No, I will not be creating a dedicated Instagram account for Mala Beads Gillespie. If you want to experience the goodness, just keep an eye on my main account here. πŸ˜‰

bonnie gillespie mala at home day 1
Click any photo to enbiggen.

Two months ago, one of my doctors prescribed an emotional support dog. He was concerned about my low-lows and the amount of time I found myself capable of staying STUCK in those dark pockets.

mala sleeping in my hand

There’s a difference between having highs and mids and lows (all normal) and having lows that don’t even have a concept of a high or even a mid. Deep, dark patches of months and months of not being able to function much of the time. Lows with no POV for something other than low.

mala ecu

So, when I met with each of my other therapists after the initial doctor prescribed the dog, they EACH said, “Yes. If you were still low in today’s session, that’s exactly what I was going to suggest as well.”

mala lion toy
Click for Mala’s Leo season vid!

When you have three different doctors all agreeing that you need a fucking puppy, you get a fucking puppy.

moshi and gotham puppies

Now, I’ve never had a dog. But I’ve always known that WHEN we got dogs, we would get Moshi and Gotham. (Moshi is the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel; Gotham is the Shiba-Inu.) And then we decided — when we’re in a larger space — we’d get Pillow, the Bernese Mountain Dog.

mala washcloth blanket
That’s not a blanket; it’s a washcloth!

One thing I have ZERO interest in is a pocket dog. Nope. Not my thing. They’re teeny and they shake and shiver and the whole point is to CALM ME DOWN, not make me anxious that they are anxious.

mala nap tongue out

Cut to Thursday, July 21st.

owl - are you my new fren

Owl goes up on The Labelle Foundation’s Instagram. I post in my stories a collage of 4 of his photos, along with the question, “Are you my new fren?” Keith updates our application (one of 5 applications up at 5 different rescues in SoCal) to indicate our interest, and I comment on the Insta story as well as the post, to let them know we’re IN for this one. (We’ve done this for a dozen dogs by now, and it’s emotionally draining to get excited and then not make it through the process.) They reply back “Paws crossed!” Ha ha.

mala rope toy

Friday night, we get a text that our application has been approved and now we have 48 hours to shoot vid of our home, inside and out, and ourselves, stating why we’re a good match for this sweet little dog. We spend a good chunk of Saturday getting the place looking like a home that’s not a hazard for a tiny puppy (considering we’ve been pet-free for 4 years now, we’ve gotten lazy about things we used to keep out of reach of the kitties, back in the day) and then doing the vids.

keith happy puppy day

On Saturday night, we were invited to do a meet-and-greet on Monday, which is at the home of the foster family of several rescue pups… and bring a carrier and our money and the paperwork in case we’re ready to take our new baby home RIGHT THEN. OMG OMG OMG

how keith shops for malas homecoming

So, of course, the Marine starts in on a Jupiter-ruled shopping trip (make that 3 different shopping trips, as he’s doing them on foot and going to various pet stores to find the best of everything), returning each time with more bags than Santa Claus, getting more and more excited about all this. I, of course, am tempering my joy, in case we don’t make it all the way to the last stage.

keith on the way to get mala

Still, this is fun, and I can FEEL the brain chemicals dumping all the good things that my team of doctors was hoping for, when suggesting that I get a creature that would REQUIRE I turn my focus on the care of a tiny being, rather than on all the anxiety-producing obsessions and depressive concerns that love to swirl around in my mind, sometimes for too long.

bon keith mala tesla gotcha day july 25 2022

Obviously, the punchline to this story is that Owl was (and is) ours… and his name became Mala, because I’ve been advised to keep mala beads in my hands, my fingers moving from knot to knot, in an attempt to quiet and still my worried brain. Hands constantly on Mala? Not a problem.

mala and bon 1st photo

Turns out he’s far younger than we were told, but we’re working through all the things that come with too-early weaning and all that fun stuff. Oh, and he’s clearly not a Bernese Mountain Dog, Shiba-Inu, or even King Charles Cavalier Spaniel… turns out he’s part Chihuahua, part Miniature Pinscher, and part Pomeranian. So… Chi-Min-Pin-Pom? Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―

mala size of iphone

Very very very smol. Weighs less than my iPad Mini. Is slightly larger than Keith’s iPhone. Has lots and lots and lots of energy (such a Gemini) and is TEETHING (ouch!!) — not yet ready for full-on potty training. That said, he’s GREAT at communicating when he needs to be led to the pee-pad for the business of all of that.

