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How has your dog helped you/ your family?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by WillowT, Apr 22, 2017.


  1. WillowT

    WillowT PetForums VIP

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    so, I am normally quite a private person but I feel a need to share a part of my life with you good people to acknowledge how amazing dogs are!

    It was always on the agenda to get a dog as me and my husband both grew up around them.
    However, 2 years into marriage things went really wrong for us..... my husband had a very difficult time following back surgery and ended up having chronic pain, he was on opioids for a fair while... then he became clinically depressed and then his father died. Following all of this in the crutches of depression he tried to take his own life. This was a very traumatic time for both of us ( we didn't have willow then).
    A couple of months after his attempt he revisited the idea of getting a dog..... I was very wary so we pondered it for a few more months..... I agreed in the end as he was not working so it seemed ideal that he would always be there.... I also wanted a puppy as I had never had a puppy before.
    6 months after that horrible day we found a rescue puppy in wales who was 3 months old.... and before we know it we had willow home.

    I think willow gave him routine and purpose during those hardest days. I have only just been able to see this really. But when he didn't feel like taking care of himself like eating well etc he always made sure she got her food, he had such fun tying toys to a rope to watch her play with and would send me little videos or pictures at work and previously he hadn't been able to walk very far with the back pain but he took her for a 5-10 min walk just to make sure she got little experiences and exercise.

    Over the course of 2 years since we have had her he has got off the opiates, and worked up to nice walks with her..... he can now walk 6-7 miles non-stop with her. Now he is gearing up to get back to work. He is a very different man from what he was and I truely believe that this is the power of our pets....
    I always knew that dogs were special.... but willow I feel has quite literally saved my husbands life and what could be more amazing than that.
     
  2. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    What a lovely tale about Willow..

    I don't often speak here in dog chat about my mental health but I do live daily with severe depression, that as Churchill described is like a black dog that follows me around...
    I can tell you now I owe my dogs so much in helping me through tough times...Chronically ill currently with something or other but the dogs help so much although I miss not being able to walk them much, I do enjoy watching them do the crazy amusing and loving things they do on a daily basis, they help me so much.
     
  3. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Oh dear my eyes are leaking. Wonderful story @WillowT , thanks for sharing.
     
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  4. fernlady

    fernlady PetForums VIP

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    What started as a sad story became a lovely inspirational read. I hope Willow continues to bring you so much joy. Our dogs truly are wonderful in every way. Thank you for sharing x
     
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  5. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    What a lovely story.

    My Holly has helped me enormously since she came into my life. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I also had a hard time through my 20s as my family did not take well to me coming out and for some years I felt trapped, scared and suicidal. I felt like a disappointment to my parents and that I had let them down. After I got married (well civil-partnered technically) my family finally accepted my OH into the family, but the feelings of inadequacy never left me. Then a sweet, slightly goofy and very loving GSD came into my life and everything got so much better. Taking her on walks and watching her enjoy the simple things, like carrying the biggest stick she can find and getting the zoomies in long grass takes my mind off everything else. She looks at me as if I'm the best thing since sliced bread and it gives me that sense of purpose and belonging. Aside from my OH, I can honestly say that she is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
     
  6. spamvicious

    spamvicious PetForums Senior

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    Aww what lovely stories. I left my home town eight years ago and moved to London, at first it was great but three years ago I slipped into severe, severe depression and was suicidal. At Christmas I made the big decision to move back home and the biggest reason for that was that I could finally have a dog again. So here I am at 33, single and have moved back in with my mum. In some ways I feel like a total failure but then I look at Star and smile. The only issue I've had, is that since getting her four days ago I've had a real spike in my anxiety, I'm constantly worried, am I looking after her right?, is she ok?, is she sick? is someone going to steal her?. I hope this subsides and I can really enjoy her.
     
  7. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    All new puppy/dog owners go through many anxieties...i would describe that as normal, and hopefully nothing to worry about.
     
  8. MollySmith

    MollySmith PetForums VIP

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    What a lovely post and thread @WillowT, dogs are so special and it's lovely to hear the positive impact your puppy has made.

    Molly saved me from my demons. I have recurrent miscarriages that I now know are caused by a lifelong blood condition but prior to finding this out went through 6 rounds of IVF and they all failed me. I struggled a lot with my mental health and adopting Molly after the last IVF cycle drew that part of our lives to a close - no drama or big decisions. I do still struggle - I find society incredibly heartless to those who are involuntarily childless - but try to focus on my dog and the joy she brings to my life and the great friends we've made since we've had her around. She is a rescue, a stray from Animal Helpline Trust who saved her from being PTS on a council pound so in many ways have saved each other.
     
  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Loving all the stories..have always known dogs have a something special about them, although any animal that helps you is great.
     
  10. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    What moving stories. I read a quote once that isn't so much about pets helping us but I like it and hope you don't mind me sharing here - "I want to be the sort of person that my dog already thinks I am".
     
