another person got their dog (UPDATED WITH PHOTOS)

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

This letter isn’t from someone whose letter was answered here, but it’s from someone who was impacted by another letter — this letter from the person whose company wanted to sponsor her for a service dog but she wasn’t sure she should accept.

The Go Get Your Dog letter writer changed my life. I have a chronic debilitating genetic illness. I have been successful in my work because all time that isn’t recuperating or dealing with illness is work.

Given what I can and can’t do, I thought a dog was out of the question. These letters planted a seed. Friends and family told me not to be ableist and to ask for help. The 12-week-old girl dog arrived 2 weeks ago. She IS hard work but I have a team of people socially distancing for dog walks and playtime. I am scheduled with a zoom puppy class. We are doing well. She is a joy when she isn’t overtired. (As am I.)

{ 98 comments… read them below }

  1. Batty Twerp*

    I didnt think I’d be sobbing this hard on Christmas Eve! What a beautiful, happy announcement!

  2. General von Klinkerhoffen*

    Alison, you’ve really saved some of the best stories for when we need them most.

    LW, I’m delighted for you! Please give the goodest girl some ear rubs from me when she’s next off duty.

  3. Happy It Isn't Monday*

    Thanks for such a great “update”. I’m tearing up in a happy way for the person who “got their dog”!

  4. Teela, captain of the Eternian Guard*

    The Onion Ninja is at it again Sending Jedi pets for the baby girl and Jedi Hugs for the OP

  5. Not So NewReader*

    You will have to send us an update next year letting us know how you and your little buddy are doing.

    I would not be surprised to see some one post here, “I started out saying, “What? What does “go get your dog mean”?” And then launch into a story of how you inspired THEM, OP.

    Congratulations and I wish you both many happy years.

  6. hayling*

    Letter Writer, I totally feel you on “I have been successful in my work because all time that isn’t recuperating or dealing with illness is work.” I have a chronic injury that keeps me in constant pain, even after two surgeries and weekly PT. I’m extremely productive at work and recognized in my field, but I have basically no life outside of work. I hope your dog helps you get some balance in your life.

      1. Blomma*

        Yup, chronically ill here. My entire body hurts at all times and I’m almost always exhausted. My life is working, going to medical appointments, and resting.

        1. Letter Writer*

          I am so sorry. I can say that I know how you feel. Pain sucks. Chronic pain causes depression and fatigue and anxiety.
          I am lucky that I am at the point in my career that I don’t have anything to prove.

          1. Blomma*

            That is really wonderful for you (and I mean that genuinely)! Having that extra layer of stress removed from the equation has got to be a relief. Congrats on your very sweet doggo!

  7. Mimmy*

    Okay, granted I’ve never been on many other communities besides this one, but I am warmed by how much AAM readers inspire one another.

    Thank you, Alison, for fostering such a beautiful community.

  8. Disco Janet*

    Amazing! Congratulations to you. Alison, this shows what a positive impact your column can have on others!

  9. Letter Writer*

    Well, that was a surprise! It is 5:10 and I am in bed for a bit. (been a bad body day) Her Auntie took her at 3:45 to run her around in the snow.
    Although I have had moments when I thought What have I done? This has been a great adventure. I am so grateful .
    She is a delight. We are learning together.
    She is doing the good work of dogs.
    I am learning “how important is it?” And how to take vacation days!
    And how to accept help.
    I will send some photos to Alison and maybe she will post.

    1. FutureRetiredPerson*

      OH MY GOODNESS! Is she a wheaten terrier?
      Many congratulations to you and thank you for sharing your story!

      1. Letter Writer*

        She IS a Soft Coated Wheaten. I am asthmatic and allergic therefore there are very few doggies that I could live with. I live vicariously with AAM kitties.

        1. Radical Edward*

          I am also asthmatic and allergic but I never knew about Wheaten Terriers before these photos blessed my screen… that’s awesome! I have melted. LW, congratulations on having objectively The Cutest Dog. Pretty sure We Rate Dogs would agree she’s a solid 16/10.

          1. Letter Writer*

            years ago someone told me that I could have a Wheaten Terrier. (my Dr. told me “no warm blooded pets”) I visited a breeder with inhaler in hand and an MD in tow. (Father in law) I was fine and the seed was planted.

    2. PollyQ*

      I know it’s bad for working dogs to have people squeal in ecstasty and lavish them with scritches and squoozles BUT I figure if it’s over the internet, it can’t do much harm, SO:

      DOGGGEEEEE!!! Lookit the floofy doggy with the squooshy face!!! Hi baby! Who’s a good girl? Who’s a good girl? YOU ARE! YES YOU ARE!!!

