A 32-year-old blind woman has been reunited with her beloved guide dog after spending seven months apart due to her furry friend undergoing surgery to remove several benign tumors.
Kimberley Burrows — an art student from Leeds, England — told the BBC that her 8-year-old Labrador, Tami, has “slotted back into my life perfectly” after they spent 213 days without one another.
“Our reunion was so lovely,” she said. “When I got the call that Tami was downstairs in the reception of my student accommodation, the lift couldn’t arrive fast enough.”
“I opened the door and she ran to me, sniffing and investigating every part of my face that wasn’t covered with a mask,” Burrows recalled. “I could feel the sensation of her tail wagging madly through her body and I found it so hard to fight back tears.”
Burrows had struggled with sight since birth and lost the remainder of her vision four years ago when both of her retinas became detached, according to the BBC.
She was matched with Tami in 2014 to help her with her with everyday life, including attending heavy metal concerts before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“She gives me the freedom to enjoy my life just like anybody else can, in a safe and supported way,” Burrows said of Tami.
When Tami went into surgery last August, Burrows said she felt “lonely” and “depressed” without her canine companion. While Burrows did have a cane to help her get around in Tami’s absence, she said it “couldn’t replace” having a guide dog.
“I felt very lost and vulnerable whenever I went out to university or the shop and stopped going out at all if I could help it,” she remembered.
To Burrows’ delight, not only has Tami fully recovered from surgery, but the pooch has also remembered her training as a guide dog.
“Tami has recovered perfectly and it’s like no time has passed between us at all!” she told Leeds Live. “Working with her is such a dream and she makes being blind so much easier. I have my freedom and my smile when she is with me.”
Burrows added of her dog, “I could not be prouder of her and I have never felt so happy.”