If there’s one thing that I can rely on in life, it’s that I love animals. Seriously, I’m one of those people who will squeal at dogs when driving, greet your dog before I greet you, and generally fuss over animals more than they probably deserve. (And they deserve EVERYTHING!)
When I was at home last, I noticed that whenever I was feeling down, I could play with my dog Jasper and it would immediately lift my mood. He would also know whenever I was feeling low, and was extra gentle with me, cuddling up (which he doesn’t normally do!) and letting me just pet him. This was so soothing for me, you have no idea. I could feel my anxieties just seeping out of me as I pet him.
I’ve always wanted an emotional support dog, though I’m not sure how much this would cost to get a dog trained, and I don’t know if they have the same laws here in the UK as to whether they count as service dogs. I’m hoping one day I’ll be able to either work from home, so I can look after my dogs (I want two corgis!) or I can take them to work with me. I think this would have a huge effect on my depression and anxiety, especially if I can take them for brief walks throughout the day. I know that workplaces, especially within the arts industries, are becoming more and more tolerant of having animals around. Hurray!!
I also think that having dogs will make me get out of my own head – like, there are animals that I need to look after, I don’t have the option to wallow in my own depressed thoughts, if that makes sense. They’d also make sure that I get outside at least once a day, which always has a good effect on my mood. However, that’s all in the future. All I know for now is that I need to keep animals in mind when thinking about self care, and visit home as much as possible so I can play with Jasper again and again.
Do animals have the same effect on you?