Woman’s Best Friend

A dog is a woman’s best friend. If you have one you know. If you don’t, I wish I could explain it
better but just know that there is something so pure, so wonderful, and so special about a being
who loves you more than they love themselves. Who can somehow communicate their
thoughts, needs, and emotions without saying a single word.

My dog, Nutella is my best friend.

Three months ago I had to say “see you later” to my best friend. She was in training to be my
service dog and as a result, never learned what it was like to feel confident in her surroundings
when I wasn’t there. Her separation anxiety was bad for her health and mine. When preparing
for the biggest medical procedures of my life I knew that we had to retrain Nutella quickly.
So the retraining began. It began with me saying a temporary goodbye. With my parents taking
care of her and teaching her that life is okay even when I’m not beside her.

But the retraining wasn’t just challenging for her. We went from being a team to two individuals.

When Nutella was being her individual she learned how to be okay with a crate, she learned
that when I’m not around, she doesn’t need to worry about me, and she learned how much fun
she has with her ‘fur cousin’ Penny.

When I was being my individual I also learned things. I learned that putting my health first was important. I learned that bald isn’t what I thought it was. And I learned about how much I missed my best friend.

A few days ago we were reunited. And I was scared. Three months is a long time, and I looked
a lot different then when we last saw each other. I was scared of her reaction. She was working
on retraining- would she behave differently, how would she react after we’d been apart so long,
would she remember me? It turns out I didn’t have to be scared. She was full of warmth and
love. A being who loves me more than she loves herself. A team reunited.

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