Sammy & Mac
To me, it happened not once, but twice…
Both within 6 months of each other. I was a freshman in college. Going to a Big 10 school where more than 1 in 4 women on campus are sexually assaulted terrified me. The first time was the 3rd day after I left home. My roommate and I went to a frat party, and I took a drink that was poured by a guy I didn’t know. After one sip, I didn’t remember anything until I was on my dorm bathroom floor with a police officer behind me telling me to blow into a breathalyzer. I reported the incident and received a SANE exam. Nothing came of this but an underage drinking ticket and a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa 3 months after.
The second time gutted me and left me out to dry. I remember every second of being raped. Even now, it replays in my head, over and over and over. It made my self-esteem reach a new low, gave me a PTSD diagnosis, and a worsening eating disorder. I learned to fear the eyes of men. My anxiety attacks peaked. I felt helpless. I learned to depend on dogs as a little girl - those animals that see you as a leader, someone strong, someone who cannot be beaten. This animal comfort was what I knew, what I needed.
About two years later, I received an email about an art fellowship through a nonprofit called: Survivor’s Best Friend. Looking into SBF, I realized I’d never come across an organization I could relate to so much. I knew it was a sign, something that our campus needed, so I applied to make SBF a student organization. Afterwords I found myself looking at the Dane County Humane Society website over and over and over. I had always wanted a dog of my own and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity. There was one dog that stuck out to me. Mac was listed as a sweet one and a half year old retriever mix from Alabama. We met each other and the rest was history. Mac is a lovable mix that spends his days sleeping on the couch, going for walks down State street and to James Madison Park, and watching trashy TV with me and my roommates.
I am so thankful to SBF and Sophie for bringing Mac and I together. As he lies here beside me, I know that I will never have to feel alone again.