Filling a Puppy-Sized Hole in my Heart
Laine, before her undergraduate graduation, and Karsen, the
service dog she raised, who graduated to become a diabtic-alert
companion for a woman in Arizona.
It’s funny, the things you look forward to in life as time goes on
and things change. Looking forward to the break has always been a
constant in my life and now that I’m nearing the midpoint of my
second year in vet school, I only have two winters and one summer
left to cherish—what a thought!
I’m looking forward to going home and visiting my family, of
course, but I’m also excited to go back and work for the veterinary
clinic I’ve been helping at since I was 16 years old. They’ve
always been a second family to me and I’ve never failed to learn
something from the staff there as I practice my new knowledge. It’s
never really work when you’re with people you love, doing what you
That isn’t the only reason I’m excited to return home this
As an undergraduate student, I raised a service dog that is now
in Arizona doing diabetic alert for her forever partner. It’s been
so fulfilling knowing I’ve made a difference in someone’s life, but
there’s been a hole in my heart where a lovable dog once was and
for the continual work that kept me ever-busy.
After watching my friends’ dogs recently, I’ve noticed this hole
growing even larger. Most recently, I puppy-sat my friend’s two
dogs while one of them was recovering from back surgery, performed
at none other than the Texas A&M Small Animal Hospital. All the
extra time I spent taking him out to the bathroom in a sling and
medicating him every 12 hours made me prouder of my future
profession and the magic it can do. Already he’s gaining mobility
back in his hind feet and beginning to wag his tail again.
This experience has also served to remind me just how much I
miss having my own dog to care for regularly. So, finally, I
decided to fill this hole.
This break I will be picking up the little sister of the service
dog I raised to keep as my own pet. I cannot express how I
excited I am! I hope to continue working for the community through
dogs by either training her for search and rescue or therapy work.
I know that with my new best friend, I’ll be able to change even
more lives… but I have to make it through the slipper-chewing and
the potty-training first, all over again. Wish me luck!