An Open Letter to the Guy Who Changed My Life

If you’re a Laurier student, you know that campus is always bustling with tons and tons of dogs and puppies! Whether they’re pets or guide dogs in training, Laurier is well known for its furry friends hanging around.  For the last 11 months, I have been training a future guide dog and I never thought saying goodbye would be this hard. Odie is a black lab that stole my heart, and although I was supposed to be teaching him some valuable lessons, he has managed to teach me a few too.  So here it goes…

To My Furry Best Friend,

The day I was told you were being recalled to the puppy centre in a couple weeks was when it really hit me that I was going to have a harder time than I thought saying goodbye. You came into my life at the perfect time; when things were a little messy, you brought lots of love and happiness with you. We’ve spent almost every day together, side by side, since the day I picked you up. There are so many things I need to thank you for, I don’t even know where to begin.

The best part about coming home is being greeted at the door with your wagging tail and puppy kisses. Every time I come home, you’re full of excitement to see me. You’re the best welcoming party for every single person that comes through our apartment. You’re also the greatest icebreaker and conversation topic. Since you’re my screensaver, it’s easy to start a conversation, “hey want to see a picture of my puppy?”. Easy enough.

Thanks for being my cuddle buddy. After a long day of classes, you always love to curl up and watch some good ol’ Bachelor with me…can’t find many men who would be willing to do that.

You’re the greatest listener when I’ve had a long day and need to vent. You always know how to make me feel better. It’s really amazing how you know when I’m upset. You never leave my side and always lick away all the tears. I’m pretty sure my roommates think I’m crazy because of the conversations I have with you, but I know you understand exactly what I’m saying.

Thank you for always making my days a little brighter and full of excitement with all your energy. My study breaks are always fun playing around with you. You took me away from just sitting inside and being bored, to exploring the world with our numerous adventures. The constant laughs my roommates and I have had over the silly things you do has brought us all so much closer and I can’t thank you enough for that….even if we were getting mad at you. We’re going to miss you a lot, bud!

From the beginning, I prepped myself to remember that you being here was only temporary and didn’t want to get too attached, but it’s too hard to resist those eyes…maybe that’s why I go through treats a little too quickly. I always viewed training you as a job; you were my responsibility and I wanted you to succeed. But I couldn’t stop the tears when I received the recall email because it was so sudden. I knew our time was getting shorter and I was mentally preparing myself, but what I have come to realize is that although your presence was temporary, the memories and pawprints you’ve left on my heart and the hearts of many will last forever.

Saying goodbye is never easy, but knowing that my little guy is going off into the world in hopes of changing someone else’s life for the better makes it all worth it. As much as I would love to keep him, I hope I get to see him graduate and meet the person this wonderful dog is going to help. Knowing that he is going to help someone who really needs him makes letting go so much easier. I always knew I’d be helping him, but I never realized how much Odie would help me. Thanks, little man, for making these last 10 months the happiest months of my last year of university.

Lastly, thank you for being a part of my family. It’s never goodbye, it’s I’ll see you soon xoxo

Love Always,

Your human