Sex and Salt Lake City


I’m getting ready for bed and missing my dog. My dog is the sweetest little guy ever. He’s Havanese, which looks like a cross between a Shitzu and Maltese, but without the mushed up face. I got him a couple of years ago, unexpectedly. I didn’t really want a dog as I knew my lifestyle just wouldn’t be conducive to the needs of a puppy. But the foster girl we were caring for at the time was begging for a puppy all her own. We had gone to court and the judge determined she’d be with us indefinitely and soon up for adoption. Elated, to celebrate we went and picked out the perfect family puppy – we picked out Cody the Dog.

We all fell instantly in love with him. With the exception of pooping and peeing in the house, nipping at everyone with his sharp baby teeth or chewing up every shoe or cord in reach, he was perfect!

As fate would have it, our foster daughter was unexpectedly moved from our home to a distant family member who came forth to claim her once they learned she was going to be placed for adoption. So, she left and the dog stayed.

Still needing to divide my time between LA and SLC to help care for family, Cody the Dog adjusted quickly to being my travel companion. My drives back and forth would take an entire day and I’d make the trip one direction or another each week. Faithfully he’d ride alongside me in the passenger seat. We rarely packed dog food on the road because traveling means road trip snacks and for him that equals puppy patties at various burger joints along the way.

I’d talk with him. We’d listen to audio books together and he’d lay his head on my lap while I’d sing to the radio until I lost my voice. I honestly believe he enjoyed road trips. He’d be so excited before leaving and the instant he got in the car he’d lay in his seat and just chill the entire duration.

As time went by, and as family needs dictated, Cody and I began spending more and more time in SLC. But, as life has a way of doing things, my work began taking me all over the western states and Cody couldn’t come along. So, he bonded quickly with one of my brothers and his partner who would care for him when I traveled, and time at their home was like his own little vacation.

It was an adjustment, traveling for work, needing to be in LA, caring for family in SLC, but all the while we somehow created a pretty decent routine. There was a consistent comfort and stability knowing that whenever I was home in SLC, Cody would be my company and cozy up with me in bed at night.

A month ago it changed. Actually, I probably could have seen it coming when I first brought Cody home. Shortly before Cody came into our lives, my youngest brother sustained a traumatic brain injury followed by a stroke. His accident was a tragedy for our whole family. His accident is what led me to divide my time between LA and SLC. Becoming his conservator brought a level of fiscal, emotional and moral responsibility to he and his young daughter.

It’s been an emotional challenge to watch my brother heal. Very little motivates him as so much of daily life is a struggle. Several months ago it was determined that he was well enough to live in his own apartment again – but he would never leave the safety of his apartment walls… for anything. He’d literally stay in his apartment for days and days on end. Until one day when my usual puppy sitting brother and his partner were on vacation during the same time I was called to LA for work.

That day, my mom offered to watch Cody. She took Cody over to visit my housebound brother who lit up to a degree that none of us had witnessed since his accident. That day, for the first time since his accident two years prior, he left his apartment of his own initiative and took Cody for a walk. That day, was the last day, Cody was home with me. That day I cried selfish tears for knowing my dog was needed elsewhere. That day I cried grateful tears for how my beautiful, perfect dog was healing my brother like no one else could.

No, this article has nothing to do with sex. It’s just cathartic on my part I guess. Life shows us miracles and love in so many places, some are harder to see than others. Some come in the form of a perfect little dog.

Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook – She/Her/Hers – Clinical Sexologist – Board Advisor of Sex Positive World – Director of Sex Positive Utah – 530-228-9119 – – –

Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook

Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook is a graduate level Clinical Sexologist, with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Doctorate Degree in Human Sexuality. As a Clinical Sexologist, she believes a large part of her job is to be a sex enabler. Through counseling, workshops, and hands on exercises, she assists others in achieving the level of sexual function they desire. She enjoys the study and research of not only what people are doing sexually, but how they feel about it. Dr. Laurie divides her time between Los Angeles California, and Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to seeing clients in either of her offices or via skype, she is President for the non-profit, Sex Positive Los Angeles inc. (SPLA) and recently began a chapter in Salt Lake City, (SP-SLC). Her non-profit offers sexual education and support programs throughout Los Angeles and Salt Lake Counties. Rounding off her work, she is an IPSA certified Surrogate Partner Therapist working with clients and therapists in a triadic model to assist in bringing clients comfortable with their sexual selves. Dr. Laurie can be found in various publications; radio, podcast, and television interviews. For individual consultations or appointments please contact her at Welcoming and affirming of all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all sexual and relationship expressions.

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