My four-legged best friend named Peluche is turning 14! He has been a part of my crazy journey since before vet school. He came to our home in 2004 when my sister and her friend found him in front of a supermarket. He was a young puppy that looked scared. My sister rescued him and cared for him for six months. She tried to give him up for adoption, she even distributed flyers to help find him a forever home, but it turned out that my family and I were his forever home! He was a sweet boy that got along well with my other dog, Dumbo, who was a Chihuahua mix, and died a few years after we rescued him. Peluche also got used to living with cats and he loved to play stuffed animal toys. I still remembered when I used to come home from middle school–Peluche was always there waiting to greet me. He has gone with me through my academic journey from middle school to graduate school.
At first, I was not sure if I should bring Peluche with me to Alabama because of his severe arthritis and behavioral issues. After hurricane Maria hit my home in Puerto Rico, I had no doubt that he should come back with me. I knew he did not have as much energy as he used to, he barely plays with toys now, but I enjoy his company while studying, reading, or napping. He has been there by my side on many stressful days, long study nights and also in successful moments. I never thought he would live long enough to come with me to vet school, but I’m so glad he did. I think he loves the Alabama weather and the bright green yard. It’s amazing to see how happy he is living in the south, and how many people have asked me if he was a puppy still. I have told them “No, he isn’t, but he will always be my forever puppy!” I can truly say having my old puppy Peluche is such a great blessing in my life.