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This is 15 minutes of freedom. I'm your host Ryan Nadella and today is a day my lovely wife is in the studio with me. How are you sweetheart? Hi baby, I'm good. That's good. That's good. And today I want to talk about how doing the right thing is always the right thing. And I'll just start with the fact of we shit yesterday. So today we're recording on a tuesday which if you're watching the facebook live you know that it's tuesday um but when you listen to this podcast it were saturday but yesterday monday we had to put zeus down and if you've been listening to the podcast for a while you know that zeus has been sick and battling lymphoma for the past 18 months. And this past week, we ran out of options for him for chemo treatments. His lymphoma became resistant, and there were no good viable options that weren't going to put him at more risk for harm than good. So we elected as a family to give him comfort care and his lymphoma in the absence of any chemotherapy, not only was it resistant, but it was extremely aggressive. And so in a span of seven days, he went from our smiling, happy pit bull to really you know declining very fast to the point where we had to put him to rest and give him peace i appreciate you sharing that part sweetheart i think it's important to give a little bit of background on what i thought was why this hurt so bad. So Zeus was the first dog that I bought as a grown man.
Dealing With Painful Losses
Why Letting Go Hurts (02:08)
Yeah, he was your first adult dog. And the background story on Zeus was, if you followed along this journey, the story might be a little redundant but if not i i implore you to keep listening um i used to work at a dealership called crown mercedes bends here in columbus actually dublin ohio and we had this phenomenal car detailer named scott schrader and scott bred pitbulls and also had pitbulls, right? It wasn't a job for him. He's a true animal advocate. He loved his pit bulls. And he had bred his female. And one of our lot techs, one of our porters, bought one of his females from him. I think maybe the pick of the litter. And as time progressed, this gentleman's name is Adam. Adam decided to breed his dog. Well, if you're not unfamiliar with the car dealership world, a porter is literally someone that at a Mercedes-Benz store, if you come in for a complimentary car wash or get your car serviced, he was the one that would hop in it, drive it, wash it, wipe it down, and bring it back to you. And so myself as a general sales manager, used cars manager, whatever the title would have been at that point, I overheard him talking about that. And I asked what his plans were. Like once he bred his dog, what was going to happen? He said, well, I'm going to sell him. And of course I asked if he had had one sold yet. And he said, no. I said, okay. Somehow along the lines, I said, look, I'll if he had had one sold yet, and he said no. I said, okay. Somehow along the lines, I said, look, I'll pay you right now to have a pick of the litter. Well, this is not more than a week before I end up heading over to Midwestian Auto Group, a high-end store across the street. And admittedly, from this vantage point, I probably forgot that I even gave him the money. That sounds like you. Absolutely. And his dog hadn't been bred yet. Nothing had taken yet. And things progress. You know, I was a Midwestern Auto Group for a year, maybe a year and a half. And at some point, as I was reaching the backside of my time there, he shared with me that everything took, right? That his dog was now going to give birth to puppies. I don't know what the right terminology is today. I'm shot. Pregnant. And so I remember going to this little town called Marysville, which oddly enough is where Miles was from, my best friend that died almost a year ago, almost to the day when Zeus died, about an 11-day difference. And went and after the puppies came out and they were still eyes closed like almost right away. Couldn't take one yet. And I picked out what I thought was the biggest, best-looking pit bull. He was the meatball. Yeah, and at maybe a week or 10 days days old I think it's probably difficult to determine which one's going to be the best. Oh for sure they all look the same. But I picked my one based off of his markings. You know he had white feet so it was pretty easy to know which one was going to be him. So at that point I'd already taken a job at the hosting company and was driving back and forth to Akron and got the phone call that I could come get him. And it was, you know, Scott was helping along the process. And he said, you know, at six weeks, it's a really good time. So they bond to you, maybe a little early to take him from their mother, but you want to create that bond.
The six-week Mark (05:37)
He just really liked the six-week mark. So at six weeks, Zeus is an adult puppy or adult dog was in between what you say, 58 and 62 pounds. Yep, that was his swing. I had Zeus when I could literally hold him in the palm of my hand. Like he was small enough that when I picked him up, I had pictures where I could literally carry him in one hand and like he would straddle my arm and just be past my wrist. And so at that point, I was driving back and forth to Akron every day. Which from Columbus is how long of a drive? Two hours? I'd say an hour and a half each way. And Zeus would sit in the front seat, actually at that point on the floor in the front, underneath the heater, driving back and forth. He loves to be toasty. Yeah. And just driving back and forth consistently and having him be socialized with people around the office. And literally for the first probably four or five months of his life, he could sit on my lap while I was working. Like he was a part of me and very fortunately I had forgotten all about these pictures back then we had a masseuse that we had come to the office every Friday and this masseuse his name was Kristen is Kristen and she absolutely loved Zeus so did everybody and so she had pictures that she had posted on Facebook from 2012 of Zeus prior to his ears getting trimmed clipped cropped cropped it's okay baby prior to any of that stuff and admittedly like when I got when I saw those this morning like I lost it again yeah it's a very hard transition for our family Like when I saw those this morning, like I lost it again. Yeah, it's a very hard transition for our family. Yeah. And I promise this is going somewhere. So just stick with me.
