Happy Tail written by Nicole Cameli.

I adopted Dill from Gateway Pet Guardians in November of 2013. I had never owned a dog and didn’t put much thought into owning a dog until about two years before adopting Dill. In May 2011, I had a heart ablation to fix an abnormality in my heart’s electrical pathways. My symptoms were triggered by exercise, so I went from a Division I college soccer player to not being able to walk up stairs without triggering supra ventricular tachycardia.

The physical recovery from the ablation was easy but the mental recovery proved to be a serious challenge. Even though my heart was fixed, I suffered from severe anxiety when I would try to work out. A friend suggested a running buddy but as a first year lawyer, my schedule was too unpredictable. That’s when I first started to think about a dog.

I found the Gateway Pet Guardians “spice puppies” on PetFinder and upon inquiry found out Dill was the last one available. I decided to meet Dill and after the first trial weekend, I knew I wanted to adopt him. Since he was a puppy, our walks started out short and slow. As he grew, we increased the distance and pace of our walks to keep up with his puppy energy. Then walks turned into hikes and hikes turned into runs and before I knew it, I was exercising again!

It wasn’t just Dill’s physical ability that helped me heal but his kind, loyal, compassionate and caring personality. On difficult days, he was always right next to me. We now live in Georgia and Dill loves exploring new hiking trails every weekend with his fur sister, Tyson, who joined our family in January 2017. I am thankful every day for the healing, love and energy Dill has brought to my life and I look forward to many more adventures with him.