I just read a very cute and inspiring article on Dogster.com about how a German Shepherd puppy helped the writer out of severe depression and I thought I would share it with you.
“I am one of the 15 million Americans who struggle with depression. I have for a number of years, but it wasn’t until last year that I reached my breaking point. My depression became so bad that I could barely work. I lived in a cloud of misery. I considered suicide.
That’s when I met Forest.
If you read a previous article I wrote, I didn’t even really like dogs until I met Forest. So it’s kind of a miracle that he ended up being the key to my recovery. I don’t know if it was destiny or fate or luck or cosmic coincidence, but here was this clumsy, dorky, nippy German Shepherd puppy who needed. Needed someone to watch him, care for him, play with him, train him — whose very survival depended on me providing that for him.
He was the creature that made life worth living for me, metaphorically and literally.”
The writer then goes on to explain about the wide variety of positive emotions that her puppy “Forest” brought into her life to help her overcome depression.
“However, while I struggled to take care of myself, I couldn’t do that with Forest. I had to feed him. I had to change out the water in his water bowl. I had to take him for walks. I had to play with him. I don’t want to make this sound negative, but because I had to do these things, my brain couldn’t make excuses for me to not do it. I could easily just dismiss my own care in favor of sleeping all day — I had to get myself up to pour food and wash bowls and take him for walks and play with him. (And if you know shepherds, they are highly active.) And because I had to do these things, I was able to start doing things for myself again.
Since I was washing out dog bowls, I ended up washing the other dishes since I was there. Since I was feeding Forest, that got me interested in learning about healthy food for dogs, and in turn, that meant eating more healthy food too. Because I had to take him for walks, that got me exercising, which is one of the best ways to treat depression. So on and so forth, these small routines helped put me back together.”
The author finishes by explaining how she started to overcome loneliness because Forest never wanted to leave her alone. She also said “Depression often leaves you feeling unloved – but dogs are filled with so much love!”
An incredible story! Check out the full article here: www.dogster.com
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