Chris background with zeus, the idea of losing an animal (07:35)
I promise. And so life continues, right? You know the story of the twists and turns of my life. You know the business that was successful and then the business that failed you know about the multiple relationships and now my lovely wife sitting across from me you know all these pieces and parts that go into making me who i am but the one consistent from all this time period, was Zeus. Like he's, he's the part. And so obviously there's this tough feeling of realizing that that part is gone. But laughingly, as we found out 18 months ago that zeus had cancer and i posted a live video on facebook yeah i remember that crying on the couch it's before all this stuff started before the podcast before i was known as I'm known now. It was before being authentically vulnerable was a cool thing to talk about. It was before entrepreneurs everywhere decided to hop on that bandwagon. It was just real unadulterated emotion. Lindsay had called me and said the test results came back and the juice had cancer. And I sobbed. Right. And I don't even know why, but I went live on Facebook sharing it. Like, I don't think I certainly had done some things comparable, but not like that. I shared, I said, we're sitting on the far corner of our couch. If you go to my personal Facebook page and scroll back, I mean, we're going to, it's going to be 18 months ago. You'll find it somewhere. And just sharing this pain. Unfortunately, my wife obviously has an immense skill set as it comes to veterinary care. Now, the better part of her life has been spent in veterinary medicine. And so not that she is numb to this, but she has seen dogs go through different seasons of their lives and watch them transition into whatever comes after this life. Yes. And so she provided immense stability for me in a time of uncertainty. And so I thank you for that.
Efficacy of treatment, the importance of understanding (10:06)
Of course, baby. I know it's really difficult and it's not that I'm not completely torn up about losing him, but you're right. My background in oncology and treating so many hundreds of patients for so many years. My medical mind says we were so extremely fortunate because out of 18 months of treatment and really every aggressive chemotherapy we could possibly throw at him, that dog had not a single bad day until his last day not a single one and so that's a victory for me yes because i remember you coming home that day and i was sitting there crying like i'm i'm in shambles because here's this part of my life that has been the only consistent like zeus zeus was a like this loving, caring dog. Like I don't really know how to describe. And we all have our own bias towards how our animals are. But we have two distinctly different pit bulls. We have Zeus that is full of love. Like he is only 100% love. There's not a mean, upset, angry bone in his body ever. No, we were talking about yesterday like he'd never had a single grumpy day not one single grumpy day always smiling always happy always tail wagging and then we have roman who we say has like a person inside of him like he opens doors and he has an attitude and he doesn't like people walking in the front door like he's just they're just way different and it's really ironic that i say that out loud and as i'm processing this real time i share so often about the duality of everything in nature that i believe that we equate to like a sum zero balance and that's true for inside of our household as it pertained to two dogs. Oh, for sure. And it's very interesting to see part of that duality not be there this morning. But Lindsay comes home and discusses a protocol and says she knows what to do and we'll go get them staged and we'll do all these things. And she does. She just takes control. And admittedly, I have to relinquish control because it was outside the scope of my understanding and my run rate in which I would be able to catch up didn't make sense to even try. I'd like to divert for just a second and encourage you to consider where in life you're trying to figure things out for yourself when you don't have to. Yeah. Like when you're taking this long, hard road, like in this situation, I could have said, hold off. Don't do anything until I do all the research.
When to relinquish control - When you are taking the wrong route (12:54)
Like I can figure this out, but there was no reason not to just pay to get to the front of the line and have her do what she knows how to do. And so we take Zeus to the veterinary hospital where Lindsay worked at for... Whoa, geez, I think 10 years cumulatively. Yeah. And they come up with a protocol. And I ask a ton of questions. I don't know anything about this. And we had noticed that Zeus was looking different because he was slowly growing lumps on his neck.
Barely perceptible changes - Lymph Node, Liquid Biopsy (13:22)
And we'd watch those lumps for what I feel like is a couple months because it was, you know, he's always eating something or rolling around in something like he's just a dog. Yeah. He had one submandibular lymph node right underneath his chin and dogs have salivary glands and lymph nodes there and they sit in the same spot. And he had gone swimming and he had been chewing on a stick and I was like throwing in the water and he was coming back with it. And he had pulled it into pieces and he was choking on it. And so it was probably about three or four days after that that I noticed the lump. I was like, oh, you totally stabbed yourself with a stick or you got some kind of bug in the water. And this one lymph node was a little bit up and not terrible but none of his other lymph nodes were abnormal and so we watched it it wasn't a couple of months it was a week or two it's not to degrade your no animal owner sweetheart that wasn't it that's my bias of what happened that's my recollection and so we go through this the first round of chemo right there's all these you know my my cognitive bias as i call it as the first round of chemo, right? And there's all these, you know, my, my cognitive bias, as I call it, as it pertains to chemo is that he's going to lose all of his hair.
