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Tackling a lifelong fear during COVID

March 22, 2021

March 2020, beginning of lockdown.

I popped over to see Mary soon after we all headed home to quarantine last year due to COVID19.  Mary works for a large law firm downtown and had been working from home for a couple of weeks by the time I saw her.  I pulled into her driveway and met her around in the backyard.  She stayed up on her deck, and I stayed down on the ground.  We chatted for quite awhile while practicing social distancing the best we knew how.  I’ve known Mary for many years. We were apartment mates during college with several others girls.  For many years I have known her, and for many years I’ve known she was afraid of dogs.  So fearful of dogs.  So guess what she did during the COVID19 lockdown, while she was working from home? Yup! With lots of kind and understanding help from her new friend, Sarah, and Sarah’s therapy dogs, Piper and Nellie.  Mary has accomplished something extraordinary!

Mary and Sarah and her therapy dogs.

Loving on the dogs

New friends

Providing comfort

Everyone’s happy

Question 1: How has your life changed since last year at this time?

Mary: “For some, isolation has been exceedingly difficult. I have been fortunate to create a stronger relationship with one new friend – from driveway visits, to walks on opposite side of roads, to tethering on the opposite side of the pool –  just to chat.”

Question 2: What’s been one thing that has surprised you about this past year?

Mary: “I have been working hard on my overwhelming, irrational fear of dogs. A 55 year fear.  Since last year, I have “met “seven dogs, and I regularly spend time with two beautiful girls who love me.  No one who knows me would ever predict that! So surprised and PROUD!”

Mary, I am so proud of you!  Truly, you are an inspiration!  And I am so happy to have met your dear friend, Sarah and her pups.  All four of you are such gifts to each other!

And boy, I am thrilled to have had an opportunity to experience Sarah’s gorgeous home! Truly an unexpected treasure trove!

When Mary, Sarah, Piper and Nellie aren’t on long walks, Nellie and Piper can be found doing their special canine work with patients of Hospice of Southern Maine.


Cheers to new friends, women and pups!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary McGillicuddy permalink
    March 23, 2021 3:48 am

    Love this story even more because it’s my story. Such a journey that was long overdue — but I had the perfect partner in Sarah to take me on this journey. Trust was and is a key factor. Love you Nanette

    • March 23, 2021 11:57 am

      Yes, you had the perfect partners with Sarah and “the girls,” and you had the will to change! So wonderful! Congrats again, Mary! Love you! x

      • Mary McGillicuddy permalink
        March 24, 2021 8:17 am

        Love you Nanette! Thank you so much.

  2. Constance A Duffy permalink
    March 23, 2021 10:13 am

    Truly an inspiring story Mary. I remember you sharing in Aruba your fear of dogs. You became trustworthy in Sarah’s beautiful dogs and with her help walked thru your fears to the other side. Love your dear friend Nanette’s story and the pictures of you and Sarah, Piper and Nellie. You can be proud of that amazing accomplishment!! Love you, Connie

    • March 23, 2021 11:59 am

      Thank you for your comment, Connie! I appreciate you taking the time to read Mary’s story! It sounds like she is a dear friend to both of us! x

    • Mary McGillicuddy permalink
      March 24, 2021 8:15 am

      Thank you so much Connie. It has truly been a journey and one that I was ready to make. I trust Sarah implicitly to continue to guide me and Nanette is the only person I would trust to tell my story. Love you Connie (and Bill).

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