HOW PETS CAN HELP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

LOVE YOUR PET DAY

02/20/2019

My dog Ramsey is the first pet I’ve ever had. Our family got him when I was 21 on July 3, 2013, when I was still living at home. Even though he is a family pet the main idea was for me to have an unofficial therapy dog. At this time I was really struggling with depression and anxiety and my mom thought getting a dog would really help me with my issues. Well let me tell you, he surely did. Anytime I was panicking or crying he would sit right next to me. And he still does. Just because I don’t live with my mom anymore doesn’t mean I don’t go and see him multiple times a week, because I do. He is the sunshine in my life and I don’t know what I would do without him.

We got Ramsey as a puppy which meant we had to do a lot of work to train him. This is where the tough part comes in. If I had decided to get my own puppy at the time, there’d be no way I’d be able to take care of him. I wasn’t even able to get out of bed at times. However, would having a puppy give me the motivation I needed? Who knows. Even though I’m doing better than I was back then, I personally am not going to risk that, which is why I don’t have a dog or animal of my own because I currently live alone.

Dogs are such special creatures. They give you unconditional love that you probably won’t find anywhere else. And I don’t mean to discriminate against other pets, I just have only ever had a dog so I’m speaking from my own perspective. Not only does Ramsey cling to humans when we’re sad or upset, but even the other day my mom’s boyfriend’s dog was having a seizure and Ramsey was right there with him and looking up at my mom as if he was asking for reassurance that the other dog would be ok. This type of behavior gives me so much more reason to love my already perfect dog.

I think we’re all obsessed with our pets, but how many of you can say you dressed up like yours for Halloween? I’m obsessed with all things pug (you should see my apartment!) but I just felt like I had to take it to the next level a few years ago. Luckily I am a creative individual so I didn’t have to buy one of those horrid pug masks they sell for like $60 at the Halloween stores!

What if you’re realizing, like me, you just can’t take care of a pet on your own? Well, I have some options for you that help me living alone:

  1. Stuffed animals. I actually have two pug ones that sleep in my bed with me every night (shhh don’t tell Ramsey!). I read before I go to bed every night and I hold the bigger one in my right arm as I read and hold my book with my left hand.
  2. If you have a pet that doesn’t live with you, also like me, there are websites out there to recreate your pet into anything you want, like a pillow, slippers, etc. Heck, I’d even do it if my pet lived with me. My best friend, that I talked about in my Friendaversary post, made a pillow of her dog for her apartment while she’s away at college.
  3. Plants. They might not be able to interact with you but at least there is that gratification knowing because of your actions the plant is thriving (or not, in my case.) But, if you do have a green thumb there are immeasurable benefits from having plants in your living space!
  4. Dog-walking. I dog walk every morning for a family friend and I now have a bond with another amazing dog. You can never have enough dogs in your life, let me tell you! It gives me enough responsibility to have to get up and out of bed every morning but if I’m having a rough day I can go back to bed if I really want. The best part about this is I usually don’t go back to bed, because once I complete my job of dog walking I am more motivated to continue being productive throughout the day.
Yes, I, of course, added a body positive pin to my Dough the Pug stuffed animal!
Ok, this is the last picture of Ramsey, I promise! This picture is actually the wallpaper on my phone.

As always, you can check out the card featured in this post, and many more, right on my Etsy site here.

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