Understanding our Own Limited Knowledge (14:24)
He's going to be incredibly sick. He's going to be lethargic. And he was going in once every other week, once a week. So his kind of protocol is once a week for the first four weeks and then every other week thereafter for a total of 19 weeks. weeks and then every other week thereafter for a total of 19 weeks. Um, and what's crazy is when Lindsay first brought this up to me, the man I was then who is not the man I am now instantly asked, well, how much is it going to cost? Yeah. That was my default check down was, okay, we want to fix the dog. I bought the dog for $850 or so. I can replace it, put bull for X. How much does this cost? And admittedly, I don't remember the dollar amount. I think at that point he told me 2,500 or three grand. And I said, okay, let's do it. Like after a little debate back and forth, that was a man I was 18 months ago, not the man I am today. Like this process of progress that I refer to as a consistent ongoing battle. And if you think at any point during this show, this podcast, Lindsay and I's relationship, that we have literally 100% of everything figured out, you're lying to yourself. Yeah. We definitely don't. Like this is the part that you guys might not understand. This is the part that I don't know if I do the greatest job in sharing. Like the books and the training and the studying and the courses and the coaching and everything that I do is to elevate my sense of awareness and my understanding. And I promise I'm going to get to that here shortly because it applies right now. And so after the 19 week protocol, I still have a picture in my phone in which Zeus is at MedVet wearing a blue bandana tied around his neck, looking incredibly happy, saying he beat cancer. Yep. he was fully in remission. Admittedly, after his second treatment of the 19-week protocol, he was in remission and he never came out. But you finish the course.
What this means (16:32)
So he beat it. And so for me, not having an understanding of what this means, I instantly think, okay, we're going to have years now. And Lindsay does a great job of explaining to me that maybe if we're lucky that happens, but typically you get 12 months or six months or... Yeah, the average time is eight to 12 months, depending on their type of cancer, because there's two kinds of lymphomas. And if you're really lucky, you get 18 months before the lymphoma returns or it becomes resistant and they pass and so she said shares this and I saw pictures on my phone as well like the day we found out he got cancer I took pictures of him we have our stairs go up into an L yeah we have a landing a landing in. And Zeus, the day we found out, I went around the corner to see him and he's sitting on the stairs with Roman next to him. And I took a picture. And then I took that same picture yesterday. As he couldn't open his eyes anymore. Yeah. as he couldn't open his eyes anymore. Yeah. Unfortunately, when he woke up yesterday, his lymph nodes in his neck had become so swollen that it made his face swollen and his eyes were swollen shut. And so we get through this remission stage. And we're incredibly fortunate that Lindsay has a great relationship with her ex-husband. Because her ex-husband. Because her ex-husband is a phenomenal specialist as far as imaging goes with dogs. Yeah, he's an internal medicine specialist. And so he was able to take images over and over again of what Zeus had going on. Because we had this idea that his cancer, although it presented itself in his neck, that we believed it had started in his spleen. And so every six months or four months or some sort of deal at this point, Lindsay was taking Zeus over to her ex-husband's house and having him imaged so we could see what was going on. Because he never showed signs of anything. Certainly not during this first time. And then she goes over and all of a sudden the cancer's back. and all of a sudden the cancer's back. Yep. So he had, I think, nine months, maybe 10, of complete remission. No lymph nodes, no splenic abnormalities. Everything internally was fine. Externally was fine. He was normal. And then we did his routine check, which was about every three months, sometimes six weeks. which was about every three months, sometimes six weeks. And he had just a few spots on his spleen that were a little abnormal. So we aspirated those, which is sticking a little needle in there, getting out some cells, and it was lymphoma. But none of his other lymph nodes were enlarged in his abdomen, peripherally, any of that. So in my mind at this point, I'm an eternal optimist. Like, okay, it's like three days into my mind. Cancer just come back. It just said hello. Like, what can we do to save him now? And we look at the 19 treatments plus the time that he had out. In my mind, it's almost a year at that point. Yeah, it was almost a year to date. And just the progression of that year. From that point forward, I never asked what things cost. Yeah. It just didn't matter. And so he gets treated more. Yep. We put him on a different protocol and watched his spleen every two weeks to see what would happen and nothing changed and so again I'm thinking this is awesome like we're ahead of this curve we're gonna we're gonna beat this thing and so we have a plan in place because there's multiple different types of cancer and this is lindsey's arena but i'm going to paraphrase it because i'm going to assume that if you're listening you're more of a neophyte like i am than a specialist like she is and there's two types of different cancer and the lymphoma cancer that he had was presenting itself as one way and potentially this splen splenetic cancer is presenting itself as another way so we have a plan that we will just have him go into surgery and we'll remove his spleen because if we take out a spleen we're going to get more time yep and something in me says just wait a week just wait and i say it out to i say to lindsey and again i i think we discussed costs, but it wasn't a thing of like, it's going to be too much money, which is more of a general, like, Oh, just so you know, the surgery is going to be X number of dollars. So let's just wait a week and see what happens. And in that week time period, all of his, like everything comes back. Yeah. His limb, he was scheduled for surgery on a Thursday, and we decided to push it to the following Thursday. And by that Monday or Tuesday, his lymph nodes came back. And they hadn't been back for well over a year, and everything was completely indolent within his spleen. So surgery's out. So with surgery being out, like now I'm in panic mode because I don't have the answer. Like I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle it. And so I'm just asking and asking and asking all these questions. Like what can we do? What about this? There has to be something. And we tried more. We did. We gave him actually four different protocols of treatments. And unfortunately, as it's with most lymphomas, when they return, they're more aggressive and more resistant. And so he failed four different protocols.
