Waking up (almost) Famous

This photo is amazing

This photo is amazing

Okay so that title might be a little exaggerated but I had to say it. This morning I woke up to my 15 minutes of fame and honestly I am hoping to use it. For those of you who don’t know, a photo that was taken at my wedding January 9th went viral.

Another amazing photo

Just a little background on what is going on. My wedding photographer Maddie P took a photo of Bella and me before the wedding on Saturday. This morning, I woke up to a message from a friend asking me if anyone had told me that Bella and I had made the front page of reddit.com. For a while we were even #3, which was incredible. Now over a million people have viewed this image and multiple news stations have contacted us for interviews. It’s absolutely insane.



Here is the thing, all day I have been trying to find the right words to blog about this. But honestly I don’t have any. This is the perfect moment to use to teach others that service dogs can be for so many different illnesses both visible and not, but I cant seem to find what to write.


Part of my issue is that this topic is so important to me. Every time I see this photo shared and liked and commented on, all I can think is “if this helps just one person I will be happy”. And while all I am asking is to help one person, that is a lot of pressure. I have tried so hard for 2 years to educate to my small gathering of people, that being thrown into millions of viewers is like taking away my safety net and still making me walk on a high wire. Just as I am thinking about all this Bella is laying on top of me wanting me to take a break.


So I guess I will just say this.

The best part about this whole thing is that I can finally help educate more people about service dogs. Every time a news station contacts me, all I can think is how amazing this is for our community. So many people don’t know that service dogs can be used for so many invisible illnesses. The other thing is a lot of people look at a service dog team and forget that it is because of that partnership, that both dog and handler can not only survive life, they can thrive at it.


My last thing is this, Thank you to everyone who is supporting Maddie, Bella, Andrew and Me during this insanely crazy day. I hope that as this small limelight continues, I can use it to continue educating my area on what it really means to have a service dog and be apart of this team.

Thank you


Here are all the links from today







And Maddie’s FB page



13 thoughts on “Waking up (almost) Famous

  1. Val, over the past couple of years you have helped Cassity and given her hope that she will have options as an adult when dealing with her anxiety. Thank you!

  2. Please know that your words are helping. My daughter (18) has been suffering from panic attacks the last couple of years. This year with the pressure to apply to college, things have gotten worse. You have thrown us a lifeline when you didn’t know who might need it. Thank you for that. Now to begin the process of getting her to where you are. I hope your journey continues and Bella helps you continue with it. If you have any words of wisdom to help us with this process, I would appreciate it! Thanks again for what you have done!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad my story can give you hope. Your daughter maybe have a long journey ahead of her but just by your comment I can tell she has a great support system and that is one of the first steps to getting through living with an invisible illness.
      Best wishes

  3. How wonderful an opportunity to educate those who don’t know, such as myself. Congratulations on your wedding, my husband and I also married on January the 9th, seventeen years ago. May you be content and strong enough to fight through the rough times! Kia Kaha.

  4. Hi, I’ve read your blog and it it is really helping me make an important decision. I also suffer from mental illness (ocd,add,anexty, terets, etc) and I to, have been offered a service dog, the only problem is I’m 15 years old and going to high school, it’s such a big decision!!! If I say yes then so many things could happen good or bad and if I say no then I could miss out on a possibly life changing event. The truth is I need input from someone who has a service dog, I’m hoping, if you have the time of corse, that you could contact me so I could ask some more questions. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!!! If you get this comment thank you for reading it.

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