Tonight I am going to share a personal journey. I suffer from Depression, I was diagnosed more than 10 years ago and it is something I live with every day of my life. So, you ask, “you write a blog about joy, what gives”? I write this blog for many reasons. A lot of it has to do with wanting to share the things that make me happy in hopes that I can help just one person out there. I will write other articles about my background but tonight I want to talk about how my dog has helped me through one of the toughest times in my life.
Last August I hit one of the lowest points with regard to my depression…work, life, family, you name it, I was very low. We had just adopted Cashmere earlier that summer. I tell people all the time that Cash was one of my strongest allies during this time. Yup, call me crazy dog lady but the effects of having her by my side last year were huge. She doesn’t talk, but she is one of my best friends.
Cashmere altered my behaviour. When I got home from work and was ready to go on a rant, there she was, butt swinging, her nubby little tail wiggling and full of kisses for Mommy. Instead of heading into the house and letting loose of the days activities, I was down on my knees getting all the love I could get.
Dogs help to make those of us who suffer responsible. Cash needed to be walked, fed, kept clean and loved the same as all pets. There were many dark days that the only thing that got me out of bed was the fact that I had Cash who depended on me. This got me out of the house, fresh air in my lungs and not thinking about whatever it was that had me hiding.
The unconditional love offered by dogs and yes, cats too is something I have not found anywhere in my 46 years. They don’t care what you look like, smell like, sound like, what clothes you wear, car you drive, who your friends are or those nasty habits we all have. All they want is a scratch and a snuggle in payment, pretty cheap therapy in my eyes. Pets have been used in retirement homes for years to help the elderly get through times of loneliness, sadness and depression.
Do my pets take up more room in our lovely king size bed than I do? YES. Would I change anything? NO WAY. I love being the filling in my fur baby sandwich. Having come up out of the depressive haze I was in last year, I talk to Cash everyday and tell her how much I love her. If you see me walking down the street with Cash in tow, I am not talking to myself, I am talking to my therapist.
I am going to end my blog today with a few other Canine/Feline therapists I know. They all take payment in treats:
“Because you’re not done. You’re far too young and the best is yet to come” Lullaby by Nickelback