Early signs of departure (22:39)
four different protocols and each time that we gave him chemo he never got ill but his remission time or his lymph node downgrade was significantly less than what it should be so we knew it wasn't going to work and so now i'm faced with this piece that they're zeus's imminent demise is coming upon us much more rapidly than I was prepared for. And there'll be a show that airs in a few weeks where I discuss this as almost a foreshadowing event to realizing that by the time that podcast aired that he'd be dead. Yeah.
Ratio of white blood cell to red blood cell (23:17)
Admittedly, I'm probably trying to do that to talk myself through it so it wouldn't be as painful as it would end up being. That didn't work. Because I had shared with Lindsay when he first got cancer that she was going to have to fight me on when to put him down. Yeah. We had this big, long discussion of end of life. Same things I used to discuss with clients on checklists for their animals on when it's time to humanely euthanize. And I went back and forth and said, you're going to have to, you're going to have to convince me, like you're going to have to do so much. Like I'm not going to want to pull the plug. And so if we go back, I'll say 10 days from today, Zeus is wrestling with his brother in our living room barking at the front door just being his meatball self eating we'd switch him to a raw food diet and he would absolutely love to eat the dude loved to eat he alternately was called fat kid and then progressively over the past 8 to 7 to ten days, it's like I see his stomach getting larger. I admittedly don't want to look at the facts of this situation, like the facts where it was visibly getting larger, and I buried my head in the sand because I didn't want to face the reality that the time was coming. You see, I knew for some reason that he would go close to March 3rd. That's when miles passed. And so I'd already kind of concocted how it would go. And so over the past seven days now, his stomach keeps getting bigger. Yeah, his spleen is swelling and his abdominal lymph nodes are swelling. And he starts not being quite so energetic. And then we get to this weekend and this past weekend we don't have our daughter Gianna. She's with her father. Yeah. And just Lindsay and I and the two dogs. I know on Saturday morning that he's off. Yeah, he just seemed a little tired. He still was eating and trotting around, but he was just kind of a little less spunky. And Lindsay and I go out looking at cars and doing things and just spending time together. And I'd say to her something along the lines of, we're not going to get as long as I want. Yeah, you had asked me to get him through March and I told you that probably wasn't going to be possible. And so Sunday rolls around and on, he's just not himself. He's slow. He's laying down. He still cares enough about us as a family to go to the door and want to go outside. He's still wagging his tail, and he's still giving us kisses, and he's still giving us kisses and he's still eating his food and he's obliging his brother with a little bit of play but nothing that is normal for zeus and in between those times he slowly walks back over to the carpet and lays down to take the pressure off of his spine from his spleen and his stomach, filling up with God knows what. It's over the course of the weekend.
Who can do these things for you? use local stories in over indulgence. (26:27)
I'm getting up with him early, letting him out, laying with him on the floor in the morning. And then Monday rolls around. Let him outside early comes back upstairs he does what Zeus does eventually comes back downstairs and I'm seeing that he's having trouble keeping his eyes open it's almost like just grimacing with pain but he won't show it Gianna's with her father still. She doesn't have school. It's President's Day. Yeah. And I said to her, look, you're going to have to get Gianna here. Like, this is going to end up having to happen today. Yep. We weren't going to let him suffer. That's not the point. Yep. We weren't going to let him suffer. That's not the point. So Lindsay runs some errands in the morning and ends up getting Gianna and Gianna comes to the house and we spend all day with Zeus. We laid out all the beds in the house and all the blankets and all the pillows because he didn't really want to move around. We got board games and puzzles and everything that he liked to do with us as a family because when we would play board games on the floor, he would always have to like get his nose in there and lay on it and move around the pieces and see what was going on. So we let him be a part of that and we spent the whole day on the floor with him. Pumped him full of pain meds and anti-nausea meds and made him as comfortable as possible, knowing that it was going to be his last day. This whole time he's laying on the ground, paws spread out so the weight's all on his stomach to, I'd assume, take the pressure off his spine and his eyes are barely opening. and he keeps licking me like he always did that is one thing that Zeus was really good at just his kisses our original time when Lindsay called in the morning to have him euthanized at a vet very close to our house was 5 o'clock and by the time Gianna gets over to our house somewhere between 11 and 12 said like we gotta call and move it up yeah I gotta spend less time with my dog cause he's hurting and so we move it to 4 up. I gotta spend less time with my dog because he's hurting. And so we move it to four. And I try to walk him. He can't walk. And it's just like it's literally killing me inside. So we load him in the car Gianna, Lindsay and I and the man loves to go for a ride he really does that was one of his favorite things we end up at the animal hospital the veterinary clinic we get out of the car and his tail is wagging. He's happy. Hair's not standing up on the back of his body from the pain. There's this glimmer for a second of, man, maybe there's this chance. Maybe this is not what we have to do. So we bend down and we take a selfie. As a family. As a family with Zeus in front of the veterinary clinic. And we walk inside and we're shown to this small room. And it feels like an eternity. Waiting for the vet to come in. And we're laying on the floor with Zeus and he's walking around the room and he's still smelling and licking and eyes are open and his tail's wagging. I'm like, man, this is incredible. We're not going to have to do this. Something's going to change. And then within a minute or two, he's laying on his bed and his eyes are closed and he's on his stomach. And I curl up behind him, put him on his side, and put my right arm underneath his head. And she got down on the floor with him. And I stayed behind to help put his catheter in. He's looking at my face and he's, it's almost like he's trying to comfort me as he's about to pass on. Which is the definition of what that dog was. And so he's cradled in my arms and he gets his last shots and I feel his body finally go limp. And he kills me. But it's also that moment of relief.
