I crouched down and put my hands out. Some of the puppies were scared and the others too busy chasing each other and playing in the mud.
You were not scared or too busy for my attention. With your fat, stubby legs you waddled right up to me and nearly fell into my arms. In that moment everything disappeared and it was just you and me. I ran my fingers through your hair and pressed your face close to my chest. The whole time you didn’t fight or cry. There was no question. I was taking you home.
As you lay curled up on my feet, eighty pounds heavier than you were I can’t stop the smile from creeping onto my face. You have been in my life for seven months now. These seven months have been the brightest months because I have had you by my side. This year was tough and I was forced to take a lot of losses. You, yourself even had some health scares. But through it all you stayed by my side, tail wagging and drool falling.
Being alone was always something that made me uncomfortable. Which made everything so lonely because I had grown too scared to meet people and pretty much leave my own home. The very minute I got you, my fears did not change but my actions did. I was taking you for walks and bring you into stores, forcing myself out of my comfort zone. Taking care of you gives me a daily purpose. I want you to have the life you deserve. Because of you I push my fears back so you can have your daily exercise, meet new friends and have the best food and treats.
Having you certified as a service animal was the best thing I could of done. Being able to have you on campus with me, where I am most uncomfortable has allowed me to better myself academically. Thank you for sitting so patiently for hours while I scribble down notes and prepare for the future. You are so patient when it comes to walking up all the stairs, not straying from my side and keeping it together when we walk through the food courts.
Because of you I have found myself going to open mics, classes and daily walks. I am constantly outside in the snow chasing after you and burying you in mounds of the white fluff. I notice myself singing and dancing with you to the point of exhaustion. You have brought back the me that everyone, including myself, has missed desperately. You have taken care of me for the past seven months far more than I thought you would. You have put the excitement, energy and joy that I have longed for back into my life. Pulling me from my dark moments and showering me with unconditional love has added something to my life I was always hoping for. Thank you for being my best friend, my sidekick and the best cuddle buddy anyone could ask for.
Thank you for the wet kisses, whipping my legs with your tail, knocking me down the stairs and stealing my breath as you stand on my chest. The nights are much warmer with you by my side.