To Jazzy, my recently retired guide dog.
Thank you for bouncing into my life with so much excitement, bursting out of the van spinning around in circles making all sorts of noises.
Thank you for whizzing me around uni campus with such speed on our matching walk that I can still remember that exhilarating feeling, six years on.
Thank you for working so hard during training with me to hone our skills as a partnership. And thank you for showing me your stubborn streak early on, so I could recognise it in myself!
Thank you for putting up with my student schedule every time I was a little (sometimes a lot) late with your breakfast.
Thank you for ingratiating yourself with my tutors, lecturers and fellow students by yawning loudly in seminars and harassing people for attention.
Thank you for meeting every new challenge with a wagging tail and barely-contained excitement.
Thank you for tolerating countless late nights, spontaneous trips and silly hats.
Thank you for always coming back when called…eventually!
Thank you for turning my sobs into laughter that time you snuck out the gate and got lost, only to be found playing with the kids down the street.
Thank you for conquering London for me; learning to use escalators and weaving through commuters like a boss.
Thank you for working through my bucket list with me; graduating, working, living abroad.
Thank you for moving six times with me, to new houses and cities and countries, and making every new place feel like home.
Thank you for surviving a pandemic with me, being my reason to venture outside when we were all stuck in doors.
Thank you for warming my feet at countless appointments and meetings, and letting me play with your ears when I’m nervous.
Thank you for drawing attention from everyone, forcing me to come out of my shell.
Thank you for helping me prove to myself and others that I’m capable.
Thank you for making me feel powerful. Strong. Confident.
Thank you for giving me autonomy. Thank you for giving me independence. Thank you for giving me pride.
Thank you for keeping me on my toes at all times.
Thank you for letting me trust you. Thank you for being my first and best guide.
Thank you for setting the standard so high.
Thank you for being my guide dog, partner and friend.
Thank you…for being mine.