Losing Zeus (31:59)
Because I know he's not suffering. Yeah. And I know he's not in pain anymore. But now the burden of pain completely transfers from him to us. Yes. And Gianna is having, she's never lost an animal. So she is hyperventilating almost, saying, no, no, don't do this. Bring him back. It's okay, Meatball. You're going to be fine. And for her little nine-year-old self, it was very hard to process and to leave him in that room. So I asked Lindsay and Gianna to step out, and I say my final goodbye to Zeus. And then we get to get home and see our other pitbull Roman. Who's so lost. Who's actively pacing and whining looking for his brother because he's never known a life without Zeus. There's no way for us to explain it to him. There's no way that he can get it. There's no way anything. It's the last evening. Just feels numb. Yeah, both of us were just like zombies. I don't even know what we did. And so I get up this morning and I use the restroom like I and so I get up this morning and I use the restroom like I always do as I'm sitting there just the day before at the same time, in the same location Zeus came in, wagging his tail licking me as he always does and I lose it again then I'm looking around the room as I'm getting back into bed and it's... Like everything's off. Everything's different. And it takes us a long time to get going this morning. Yeah, I mean... In between... Crying and sleeping and more crying. I eventually get out the door to go to the gym. I leave a little bit ahead of Lindsay. As I'm driving to the gym, all these things start going off in my head. Number one, I know he did the right thing. Oh, without question, baby. Like he doesn't deserve to be in pain and all those things. Like it's anything more than that, which selfish. The minute that he exhibited pain, like Lindsay didn't have to say, like I said it to her, and it's not a badge of honor. It's like what I thought would happen was a completely different trajectory. Like it was no longer me and what I wanted. It was him and what he needed. I knew you would get there. I mean, I never said anything because you needed to come to it on your own. So I get to the parking lot of the gym and I'm texting a good friend of mine. A guy named Mark. I'm just asking how I'm holding up. And I'm not. I'm sobbing. Much like I am now. And things start to just process differently for me. things start to just process differently for me. I go through this situation where I'm an active participant right now in an emotional event. But I'm also still a coach. And so what I've been through in the past 18 months equips me in a different way to handle the current moment situations. And so I'm texting Mark like, here's the facts. The facts are I did the right thing. We did the right thing as a family. The facts are he didn't deserve to suffer. The facts are he's an incredible dog. All these things are facts. The feelings are where I'm fucked right now. The feelings are the fact of missing a part of who I am, having literally a piece of my heart no longer with me in this moment. That's the feelings. The feelings are sorrow, remorse, shame and guilt that I couldn't have done something more. The feelings are abundant and those are what's making me hurt the way that I hurt. And then what do I want to focus on? I want to focus on the fruit. I want to focus on the gift. This entire podcast, our entire show, my entire career has been based around knowing that every day is a gift. And there's a lesson in anything if you're willing to be open and receive it and so i literally say in text messages like i'm just waiting to figure out what the gift is because i can't see it right now and then i take myself out for a second like what would i have what would i have a client do right now and as a client, I would ask them, let's evaluate this trauma. Have you ever had something like this happen before in your life?
Perspectives On Coping Mechanisms
My instant answer was no. But the factual answer is yes. You see, as a young man living in Mansfield, Ohio, so I would have been somewhere between third and fourth grade, my father traveled a lot. Wasn't home hardly at all the first two years we were there. It was rebuilding a hurricane-ridden South Dade, Florida, from a cable company's perspective. And we bagged my mom for a dog. And we found, I think, what was a free dog or free puppy. His name was Otis. We get this dog, and we bring it home, and we're so happy to share with my dad over the phone because he wasn't there. I don't remember the specifics, but there was something about Otis. He was either destructive or things like that. Bullshit excuses, right? From my current perspective, I would say. What was he? I don't know. I don't have any idea. It was a mutt. I would say from my current perspective is we didn't know how to train Otis. Right? This is before the internet. This is before figuring out dog trainers and how things work. And so this dog in my mind is probably destroying parts of our house that my dad is very prideful of. And so he gets home and takes exception to what he has seen this dog do and says the dog has to go. And there's no negotiation, there's no conversation, there's no anything. And within minutes there's an ad in the newspaper and this dog that we've grown to love over the past two to two months to six months, maybe it was a year. I have no idea at this point.
