Shortly after my divorce was finalized I decided we needed to get a puppy. Several, maybe more, people said I was crazy. Money and time were tight but we (me and the kids) needed something positive. My divorce lasted for two years and it wasn’t pretty. Even though I did everything I could to keep the kids out of it, they felt the tension.

After quite a bit of research I found an ad with a litter of mastiff/lab puppies needing a home. They were so cute and both breeds were on my list of considerations. I sent the ad to a friend and she convinced me to go see them that day. She was looking for a playmate for her Great Dane. We loaded up the kids and headed across the river to meet the puppies.

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The day we brought him home.

We ended up taking Fernando home with us that day. I had no idea what an affect this dog would have on my life. I don’t think it was just a coincidence that Fernando came into my life the same time I started this journey. This guy was meant to be in our lives.

Fernando has helped me grow in so many ways. As I said before, I had a serious fear of being isolated. Having a dog the size of Fernando with me makes me feel safe. We camp together and hike together. Things I never thought I would do alone again.

I have really struggled with loneliness. When the kids and I moved out 3 years ago, that was the first time I’ve ever really been alone. Ever. I have made a lot of bad decisions in my life just trying to avoid loneliness. Fernando has helped me realize I actually like being alone. I need alone time.

Lastly, Fernando has brought so much joy to our family. He is amazing with my son, who does not understand the concept of personal space. He is patient with my daughter that likes to lay all over him. He reminds me to enjoy the simple things.

I can’t imagine life without Fernando. He completed our new family. ❤️