  11. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Let's just say, I know with Jack there is no "agenda" and he won't let me down ;)

    Apart from being a reliable companion, he is the only one to encourage me to get out walking every day :)
     
  12. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    Lets just say that people who know me have said that getting Bungo was the best thing I could of done.
    I've had a professional I see describe Bungo as a 'furry antidepressant' and they too have said he is the best thing for me.
     
  13. jamat

    jamat PetForums VIP

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    All wonderful stories all :)

    We got Alfie partly because my daughter wanted a dog and partly because i needed to loose weight and couldn't be fagged to go o a diet.....in the last two years I've lost two stone and my doctor has said im no longer at risk of diabetes :)
     
  14. JenKyzer

    JenKyzer PetForums VIP

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    What lovely stories so far :) dogs are so special aren't they, I feel sorry for those who say 'it's only a dog..' if only they knew!

    I didn't want Kyzer at all, we didn't need a puppy adding to our lives really but little did I know that he would become the love of my life :) when Kyzer was 5months I had a miscarriage & after that came 18months of sadness... he (as well as my other 2 dogs at the time) gave me reason to get up in a morning, to stay focussed, took my mind away from the darkness & seeing his face every morning as the alarm went off made it so worth while. 8months ago I turned our lives upside down by walking out on my unhealthy relationship (after months of counselling & other appointments I eventually saw my life for what it really was) .. Kyzer was left with my ex for a couple of weeks but it turns out he wasn't eating properly & trashed the house whilst he went to work .. so it's turns out we need one another just as much as each other :) I changed our routine so much & was dreading him not being happy as it broke my heart thinking I'd have to rehome him if it didn't work out but luckily our bond is now stronger than ever, we're both in the best shape we've ever been in, he has the waggiest tail & I have the biggest smile - every day :) people always comment on how happy he looks & how well behaved he seems, he makes me so proud :D
     
  15. MaggiesMom

    MaggiesMom PetForums Senior

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    Lovely stories :)
    I started volunteering at my local rescue last may . Maggie had been in the country a couple of weeks & we bonded instantly. But i didn't want my own dog, didn't think I could cope. Over the summer my depression got worse & my brain decided to add anxiety to the mix. Going to the kennels to walk the dogs was the only thing that kept me going.
    When the kennels said Maggie might be moving on to another site (it was another rescue that brought her over from Romania) I knew we had to work something out so we took her on for a 3 week trial & luckily it worked out well.
    She's my furry antidepressant & even when I'm really low I know I have to walk her & that always makes me feel better. Through owning her I get out more & do so much more :)
     
  16. fernlady

    fernlady PetForums VIP

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    @Sairy The world is so cruel. I hate how judgemental people are regarding race, sexuality, religion etc. It's your life & a very short one at that so live it how you see fit & stick your fingers up to the opinionated. If we all thought like dogs the world would be a happier place x
     
  17. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Aww Thankyou, that means a lot. I agree that the world would be a happier place if we all thought like dogs.
     
  18. cbcdesign

    cbcdesign PetForums VIP

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    What a great outcome following Willows arrival!
    Dogs can be great motivators. Duch gives me a reason to get off my jacksie and do some exercise. She is also supremely loyal and good company.
     
  19. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    @WillowT I hope your husbands return to work goes well x @JenSteWillow your boy looks great glad you were there for each other. X

    We as a family are dealing with some pretty pants stuff, actually the most pants thing anyone has to deal with I think for all of us our family dogs are a non judgemental companion. You don't have to explain or talk about why you are breaking your heart, they won't judge you for your anger and resentment, and are always up for a cuddle. They keep you going and make you laugh, we are a positive open family who talk about the most painful topics and deal with everything with humour and I have an amazing human support network but my dog allow me to totally disconnect and escape reality by walking, it normally just me and Cian in those times but it allows me to recharge and forget real life for a few hours x I love my dogs x
     
  20. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

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    This thread is absolutely soul warming. Thanks for starting it @WillowT and thanks everyone for being so brave and sharing your stories.

    In her two short years, Phoebe has helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life. We've had 6 deaths in the family in the last 15 months, and at times I've felt like crawling into a hole and never coming out again, but Phoebe gives me a reason to carry on. She make my heart happy when it's been breaking, she instinctively gives me cuddles when I need them the most and most importantly, she makes me laugh out loud every single day.


    I have an anxiety disorder that has debilitated my life so much in the past. At one stage I was terrified to leave the house, but since Phoebe arrived, she's given me a heap of confidence and is something for my brain to focus on other than the sheer panic. I have the confidence to go places and do things without my OH that I'd never have done before. I'd never have joined a club let alone stood up in front of a room full of people and made an absolute arse of myself like I do at all her training classes.. but I don't give a damn when Pheebs is beside me.

    She's my rock and has changed my life.
     
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