Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Emotional Support Dog

The story of Bella, my right hand pug

Natalie Jeanne Maddy
4 min readJul 24, 2020


“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.”
Josh Billings

Alone. Petrified. Isolated. Trembling. Sweating. Confused. Emotional.

I was in need of support, absolutely, upon moving to Vegas without friends and without family (family in town, that is). Though I was living in my aunt’s home for a year — very generous of her, I might add — she wasn’t constantly home and was mostly traveling the world. I had no work (upon moving), no friends (yet) and no place of true comfort which I could call my own.

Having moved with such uncertainty of my future, I entrusted my grandparents with my darling pug, two states away.

Deep in the throws of my depression, I decided I needed Bella back, lest my mind unravel to the point of no return. No improvement. No sanity. So I made the trip to get her back, realizing how much I needed her and also realizing, how much I’d need to change in order for her to need me!

I saw a doctor, who wrote me a letter to use as the need for an emotional support dog, which I later used at the airport back home with my emotional support pug, Bella. I laugh now, but the scene to follow was an outright shit-show whilst I was at the airport with my parents, having just been denied a flight due to having an incorrectly headed letter, on behalf of the doctor who wrote it:

“Ma’am, you can’t use that letter without a proper heading.

“But she’s my support dog. You can even call my doctor, and have her verify herself via the office.”

“Sorry, but it’s policy. You can’t fly with her as a support. She’s not, according to this letter that doesn’t have a proper heading.”

Me crying, as I now have to cancel work, rely on my parents to drive me back to the airport another day, buy a kennel for my dog, and sleep over at family’s house where dogs aren’t allowed…

“But she is my support. Here’s the letter,” I mumble in between sobs.

“Not with that letter, she’s not.”

Me leaving, crying.

My parents were there — thank God! — or I’d have been trapped at the airport to await…



Natalie Jeanne Maddy

I try to rouse others to find their truths by writing about my own! Yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy teacher. Author of 5 books — thriller, healing, poetry.