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  • Writer's pictureThe Painted Egg

What a dog can do for our mental health?

I (Gabriella) have a lot of dogs (10). Many of the dogs that I have are just for my own personal enjoyment, and I truly enjoy watching them play, learn, work etc. - the list is endless. But the main reason I love dogs is simply that they don’t judge us as humans do. They are like an x-ray machine; they “judge” us from the inside out. Despite what they see, they are willing to live with us. During the lockdown, I had to turn several people down because they mentioned one word and that was, “I NEED a warm body, a heartbeat to live with me at this time.” I didn’t like the “need” part. This sounds desperate that the person was scared and guess what, the puppy would ultimately develop issues too, (it happens). This person needed to reach out to a professional dog therapy/service training facility.

However, a healthy person that can continue to live regardless of our world’s chaos (that is continuing to develop all around us) can benefit from having a dog in their life – the dog will benefit as well. Dogs have proven to help our mental health in the face of adversity. It’s lovely to have a furry companion that won’t judge us and truly wants to be close to us because they know WE need them. I’m serious when I say this, “They don’t NEED us as much as we NEED them.” Here in the US, there are over 200, 000 Emotional Support Dogs and I’m sure the numbers are growing. I’m actually surprised the number isn’t greater. It’s comforting to know that there is “someone” we can rely on when things are tough, and when the globe is shaking with uncertainty. I’ve seen for myself that many times when I have been weighted down with life’s issues, I can hug, play, or talk to my furry friends and they will just go along with my desire(s) until I feel better.

Let’s not live our lives in fear because of its uncertainty, but rather live our lives despite these things.

Note: “When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, so many people refused to evacuate without their dogs that Congress passed a law requiring disaster preparedness plans to make accommodations for pets. What began as a mutual-services contract between two very different species became something much more like love. None of that makes a lick of sense, but it doesn’t have to. Love rarely touches the reasoning parts of the brain. It touches the dreamy parts, the devoted parts—it touches the parts we sometimes call the heart. For many thousands of years, it’s there that our dogs have lived.”; human-bond-dog-thoughts

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