Firstly, if you know me, you know I love dogs. A lot. Some say too much, and to those people I would kindly like to tell them to back the fuck out of my life. Bye.
Now that’s over with I’ll try to explain why my dog, or any other pet, has helped me so much.
I will start off by saying I have two dogs now, the first (Jessie, cocker spaniel) is really my mums dog, in Jessie’s eyes I am the bottom of the pack to her and she is least excited to me when I come home. Thanks Jess, I love you too.
So because of my love for her and her lack of love for me, I decided I needed something that was solely my responsibility. So in 2016 I got a house rabbit (I’m getting to the other dog bit soon I swear). For a while she was enough, she kept me busy, I sat with her while watching TV, clean her hutch, got her toys, provided lots of enrichment for her.
But a rabbit doesn’t force you to get up in the mornings. It doesn’t make you leave the house.
Whilst volunteering at a rescues centre a pregnant dog came in. I knew that a puppy was the answer. A furry companion to house train, play with, socialise.
So here I am sitting with my 9 month old best friend, Bronte the cockapoo.
I imagine having a puppy is much like having a baby but with less hassle.
Anyway, she gives me a purpose. I have to get out of bed when she wakes me up, otherwise they’ll be a shit on the floor.
But seriously, seeing this excited little bundle of fur come bounding up to me when I come home after a shit day is the best medicine. Because dogs love unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done, or where I’ve been. I know she’ll be here waiting for me.
She is 100% my responsibility, I pay for her insurance, I got her spayed, vaccinated. I clip her claws myself, I trim her fur back myself. I literally would do anything for her. The amount of love I feel for this little one is like nothing I’ve ever felt.
That is the cure. Unconditional love.
Going for long walks with her gives me a reason to leave the house hours. I used to go for long drives, which cost money of cause and I’m pretty certain people started to worry about me with how often I would do that. But with Bronte I have a reason to escape. And I meet people on my walks. It’s not awkward talking to them because our dogs are playing together. I’m not scared of them because they’re here for the same reasons I am.
I have freedom, sort of, to go places and just be in that place. Admire the cliffs, the woods, the beaches. Discover new walking routes, climb a tree, get lost and not feel scared.
Obviously I still have bad days where depression really puts me down and I struggle, I mean really struggle to leave my bed. But then I look at those puppy eyes and I know I need to get up for her. It’s not just about me anymore.
I’m happy watching her run around playing with other dogs or just watching her explore a new place.
I’ve always thought dogs could sense when we’re sad. When I’m down she snuggles up to me, lays her head on my knee.
I don’t need words.
I need you to just understand and be there.
Somehow, Bronte understands, and she’s always there.