I met her on a manic whim 9 years ago. Her big brown eyes, adorable face, endless energy and curly tail captivated my heart. Yes, I’m talking about my dog. My beautiful, gorgeous, bombproof dog.
I was diagnosed with bipolar not long before I got her, and my meds were no where close to working. I think I was partly attracted to her because I identified with her wild energy. She had no training what so ever, and really was a manic ball of energy! She was, and still is super sociable, and adores people, even more so if they have treats for her! I know she played a huge role in me dating my now husband. She really, really adored him! I think she made the decision that he was the one before I did!
When she was younger she was ‘untameable’; she could jump a 6ft fence and no garden could contain her! She would run off on walks and not come back for 45mins. It could be incredibly stressful, but I had a focus in my life again. I worked really hard training her and am proud of the journey we’ve been on. She is still a free spirit, and I love that about her. When she disappears on walks (not for as long now!), I can walk in any direction and she always knows exactly where I am. I like to think I’ve calmed her inner wild, but she still flys. She isn’t, and never has been phased by anything. Horses, cars, people, other dogs, or even a mad toddler! She has been attacked too many times by other dogs, but she hasn’t been put off meeting new dogs. She is so calm and soft in nature. She is always forgiving.
She has been a huge stabling influence in my life. No matter how I feel, she will always need a walk, she gives me that focus.
When I’m depressed, she is up for endless cuddles and she makes sure I get out of the house. It makes me feel a bit better, even if only for an hour. When she was younger and I was out of work, we would go up to the woods and walk for hours and hours. I always found it gave me some breathing space inside my head. When I’ve been more manic, it was her presence that stopped me from impulsively buying plane tickets or arranging bizarre trips! How could I leave her behind?!? She had a huge role in me ending up in the career I have – I get to be outside and have lots of dogs for company!
My husband says her and I are the same. If I were a dog I would be her. However, I think she’s better then I am, and there’s a lot I could learn from her!
Whether it be a dog, cat, rabbit or hamster, I believe that animals can hugely help people with mental illness.
I bought my bombproof dog on a manic whim, but she is, and always will be, by far, the best £100 I have ever spent! Hands down.
I think she saved me, and I will always be thankful I found her when I did.