A cuddly pup finds his purpose.
Who am I?
What’s my destiny? A future brimming with trials, triumphs, and tendrils of joy.
A cuddly puppy. Hugo.
Bright eyes finding his place in the world. Attentive ears ready to learn. A silly spirit and natural curiosity for exploring— something special. Different. His purpose near, yet still unknown.
A teenage girl. Emily.
Hiding a secret from the world. Unsure of how to share her whole self with those around her. Hiding behind the guise of “shyness” to avoid the need to explain. To tell them she can’t see. The three flights of stairs at high school, a daunting reminder. Stress. Frustration.
Can she ever let down her guard?
Hope knocks on the door one January. The January Emily attends Guide Dog Teen Camp. A glimpse of a different life. A better future.
Across campus, Hugo conquers his Puppy Academy curriculum. His forever person he’d soon guide, at the other end of campus.
Eyes not yet met. A fate so close to fulfillment.
Finally, the special day arrives just over a year and a half later. Hugo runs into the arms of the one he waited for. Emily, a teenager stepping into her full identity of confidence, embarking on her final two years of high school. Guide dog Hugo now by her side.
Confidently, Hugo leads Emily through bustling high school hallways. Crowds of teenagers, backpacks, school bells, and stairs. His two years of preparation paying off.
“I see a huge change in my independence at high school. I never identified as visually impaired,” Emily says. “No one knew. Hugo makes people aware.”
No more explaining herself. No more wondering what people think. And while Hugo might routinely zone out during second-period English lectures, he’s fully in tune with Emily.
“Hugo has turned into my best friend,” she says. “We’re definitely a team.”
And when high school closes for summer break? This perfect pair cherishes afternoons at the mall. Hugo’s noticeable pep in his step tells Emily that he’s not done shopping yet, zipping in and out of stores, window shopping with a wagging tail.
As Emily tours colleges, Hugo feels out the campuses, too. Looking up to his soulmate: What’s our future? Where will we go next?
First, senior year of high school. Then, the pursuit of a dream: teaching third grade. A venture she and Hugo practice through an on-the-job experience program. Together. The class adoring Hugo, listening to Emily—learning from them both.
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From November 1 to December 31, your heartfelt gift will be doubled, dollar-for-dollar, by our generous Matchmakers of the Send Love Challenge. Help our dogs deliver steadfast guidance, faithful service, heartwarming friendship—and love.