But at this point the dog is being ripped from our household. And I remember sobbing, like bawling and being so fucking mad at my dad and literally being told just to suck it up, that there wasn't a choice, that he wasn't going to have what he worked so hard for get destroyed by a fucking dog. I'm not attacking my father for this but until this current moment I didn't realize that the trauma that I had experienced as an 8 to 9 year old child had never been dealt with I didn't go through that I didn't know how to go through it so here I am 30 years almost removed I'll round up, 25 years removed, carrying around baggage of a trauma that I never dealt with. And so because all that emotion is pent up inside of me in the present day moment, when I realize that we're doing the right thing for the right reason, it's shadowed and clouded by the fact that there's old stuff. And that old stuff's been pushed down and bottled up and is miserable. And I say so often on this show and just in life that what we're seeking is seeking us. That there are no accidents. Nothing happens by chance. So, Lindsay and I are at the house on Saturday. And at some point, Amazon comes to the door. I wasn't home, but there's a single book box that gets delivered. Maybe it was Friday. It doesn't really matter.
Incidents Have Purpose (40:45)
Friday or Saturday. And it's in her name. Our Amazon account's in her name, so bring it inside and eventually I believe I open it. Yeah. I mean, we have books come from Amazon almost daily, so I just was like, oh, he got another book. But this book I hadn't ordered any books for the past at this point few weeks I just opened this book up and it's by a guy named Dr. Wayne Dyer and I believe it's called The Power of Intention and I look at it and I'm like I don't have any idea when I ordered this.
Its Intention (41:05)
And the book looks like it's from the late nineties, early two thousands. Like it's his cup, his face on the cover. It's a used book. Like none of it is making sense to when I would have ordered this. Yeah. And you said out loud, you're like, I'm not sure I ordered this. Is this right? And so I feel compelled to start reading this book. And it's actually what we do Saturday morning. Yeah, we read most of the day. And in this book, Dr. Wayne Dyer starts talking about how intention works. And that the pieces and parts of people that come into your life and situations that come into your life are all based off an intention. And that intention was set prior to you really realizing that you needed it. And so I'm reading this and reading this and I keep reading this book. And as we're driving to the animal hospital, I'm repeating over and over again in my head, I know there's something here. I know there's an intention behind this. What am I supposed to learn? What am I'm repeating over and over again in my head, I know there's something here. I know there's an intention behind this. What am I supposed to learn? What am I supposed to get? And I'm saying this in my head because I know as you're listening, it sounds probably crazy, but this is how I believe. I can't figure it out. I can't figure out what I'm supposed to learn. You're not supposed to figure it out when you're in the midst of the trauma itself. So we get home last night and Gianna's back with her father and just Lindsay and I in bed and I'm crying about different things and I share with her much of this same conversation. And I try to put together the pieces of how this all goes. And that it's easy for, as we post on social media, as we post on Instagram or Facebook, like people talk about the rainbow bridge and that we'll see Zeus again and we'll all be together. And I admittedly question over and over again like what is the afterlife not who is God not as what is the right deity to worship like what does the afterlife look like because I can't help but look at how all the pieces go together like I truly believe I brought Linda into my life the moment I saw her I realized that she was somebody that I needed and I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it and somehow I pulled that shit off and had it not been that she came into my life she would not have been able to help Zeus and we would have never caught the lymphoma and he would have died years ago and all these pieces stack up on top of each other and knowing that to me, energy can't really be created or destroyed, that it has to just transfer. Like where is he now?
Zeus As A Child (43:55)
What, what is the energy? Cause it's, and then what does it look like when you see him again? And I'm sharing all this because I get to look at this unique perspective from almost a year apart. I shared with Lindsay this morning. I think more people have reached out directly, have left me voicemails, have sent me text messages of love and appreciation, saying that they have my back. Yeah. In this moment than when my best friend Miles passed. Right. And to see the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of comments and direct messages on social media of people pouring into me and to our family. Yeah, it's been really wonderful. To see just what all this is all about. Like what it means to be authentically vulnerable for the right reasons. Like I don't love crying on here. I don't love having to go through this. But I love the fact that I'm given the platform to share so openly and that you get to know that you're not alone. Right. the platform to share so openly and that you get to know that you're not alone. Right. Because the most incredible gift came on the backside is I finally realized that I'm also not alone.
Being Not Alone (45:29)
That the hundreds and hundreds of messages and the thousands of you that will listen to this show and the love that we get to receive is all based off of just being here. And that Zeus passing is just another step in this progression. And there's been so many millions of people that have been in our shoes that have had to lose a family pet. And if you have pets, if you're a dog owner, a cat owner, or I don't care, a turtle, they become a part of your everyday life and they're a part of your family. or I don't care a turtle they become a part of your everyday life and they're a part of your family and so when those things are no longer present there's a hole and there's a big hole it's a huge hole for us but I have to also say it like it's crazy what happens when you can remove yourself from the situation and literally go through this what I call check down process like the hole that exists is because i'm a pattern-based individual everyone is a pattern-based creature just as i believe you are and so there's this massive pattern interrupt that has come by zeus not being a part of our daily life because the logical side of me realizes that it was his time to go, that he shared as many lessons and shared as much love as he could with me in the energetic form that he is up until this moment, that he had to go on to wherever the next step is. But the emotional side of me, the pattern recognition side, wakes up and there's no pattern there. It's a new one that needs formed. Yeah, just like I had to make breakfast for one dog last night and this morning and I bawled through the whole thing because I'm not used to making breakfast for one dog. And so all these different pieces and parts that I'm probably not doing the best job describing, but as I get to remove one step from the emotional traumas that are really keeping me captive in this moment, I get to look at it from this very unique perspective where a book came into my wheelhouse, came into our family's life three days ago. It started walking down this path of intentionality.
Understanding The Journey
Zevs next gift (47:22)
And in this book, there's a bunch about death and what that looks like as far as intention's concerned. And as I'm reading it, I don't realize that Zeus's demise is three days away. I'm just reading it and consuming it. Zeus isn't showing signs on Saturday that he's going to be dead on Monday. And then I'm asking for what the gift is on Monday when we're taking him. And the pain and the sorrow that I feel that we eventually share on social media, it's like the first gift. It's like I'm not alone, just like you're not alone. And the next greatest gift is the fact that I'm now equipped to handle this so much differently than I was a year ago with Miles. Like I'm equipped to share the gift already. And that comes from Mark texting me. And then another one of our brothers inside of wake up warrior, Brian Davis, Brian calls me as I'm texting Mark and I can't answer his call. And then I answered, right? I want to, I'm trying to keep space. I'm trying to keep space and he's like man I just want to tell you I love you like I'm here for you like I can feel it that you need it and I share with him what I'm just now sharing with you about the conversation with Mark and intentionality and the gift and he starts losing it a little bit on the phone he's like you're not going to understand I just recorded a podcast and created content today about intentionality. That my daughter, I wake up and go into her room every morning at four and change her and do some things for her and spend some time with her. And she pointed at me right in my chest. And then she pointed over a chair. And she's in her crib and she points back at me and she points back at the chair. and she's in her crib, and she points back at me, and she points back at the chair. And although he has all these other things he wants to do, she is setting an intention for him that she needs him in her room for some reason. And so he sits there and just watches her as she falls back to sleep. And realizing that all these pieces, right, like this orchestration isn't just by accident. Like none of this is by accident. Whatever you're going through right now is not an accident. Like it's crazy. You have the ability to be able to speed up your progress, to be able to process things differently. And this is not some sort of cheesy call to action to come coach with me or with my wife. It's the fact if I go back 18 months ago, all I cared about was fucking money. At that point, I had less money by far than I have now. Six months ago, I didn't give a fuck about money. All I cared about was our dog and what he meant to me. Two days ago, all I cared about was extending his life and whatever that meant. And from today's perspective, all I care about is the lesson. Because the lesson is what makes the impact. And if I can make an impact, that's what matters. And so you yourself, as you've made it hopefully to this part of this long drawn out episode, like you deserve this same sort of operating system.
Post modern Fucked up Types (51:07)
Like I don't have to be trapped in these tears anymore. I'm not encouraging us not to process emotion. That's the worst thing we can possibly do. Like I'll cry when I need to cry. And if I cry for another fucking week on this microphone, then you're just going to have to deal with it. I need to cry. And if I cry for another fucking week on this microphone, then you're just going to have to deal with it. But it's understanding that it's healthy to get it out and process it so that more gifts can come. There's no point in keeping this bottled up. There's no point in not sharing what hurts. Because from sharing it, there's so much love that came back. And from recognizing the fact that our patterns are interrupted means that we can now create new patterns, and that we can pour into our other dog in a greater capacity. And if the day comes and the Spirit moves us, or God himself taps us on our shoulder and says, there's another dog that we need, we'll know that's the right time. All these things are just such an impactful way to start looking at the world. That I've said in another episode, if I had one gift for everybody, it would be that they could take three grams of mushrooms and experience what life would be if we all were connected. I'd say if there's a second gift that I could give people, it's the fact of being able to have this ability to process things this way. Because life doesn't happen to you. It happens for you. Correct. I was just going to say that. Took the words right out of my mouth. But most people don't look at it that way. They look at why is this happening to me? Why is this going on? It's what is happening here for me and what is going on that I can take from this? Like where's my lesson here? Because it's not, you're right, it's not to you, it's for you. But you have to find what that for you reason is and that's the operating system. And I'm shot. I know. Right? We're both shot. Oh, no. Right? We're both shot. It's been a long, long weekend.
There is No Perfect Tributary (53:07)
Like, I don't know if any of this shit made sense at all. I won't go back and listen to it, just like I don't go back and listen to any episode. Never one. All I know is that all the decisions that we make are choices, and we can't choose what happens to us, but we can always choose the way that we respond to it. And if you've been pre-wired to swallow your emotions because somebody told you that's what you had to do, like my father told me I had to do, I'll challenge your belief system and encourage you to realize there's literally a complete polar opposite way to handle that that will make you feel better almost instantaneously. Like Brian Q. Davis calls me on the phone. He's got an incredible podcast called The Sales Warrior. He calls me and I cry. Yeah. I get voice memos and I cry. I read certain comments and I cry. There's no need to run from that. I don't care that I'm a man and I'm whatever I'm supposed to be. Like, I am who I am and I process how I process. And I'm going to encourage you to try to do the same. Because it just feels way better. Like, it sucks that we sit in the studio and there's literally the best gift my mother has ever gotten me yes twofold because she got one for g2 and she wears it every day like i hadn't my mother has maybe not always been i'll say the best gift giver right and it's it's not that she ever gave bad gifts it's just we we have different things that are important to us. And so my mother sends us down this box for Christmas of all these gifts. It was really lovely. Incredible stuff and so thoughtful of her. She lives in Wisconsin.
Zeus The Gift of A Long Lasting Journey (54:57)
And in this box, there's a pillow that's made that she somehow found a picture, one of the pictures we posted somewhere yep and she had it cropped and photoshopped and then put on a pillow that's cut out to be the size of zeus it's so cute and so he's in the office like i get to stare at him he's right across from me and i'm certainly sad he's not going to be here anymore but i realized that he did what he came to do but I realized that he did what he came to do. And then the necklace, she took that same picture and had it made like engraved on a necklace, his picture. And on the back of it put Zeus and Gianna wears it all the time. Nothing happens by chance. My friends, all these things had to happen the exact way they happened in order for you nothing happens by chance, my friends. All these things had to happen the exact way they happened in order for you and I to be right here, right now, sharing this time and space. And if there's things that are tugging at you internally to talk to somebody about, to deal with, to process, to fight through, I'm going to encourage you to suck it up and do it. Because I truly believe that. The pain that we run from. The pain that we avoid. The minute we decide to walk through that doorway. That everything we want. That next season of our life is just on the other side. And this has been the most painful thing that I can remember doing. Like it was different losing miles because there was no runway. There was no, it was conversation, didn't see him, call the next day, midday, he's dead. And that's a whole different processing thing. That's a whole different sense of awareness that I wasn't fully capable of then. a whole different sense of awareness that I wasn't fully capable of then. But this I got to see the slow steady decline of a piece of me, a piece of me for six or seven years. And then having to be the one to make the decision, I don't know if I had to be the one, but I chose to be the one, I said it, to do the right thing, because it was the right thing to do. You needed to be the one. I knew it. I was not going to let him get past a point where it was suffering if you hadn't woken up to it, but I knew he would get there. I was never going to tell you because that was something that I didn't want you to look back on and be like, you made me euthanize my dog. You had to get there yourself. And I certainly wouldn't have let him go on like he was on monday but i knew you well enough to know you weren't going to let that either you needed to come to that on your own what do you have to say, sweetheart? You put a perfect little bow on all of our experiences with him and the gifts that have come for us on the backside of his death.
Finding Comfort From Zeuss Passing (57:47)
I appreciate that. My wife admittedly had no idea I was taking us down this path. I knew she knew I was going to talk about Zeus' passing. She knows we well enough know that was coming. But she didn't know about the stuff in the car and the message and the gift and the lesson. That's literally all in the past two hours. Yeah, I met you at the gym. We drove separately. So I got to the gym and you were just getting off the phone. And so I thank all of you that have reached out with some sort of condolences or those of you that have also lost pets and wanted to share little pieces of your journey and how you got over it.
The Power Of Dog Love
We Dont Deserve Dogs Real Love (58:21)
That means the world to me that I have somehow made that big of an impact in your life. Yeah, it's been very nice and very comforting because we're not alone in the pain, and so many other people have experienced this. We don't deserve dogs we just don't they are different types of love energy and creatures that i just think the human race doesn't deserve the way that they are yeah i don't believe that i think the human race needs it but like we just his deathbed, that dog was licking our faces to comfort us and wagging his tail and so full of nothing but pure love. That he was. Because there's a saying that I learned from Kara J. White inside of Wake Up Warrior. And that is pain shared is pain divided. And between this show and the phone calls and the posting, I feel incredibly blessed that my pain has been divided over... A lot of people. Yeah. Yep. 20, 30,000 people. So thank you so much for being a part of this journey and for sharing today's emotional time with Lindsay and I. I appreciate you guys. I appreciate the little community that we built. Yeah, it's quite nice. Very lovely. And I appreciate the way you pour into my life realizing that all the pouring in I do is not for vain I suppose there's no other way to end this a little normal tagline so when you become me can begin to process emotion more efficiently and go through your own process to find a moniker of peace and eventually production and prosperity in the face of adversity, I'll promise you that every day after, you're able to get shit done.