Now that there’s light at the end of the novel coronavirus pandemic tunnel, people are beginning to test the theory that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
As more vaccines are administered, some families have been able to get together in person after a year or more apart, and it’s wonderful to see their joy! For Hayden Kristal, “normal” meant finally reuniting with her dad, Steve Kristal, after staying away for 18 months.
Hayden typically leads an active life, traveling across the U.S. with her dogs in pursuit of outdoor adventures. Among her canine companions is Bitsy, a 5-year-old Australian shepherd mix who was born both deaf and blind.
When Hayden first brought Bitsy home, the pup was just 5 weeks old. Hayden was still living with her dad, and Steve worried about caring for a dog with disabilities as severe as Bitsy’s. Although he feared they wouldn’t be experienced enough to meet her needs, the sweet, energetic puppy quickly set his mind at ease!
“She has been her own woman since day one,” Hayden said. “The first thing she did when I brought her home was to make a beeline for the food dish, crawl into it, and eat until she passed out.”
“Bitsy is the sweetest, friendliest, most loving, and loyal dog in the world,” the pet mom added. “She is bold and sassy, and she loves adventure!”
Steve and Bitsy quickly bonded, and over the years, he has become one of her favorite people. When the pandemic forced Hayden to stop traveling and stay isolated from her dad, they worried that Bitsy would forget about her “grandpa.”
It didn’t take long for Bitsy to show her humans that they had nothing to worry about! After a year and a half apart, she recognized Steve the second she caught his scent! In a video Hayden shared online, we see the heartwarming moment that Bitsy recognizes Steve and can’t get close enough!
“As soon as I got within scent range, she totally lost her mind with joy,” Steve wrote on Facebook. “So did I.”
The video went viral with thousands of views, earning them new fans and proving how much pets of all abilities enrich our lives! For Steve, the pup’s reaction was a nice reminder of how extraordinary Bitsy is.
“Once again Bitsy proved that the abilities she has are far more impressive than the ones she’s missing,” he said. “What a truly amazing and wonderful soul. Maybe you can tell from this video how much we love each other.”
Bitsy clearly doesn’t use a calendar, so it doesn’t matter if it’s a day, a week, or a year until she gets to see her grandpa again! We can all take a page from her book by looking forward, not backward, as we make our way into our new normal.
Watch Steve and Bitsy’s adorable reunion in the video below, and don’t forget to share this story.
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