Wednesday, July 3, 2013


The time has come. In just 3 days B goes in for training and journeys up to New York and begins his next chapter.

I remember first coming to UGA and seeing the puppies everywhere. I finally mustered up the courage to ask someone about it one day. I'm pretty sure I signed up that night. Growing up, I always had a dog in my life. When I moved to Athens I was slightly lost and alone because I no longer had that companionship in my life.

It was 5 days after my 21st birthday when I picked him up. I like to think he was a gift from my late grandma. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. Life with a puppy was nothing short of interesting- but that's what happens when you add someone new into your life- and I wouldn't change a minute of it. Every day that went by our bond grew stronger and stronger, and it wasn't long until he was my best friend. To this day he knows exactly what to do to make me feel better.

As humans grow, we learn and crave independence. Babies want to hold their bottles and sippy cups, feed themselves, dress themselves, pick what color they want their room, spend the night with friends, get drivers licenses, move to college... But at the end of the day, we still like the comfort of home; the comfort of mom and dad.

Dogs, like humans, like independence. As he got older, he didn't need me to carry him everywhere, he would nap in places that weren't my feet, and he had no problem being away from me and staying/playing with other dogs and their owners. But no matter how independent he was, he always remained a momma's boy. His tail is a propeller in the mornings when I wake up, he's ecstatic when I walk in the door when leave him at home, even for 5 minutes. It's those little things that take up the most room in my heart.

Bogart has always had the most expressive eyebrows, a handsome face, an interesting personality, and lots of love. He's a big baby who loves to cuddle, loves to lick, and loves everyone. He knows just how to make you feel better and he's the happiest dog I ever met.

In a couple days, he's leaving the nest and going to get his Masters in Service (he graduated with a degree in Digital and Broadcast Journalism, like I). Since January 2012, we've been working towards this point. As much as it hurts my heart to tell him goodbye, it's what I signed up for. I set him on the path to doing great things and he's so close now to doing those things. As much as he helped me in the past year and a half, he will do that ten fold to someone else.

In our time together, he has shown me so many things and introduced me to so many people, I can only imagine what he'll show someone else. At the same time, he and I have influenced others to get involved in the program. We've received countless "Thank You"s from strangers because they know how much B will change someone's life.

When he graduates he'll graduate with a job, I wish that happened to me. B will bring the independence that we, fully capable able-bodied humans, have to someone who needs assistance. He'll find new doors for them to open, take them to new places, introduce them to new people, bring them joy and so many other things.

I will smile through my tears as I tell him goodbye. 

Cheers to you, B. I'm so proud and I love you, forever and always.  

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