Klee — Service
Klee came into my life during a time when I needed a friend. I had been hospitalized for a medical condition and was feeling discouraged. I was a nerdy, shy, twelve year old with lofty dreams of becoming a veterinarian. Klee accepted me just the way I was, and loved to learn as much as I did! We clicked instantly.
Klee became my service dog in 2013, during a time when nontraditional service dogs and invisible disabilities were still unheard of. During my sophomore year, I got in trouble for bringing a “pet” to school and struggled to explain to the principal that my pet was, actually, an on duty service dog! Despite these challenges, we worked hard to master task training and public access. Our hard work paid off, and we got to take senior portraits together and graduate near the top of the class.
In college, I gained the courage to request a service dog accommodation. The climate was changing for service dogs, and my health condition now warranted more support. Klee began to accompany me to school full time, and he excelled at it. To my surprise, he even learned my schedule and would lead me across campus to my classes. He especially loved to attend organic chemistry! With his assistance, in 2020, I graduated summa cum laude and was accepted to my top choice veterinary program.
Now, I am in my first year of my veterinary program. I owe it to Klee’s assistance and unconditional love. As he approaches retirement, I have reflected on our journey. He truly is my hero.