I brought home Goose, an 8 week old Yellow Labrador Retriever, the weekend of September 11, 2021. We had our first individual lesson the following week, and just attended the monthly group lesson this past weekend. I was terrified to start all over again, but having the support of the Stand With Me organization and the other students has made this experience so much easier. I was ready to give up. I had lost hope in having another Service Dog in my life. I had lost confidence in myself as a handler. I felt like a failure. I felt like I had failed myself in my healing process, and I felt like I failed Argos. I was angry that the world had taken Jäger away from me, and thought I would never recover. Stand With Me gave me all of that back. This organization made me realize that it’s okay to admit things aren’t working. That does not mean failure, it just means taking a new approach.
It has been a very difficult past few months. However, I can say with confidence again that I am excited on this journey. I know I am in good hands, and I don’t feel alone anymore. Goose has given me back my freedom and ability to move forward once again.