again. I still get a little wrapped up in what I may be doing to her from time to time, either detrimental or beneficial. But I can pull myself out of it when I remember that I am not in control of everything in the world, or even the small one I share with her. She has her own personality and shares it freely with other people and dogs. There may be scuffles from time to time, but she truly lives in the moment and when it’s over, she’s done with it. I am continually learning from her to react honestly and immediately to a situation, and then to let it go. This feels really weird to do to an alcoholic, but it’s so much better to live this way! Having a dog is one of the more difficult things I’ve embarked on, especially since the one I chose is so “energetic” and outspoken… But they say you don’t get the dog you want, you get the dog you need. I got her right before I got sober, and she has been an anchor in my life since, which I definitely needed.”

Tom Waits

Rain Dog 1985

Urban Dictionary Rain Dog


1. Rain dog
A Rain Dog is a dog caught in the rain, with its whole trail washed away by the water so he can’t get back home. A stranded dog, who wants nothing better than to get home.People who live outdoors, people who sleep in doorways, loners knit together by some corporeal way of sharing pain and discomfort.

A term coined by Tom Waits on his album named Rain Dogs

Inside a broken clock
Splashing the wine with all the rain dogs
Taxi, we’d rather walk
Huddle a doorway with the rain dogs
For I am a rain dog too(from Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs)