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We Wanna' Paw-Ty Again ❤️ 🐾

What you are about to read is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to friends and out-of-town family. I wanted to give them a truthful update on why my husband had retired. But I didn't want to alarm anyone. The following explanation was, therefore, written in an intentionally lighthearted way.

Couple in leopard Halloween costume
Photo from the Halloween night that Hubby got his nickname "Catnip."


"... As you know the silver lining of “Catnip” Tommy Barton’s stroke was that he sold his home and moved into the Park Avenue Palace 👑👑 in downtown Savannah Georgia while he recovered. (And that brought us closer 💍👰🤵🏻.) At The Palace Catnip ate yummy home cooked meals and took lots of naps with our Maltese Schnauzer, Valen-Tino. It wasn’t long before he went back to his job as the Editorial Page Editor at the Savannah Morning News, where he worked 12 hour days and much of every weekend. Life was relatively “normal” again until Catnip began experiencing all too-familiar pre-stroke symptoms. In his words his “memory became like Swiss Cheese,” as he experienced chronic fatigue on the job and found himself getting exhausted more easily and earlier. Catnip’s speech began deteriorating, especially when tired, and occasionally, at the end of a long, stressful day, he would feel a weakening in his left arm and rush to the newspaper restroom to see whether his mouth was drooping. As he was now keenly familiar with the F.A.S.T. warnings of an impending stroke he felt he had no choice but to dramatically change his lifestyle. Tommy retired in January of 2018 without looking back. I was over-the-moon-happy about that decision, as was our loyal hound..."


I'm still writing letters to our out-of-town friends and family members, but thankfully our story has become easier to tell. In the latest correspondence I explained that, "... After a lot of thought we’ve decided to give Tino an adventure on Valentine's Day instead of another birthday paw-ty... We’ve been traveling and haven’t spent as much time with him as we’d like. What we think what Tino would enjoy most is a bicycle ride around the historic Savannah Squares and down to River Street. Our fur baby loves touring the downtown in his bicycle basket, and we haven’t done that in a while..."

Man on bicycle with dog in basket
My husband and Valen-Tino arriving at the Savannah Belles Ferry to Hutchinson Island

We might ride down to Wolfgang Bakery this year to let Tino pick out his own birthday treats.

Dog birthday party
L to R: Me with My Mom, My Husband, and The Little Prince. Does our dog's life seem a bit far fetched? 😂 💓💓💓

Suzana Barton is the the founder of , a travel and fashion blog. She researches simple ideas to put a smile on your face. 👠💛🚐🧡✈️

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