Ah, emotional support animals. Are you rolling your eyes? Well with the exception of people using it as an excuse to bring their dogs places they shouldn't (which retracts from the importance of actual certified service animals), I don't think you should be. And let me tell you why. I have always been very open about my struggles with mental health. I have severe generalized anxiety disorder (or as my therapist referred to it, "catastrophic anxiety"), clinical depression, and a panic disorder. I am equally open about being medicated, which has helped me tremendously. Another thing that has helped my mental health is a huge way has been getting a dog.
To make a long story very short: I fell in love with a sickly horse named Miss B as my parents went through a nasty divorce and we saved each other. Miss B was my companion and best friend for five years, and suddenly passed over this past summer. I was absolutely devastated. That horse had become my whole life, and I wasn't sure how I could possibly go on without her. So, my mom found a puppy. I was skeptical at first. I mean yeah puppies are cute and I love dogs, but it wouldn't be the same. I was right, it is not the same. But, it was exactly what I needed.
My dog gives me a reason to wake up on days I don't think I can, forces me outside for fresh air, keeps my mind busy when need be, and above all is always there for me. When the stresses of life and my mind get too much to bear, there is a little dog with a wagging tail at the ready to take my mind off of things. I for one have trouble with waking up several times throughout the night due to my anxiety, and it is nice to be able to roll over and snuggle my puppy to calm down and get back to sleep. Piper, as I'm sure most dogs, can sense when I am upset. Specifically, when I cry my little dog comes and lays on my face almost as if she is trying to get me to stop. It is pretty hard to stay too sad or upset when you have a little dog laying on your face, giving you kisses.
Little miss Piper very quickly became my best friend, and my favorite part of the day. I know people roll their eyes at the phrase "emotional support animal", but that is exactly what my dog is to me. For me, my dog is a welcome distraction for my mind and a living security blanket. Yes, getting a dog is a massive time commitment and a responsibility that should not be taken lightly, In my case, that was just what I needed. In the words of Charles M. Schulz, "happiness is a warm puppy".
'til next time,