This post is a part of an 8-day series.

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was text my brother. “Love you,” I reminded him, as today has always been an important day in my life- just not in a good way. Fifteen years ago today, my brother was hit by a truck that almost took his life. Every year on this day, I’m reminded of the terrible memories that still linger in the back of my mind. But, I’m also reminded of how grateful and blessed my family is that God gave him a second chance. Today’s anniversary was going to be different, though. Today was the day I would create new memories and bring my new service dog to the hotel for the first time. However, things didn’t go according to plan.

What I’m going to explain to you all next isn’t easy for me. However, it is part of the story, and it would be totally unfair of me if I didn’t share the whole truth, right?

Today, my dog and I weren’t bonding the way I had intended, and something in my mind told me not to get attached just yet. At the same time, she had got into quite a bit of mischief last night and was feeling pretty sick, so I couldn’t gage whether or not it was our bond or just the crummy tummy feeling. She was agitated and not really focused, and I was growing more and more hesitant about the whole situation.
While all the recipients practiced and loved on their new babies, I went into the lobby with the owner of Canine Assistants, Jennifer, and worked on some bonding techniques, and I was on the verge of a breakdown. “Don’t cry,” I kept telling myself, but I’m sure everyone around me could sense that I was only hanging on by a thread. Fortunately, I was able to work one on one with Jennifer who is unbelievably BRILLIANT. Seriously, I’m going to write a post about her incredible knowledge on canines and how remarkably well she trains them. With that said, I knew I would ultimately end up with the right dog with her guidance.

To make a long story short, I didn’t end up with my original match, and it broke my heart. She is an amazingly smart dog who is going to make someone the happiest person on earth, it just wasn’t me. I knew it, she knew it, and it was on to plan B.

Now, please don’t get sad on me because this story has a happy ending! Just because I didn’t bond with one dog, doesn’t mean I can’t bond with another. Through sadness and teary eyes, I met a new girl and instantly felt a better connection than before. She jumped into my lap, kissed my face, and gave her new momma a big, warm welcome. Just as this happened, I looked out the window and noticed the sun started peaking through the clouds–something I have yet to see here–and that’s how I knew she was the one all along. She’s gentle, she’s beautiful, and she’s currently sleeping at my feet.

Hope you’re ready for a new life, pretty girl.

wish the service dog

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