mala is teething

And Keith is smitten.

mala and the marine

If you DON’T like cute puppy content, consider yourself warned… I’m gonna be unapologetic about all the sharing I do. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for being a part of my therapy.

mala tongue out

Can’t wait for you to meet little Mala! Let us know when you’d like to schedule a date. πŸ˜‰


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

(Visited 595 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Leah July 27, 2022 at 5:10 am


  2. Laura Dowling Shea July 27, 2022 at 5:49 am

    Omg omg! So fricken adorable. All three of you. CONGRATULATIONS! Mala!!!! ❀️❀️❀️

  3. Laura July 27, 2022 at 6:05 am

    Omg she is ADORABLE!!!!

  4. Laura July 27, 2022 at 6:06 am

    HE is adorable πŸ™‚

    1. Bonnie Gillespie July 27, 2022 at 11:11 pm

      I keep doing this too, Laura. Like, 5 times a day. I think Mala may be a they, for all the back and forth I keep doing on he and she. For me to KEEP stumbling over it, I wonder if there’s a reason for that! πŸ˜‰ Beyond perimenopause, of course. πŸ˜‰

  5. Marsha July 27, 2022 at 6:11 am


  6. Aimee Pitta July 27, 2022 at 6:16 am

    Congrats! What a cutie pie!

  7. Mara Junot July 27, 2022 at 7:26 am

    Oh what a beautiful gift of joy in such an adorable little bundle Mala Beads Gillespie is! I’m so very sorry to know you’ve been stuck in the weeds for so long. The world has felt like such a dark place lately and can be so much for sensitive souls like us to absorb at once. Please take good care of yourself and indulge in all the warm love & wet kisses Mala has to offer; we’re sending plenty your way virtually, too! 😘


    1. Bonnie Gillespie July 27, 2022 at 11:09 pm

      Thank you, sweet Mara. You are so good to me. YES, empath gifts have their downside for sure. This new arrangement already just feels SO renewing and whole. Sending YOU love and light, as always.

  8. Tonya Kay July 27, 2022 at 8:53 am

    So fucking cute. Congrats on your new family!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie July 27, 2022 at 11:08 pm

      We really do feel like family, like never before. It’s pretty awesome. Thank you!

  9. Elizabeth Zimmerman July 27, 2022 at 8:54 am

    It’s a boy!
    Much love to the newest member of the family.
    Congratulations to knowing and getting the help you need.
    And now to live happily ever after. 😁

  10. Laura July 27, 2022 at 10:05 am

    I’m so glad you’re taking care of yourself Bonnie by bringing in this wonderful addition to your family. And I can totally see Keith as Santa Claus πŸ™‚

    1. Bonnie Gillespie July 27, 2022 at 11:07 pm

      Isn’t that SO him? πŸ˜‰ Thank you, sweet Laura. This is good medicine!

  11. Rebecca Tennison July 27, 2022 at 11:35 am

    Hi Bonnie & Mala!!!
    Congratulations with the adoption, I want to welcome yalls newest fury family member with sharing a discount for his vitamins and prebiotic supplements! 😍 A healthy pup makes for a happy and fun puppy to! πŸ’―

    I personally have a subscription for my 2 fury little guys with PetLabs, you get better discounts and deals. πŸ˜‰

  12. Ms Rosalie Tenseth July 27, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Oh adorable!!!!!! Love πŸ’• that Mala is really HOME! Congratulations πŸŽ‰πŸŽˆπŸŽŠ!!! So happy for all of you!!

  13. Nicole Rycroft August 1, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    Congratulations on your new fur baby! Mala is “totes adorbs”! I’m very sorry to hear that things have been so difficult for you. It is certainly challenging being a sensitive soul under the best of circumstances let alone now when the outside world seems to be a continual dumpster fire. Sending lots of love and light your way.πŸ’— In my experience, doggie therapy is the best kind. I hope it is for you too! xoxo

    1. Bonnie Gillespie August 1, 2022 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you, Nicole. You’re so sweet. πŸ™‚ Yeah… I’m not very practiced with how dark things got for so long, and that’s why I didn’t share much about it… still trying to sort it all out. Definitely, being an empath means having big feelings — not just our own — that need to be filtered. I am IN LOVE with puppy therapy. For sure, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. πŸ™‚ So much love!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.