One of our graduates, Becca, wrote our staff this touching Christmas card about her past year with her service dog, Bobbi. It was so moving that we just couldn't keep it to ourselves. We hope you also take away feelings of compassion and inspiration from her message, knowing that your support of our program helps make this possible with each service dog team we graduate.
Here comes 2020! December 2019
I was blessed to tackle the entire year of 2019 with my Service Dog, Bobbi, by my side. This year marked many monumental events, both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Navigating each obstacle was just so much more meaningful knowing how much love and support I had behind and beside me.
This year I was asked to represent K9s in a handful of events, which I am always honored to be a part of. In October, I attended the CMO Club event in St.Petersburg, FL, where I gave my first speech. I was so nervous, I’m sure my voice was shaky as I stumbled through it. I wanted to be prepared, so I wrote my speech beforehand, and brought the print out of it with me on stage. I tried to make eye contact with the crowd while I read off of the papers and paused each time I had to flip the page. By December, I had given this speech at least 5 times. When I was asked to speak at the PNC Father/Son Golf Challenge in Orlando, I can proudly admit that I did not bring my print out. This speech meant more to me than anyone would ever know. I have never really told my story to my parents, which often left them in the dark when it came to my mental health. In October, my mother was in the crowd for the first speech. And in December, my father was in the bleachers filming as I spoke. Now they both have had a rare opportunity to hear the struggles and triumphs I’ve been through and it has brought us closer together. This might have never happened if I weren’t a K9s for Warriors alumni, because being an alumni gives me this opportunity to be an ambassador, sharing my story.
I would also like to add that a huge part of my life after the military was enveloped in my addiction. I have been sober since June 6, 2018. Since I have been sober I have been on a medication. I have always wanted to someday not need to use it. Thanks to my stability, and mostly thanks to Bobbi, my addiction physician and I have recently created a plan to reduce my medication in milligrams until I will not need it anymore. I wish I could explain in words how huge this is. This, of course, will be a slow process. But I have come so far mentally, that I am ready to do the daily grind without medications.
Bobbi came into my life for a reason. Every day I see her face and I am just so proud of myself and of the relationship that we share. I cannot thank you enough for the part that you served in getting Bobbi into my life. I am so grateful. I am so happy. And I now have a whole new leash on life.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays: Becca and Bobbi