People.com Lifestyle Health Then & Now: Julianne Hough Undergoes Two Surgeries for Endometriosis — with Pup Lexi by Her Side "My second laparoscopy for my Endometriosis was over the holidays and of course, who was right by my side? My guardian angel Lexi," the star wrote on Instagram By Kate Hogan Kate Hogan Instagram Twitter Kate Hogan is Director of Digital Specials and Features at PEOPLE. In her 14 years at the brand, she has covered everything from pets and babies to style and Sexiest Man Alive, interviewing celebrities including Céline Dion, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Chris Evans. Currently, she oversees the creation of photo galleries that complement breaking news and major PEOPLE moments like The Beautiful Issue and 100 Reasons to Love America. She has offered expert celebrity commentary on Good Morning America and Access Hollywood. Before joining PEOPLE in 2008, Kate was an editorial assistant at Morris Visitor Publications. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication and resides outside of Chicago with her husband and three kids. People Editorial Guidelines Published on January 12, 2018 04:07 PM Share Tweet Pin Email As if we didn’t already believe it, dogs really are (wo)man’s best friend. In a sweet #FBF post shared on Jan. 12, Julianne Hough recounted two times when beloved pup Lexi wouldn’t leave her side following laparoscopy to treat her endometriosis. In the first image, from 2008, “my angel baby LEXI was only a few months old,” Hough wrote. Brooks Laich/Instagram ” Cut to 9 years later and not much as changed… except the size of her little head 🙂 My second laparoscopy for my Endometriosis was over the holidays and of course, who was right by my side? My guardian angel Lexi. “Who else feels like their dog is their guardian angel?” she continued. “LEXI always knows when I’m sick, feeling sad, or when I need her, and I don’t even know it… Dogs are just incredible!!! I love my Lexi soooo much!!!! #dogsarelife #somedogsarehumans #guardianangel #soulmate #endometriosis” She added “#harleymatterstoo,” a nod to her second, just as loved, pooch. Hough was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2008, and told PEOPLE her symptoms go all the way back to childhood. “When I was 15, I had symptoms of endometriosis, but I had never heard of it, didn’t know what it was. I thought that this was just the kind of pain you have when you’re on your period,” she said. “For years, for I was just thinking that was normal and never really talked about it.” In 2008, Hough was rushed to the hospital from the Dancing with the Stars set after suffering from severe stomach pains. “I found out that I had endometriosis and that I needed to get surgery that week,” she said. “The first initial thought was a little bit of fear because I didn’t know what it was, especially because it’s not talked about as much as it is today,” she continued. “And then also relief because I was able to put a name to the pain, and know there were treatments and I could talk to my doctor and create a plan to help manage the pain.” While Hough does still experience painful episodes, she doesn’t let it interfere with her daily life. “I still live a healthy, active life and do the things the I love,” she said.