Monthiversaries Are Dumb

I waited for what seemed like hours. I sat on the bed, then stood up to pace, sat back down…

I kept replaying the words that one of the instructors said to me about 20 minutes prior.

“Gabriella, you have Freesia, a female black lab.”

That was all I knew. Our instructor went around the room and said the name, gender and breed of the guide that each student would be receiving. She had a beautiful name for what I would soon come to know, a beautiful dog.

They told us to go to our rooms and wait for our instructor to bring our dog to us. I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. I couldn’t breathe with the anxiety and excitement. I couldn’t sit. I couldn’t stand. I walked around the room adjusting things that were perfectly fine. I picked up my phone, as if I could google my new dog into my room. I put down the phone because, for once in my life, I didn’t have a use for it.

“ it’s 1:45, and I got to my room at 1:10. What’s taking so long? Did she die? I came all this way and I’m not getting a guide dog. No way! I’m being ridiculous. Of course she didn’t die. Maybe she’s just sad to leave her friends. I bet their going to come with my dog last because I’m the youngest and seniority rules or something…”

There was a knock at my door and I practically walked through it to get to my Freesia.

My instructor had me sit down and she brought Freesia to me. She was so small for a lab. She was so excited. She loved me for a minute and walked back to her familiar person, my instructor. She told me that Freesia weighed 49 pounds and was 19 inches, and that her birthday was on October 27; all of which I committed to memory. After that, she left Freesia and I alone to get to know each other.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, so it’s hard to believe that it happened 6 months and 5 days ago. Most people can’t remember the exact moment they met their best friend, but I remember. I remember how she licked me, and how she put her head in my lap. I remember the fear I felt as I put her harness on for the first time. I remember the confidence I felt from her. I remember picking up her harness handle, standing by her shoulders and  saying forward. I remember when we took our first steps together as a team. I will never forget the feeling of complete happiness. I had never known such freedom, such complete and total freedom. She was going to give me more independence and confidence than I had ever known. She and I would take on the world together, one day at a time.

Most people can’t remember the exact moment they realized their best friend was their best friend, but I can’t imagine how I could ever forget.

I hate meaningless anniversaries. Monthiversaries are the worst things ever. That’s why I’m posting this 5 days after the fact, because blog posts, and Facebook posts, and Instagram pictures don’t define our relationship.


Freesia takes on crazy


My life has been crazy lately. Hey Girl and I got to be on TV, and not only that, it was on my birthday. I always new I had the face for the camera. They don’t even need to worry about getting my good side because all my sides are great. I think that’s why they took so many pictures of me. All I kept telling myself was, ‘Wags and puppy eyes Freesia; wags and puppy eyes.’

That day made me tired because I had to be on 3 different TV’s, plus I still had to take Gabriella to class. They sang happy birthday to me in Solfege, and again with human English words in music therapy. I felt special. Hey Girl even gave me a treat and some peanut butter.

I just love peanut butter. Hey Girl is so lucky I don’t have thumbs, because if I did, it’d be bye bye peanut butter sandwiches for her.

I also recently got gum stuck to my paw. It felt so gross when I walked, and Gabriella didn’t even notice until we got home. There was so much, and it was not a good fashion statement at all, so that was embarrassing. Hey girl picked some off and I let her, but after a while, it started to not feel good so I growled a little and walked away. After that, she put peanut butter on my gum paw. But I don’t know why she did this, she just told me it would help. It was mean because I didn’t know she put it on my foot, but I could smell it all around me. I wanted to find and eat it so bad, so I started running in circles. No matter where I went, I just kept smelling the peanut butter. Hey girl tapped my foot a few times, but I just thought she was going to hurt my paw again, so I walked away. Finally I got tired of chasing myself, went  on my bed, and realized the smell was coming from my paw. It was the best!

It’s been so cold lately. I’m not used to this kind of weather and I don’t like it at all. My friends keep talking about something called snow, but something tells me I don’t want to know what that is, unless it’s food. I love food! But if it’s something that makes my hair wet, like rain, I won’t be happy.

I like being happy. My favorite thing is when Gabriella, some of my friends and I go into the dorm hallway to play. They close the door at the end and I get to run. I run up and down the hall for a long time because it’s so much fun. Other people probably think I’m crazy for running fast all over the place, but they mostly just think I’m cute, because I am. And when it’s all over, and me and my people are tired, I lay down and sleep, because it’s hard work to be a guide dog named Freesia.