      1. Imaginary Number*

        I didn’t get the impression this was a service dog? I think the OP was inspired by the working dog story because it helped them realize they could care for a dog. Correct me if I’m wrong, but nothing in their letter says this is a service dog.

        1. Letter Writer*

          That is right. She is not a service dog but I hope to train her so that she can be a visiting dog/therapy dog. My work allows trained dogs to visit for wellness. (post-covid of course)

          1. 'Tis Me*

            So we can squee and virtually glomp her to our hearts’ content? Because she is a beautiful darling good baby girl and deserves all the snuggles and ear rubs *heart eyes emoji*

            Also chronic health conditions which can impact on work-life balance (and, y’know, life). I hope she continues to help you work on that, and fills your life with smiles and joy.

    3. allathian*

      Awww! Thanks for the photos, what a lovely dog! Good luck and long may she continue to make your life a bit better.

  10. Marni*

    This is so wonderful to hear. I don’t have the issues you’re dealing with but getting my dog 20 years ago was life-changing and has had a lasting impact on my perspective. I hope you two have wonderful adventures, however you define them — and I’m glad your friends and family are sharing in the joy with you. (I’m guessing Auntie feels lucky, not burdened, to take your girl out in the snow.)

  11. Letter Writer*

    Lovely reading these comments.
    My empathy for those experiencing chronic pain.
    One surprise from this puppy experience is how I am taking better care of myself and prioritizing my own physical health. We are on a very strict sleep schedule. I decline all evening meetings. Take a real lunch. Prioritize training.
    I have said no to work opportunities that would have been ” of course! I would love to…”
    Because, Puppy! (I don’t give a reason, I just suggest someone else that might enjoy the experience)
    The world hasn’t fallen apart. I am not experiencing any anxiety about saying no. (that is new)

  12. Maxie*

    LW thank you so much for sharing this with us. It really brings home that while Alison answers letters for specific people/ situations, they can be the instigators of change for others. Congratulations on this improvement in your life.

  13. Maxie*

    A friend of mine credits his dog with saving his life. The dog was a sweet, loving puppyish energetic retriever mix, and my friend was in his 20s, in a very deep depression, reeling from his recent HIV diagnosis in the 1990s when treatment options were limited, distanced from his friends and starting to deal with his substance abuse problems. Years later he told me the only reason he got out of bed back then was because he needed to take care of his dog, and that caring for her saved his life. Decades later, he is doing well.

  14. frystavirki*

    Thank you for the pictures of this precious baby. I love her dearly from afar. She looks EXTRAORDINARILY soft. I wish you guys well on your journey together and hope she helps you with the things she is meant to!

  15. A Non*

    LW, if you get a chance to answer – how soft is she, on a scale from 1 to the most perfect fluffy cloud? Because she looks like she’d be topping out that scale!

  16. Sharpie*

    Oh, that’s fantastic! I am so glad that letter writer inspired you to go get your dog!

    And there’s an onion-cutting ninja in here, I swear there is.

  17. SpellingBee*

    Thank you for sharing this, and for sharing photos! She is almost unbearably adorable. Congratulations on your new friend – wishing you many many happy years together.

  18. Lizy*


    If that isn’t the best AAM Christmas present I don’t know what is.

    1. Letter Writer*

      Huh. Thanks? Team Puppy do not all come at once. They are scheduled. Many do not know one another. I did discover that I needed downtime from visitors as well as how to just “hand over” the dog and not act as if I was hosting visitors. (that was exhausting) Some come on weekends. An hour or less. Her Auntie comes almost everyday.

      1. misspiggy*

        Hopping onto this comment to let people know that in the UK there is a ‘dating site’ called Borrow My Doggy that lets people who need it organise their own Team Dog, and gives dog lovers who can’t be owners some fun doggy time.

  19. Lalaroo*

    LW I’m so happy for you and your puppy, and I’m glad that you have people around you who love you and her and will help you both! I am another one who has a dog who’s saved me from some bad times – having a precious little cutie who MUST go outside and MUST be fed has kept me going more than once. Mine is a mini schnauzer, which is another breed that you can probably have! They don’t shed and they have hair, not fur, so many people with allergies aren’t affected by them. Best wishes for you and your pup!

  20. Scarlett10is*

    Such a good girl! Congrats on your doggo! I got one during quarantine, and little Arnie has been a lifesaver. Such a snuggly boy who comforts me with a wugga or a snuffle or some kisses. Everyone go get a dog if you can, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner :)

  21. I take tea*

    How lovely. I’m so happy for you. I like the idea of a team of helpers, I’d like to walk a dog now and then, but could not care for one full time.

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