Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


So She Officially Became Lola Marie

by Brenda Darnley Martin

The other day we finally took our dog Lola to a new vet, Dr. D., who, up until five years ago, had been one of our vets for our previous pups. We had always loved Dr. D. but we became extremely disillusioned with his prior group practice when our last sweet fur-baby, Happy-Go-Lucky, passed away suddenly.

So, when we adopted Lola, we took her to an entirely new vet, who was recommended by friends but, likely, due to the distancing requirements of COVID, we never really bonded with that vet. Then, when we heard that Dr. D. had started his own practice, we called for an appointment and took her one Friday.

Lola Marie Martin

The Martins: Mike, Lola, and Brenda. Image @ Brenda Martin

Dr. D. is such a good doctor and is extremely compassionate! We were delighted to be back there two minutes into the visit, and he was very flattered that we wanted to come back to him. We spent an arm and a leg on the first visit, but part of it was a very detailed blood work panel to see what Lola’s allergies are, to hopefully stop all the scratching and itching and constant chewing of her feet.

Anyway, when I was filling out her registration papers and it asked for her name, I decided to register her as Lola Marie Martin. I’m sure the staff was ether amused by that or thought I was crazy, but I did have a logical reason in addition to just indulging my overgrown sense of humor. Lola is a common name as is Martin and at our prior vet, there were two other Lola Martins, and we were given and paid a bill for the wrong dog one time and didn’t even notice it for six months when I was filing papers. I never called them on it because (1) it had already been several months, and (2) we might’ve gotten a better deal than we would have otherwise! But I figured, if I used her middle name (which she always hears when she is in trouble anyway!), they would find her for sure! 🤣❤️

About the Author

A native of the Detroit area, Brenda Darnley Martin received her BA from St. Mary’s College and her MBA from the University of Notre Dame, before marrying and settling in the Chicago area.  Happily after eight long cold winters there, she and her husband Mike moved to Tampa where they have lived happily unfrozen for more than thirty years!

While working as a member of the theatre-staff at The Florida Aquarium, Brenda became enthralled with the flounder and its ability to “hide in plain sight.” This served as the spark of inspiration for her Treasure-Hunt Fish children’s picture-book series, featuring the positive life lessons of three young fish living in Old Tampa Bay. In addition to writing that book series, Martin, a seriously addicted animal lover, works as a freelance writer, actress, radio host/producer and constant “dog-ma.” For more information visit:

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