Maybe it’s because I’ve started obsessively watching Pitbulls & Parolees or merely because I haven’t written about how much I love my dog, but I figured it’s time to share my story with having an emotional support animal.
People assume that animals solely rely on you to take care of them, but sometimes it can be the complete opposite – we seriously need them. It’s not only their capacity to spread pure joy, but their unconditional love that boosts my own mental health. No matter what you’re suffering through, they don’t judge. You are still that person who is everything to them.
When I’m at my worst and only feel like staying in bed, it’s Gussie – my 11-year-old Chow mix – that gets me up and moving. He counts on me everyday and the last thing I will do is let him down.
I’ve had Gussie since he was just a little floof but only recently made the move to register him as an emotional support animal. Since being diagnosed with GAD, I’ve found that having Gussie around has dramatically improved my quality of life. Even when I’m having the worst kind of day – whether I’m ruminating or drowning myself in negative thoughts – I take solace in the fact that I can come home to a bundle of pure love and light whose only mission is to make me feel okay.
It’s just a fact that pets improve the lives of us owners. Very recently, Gussie has shown how much I truly need him emotionally and for my mental health:
This past weekend, I went through a breakup. The night it happened, and when he left my apartment, Gussie was the only source of comfort for me. I was alone and leaned completely on him in that time of high anxiety and emotion. He was so protective and on guard of my safety and emotional welfare that when my friend came over to check on me, he jumped on her when she hugged me. Since the breakup, he has constantly been by my side. I wouldn’t have it any other way. He is like an extra arm, leg – a piece of my heart. I will never separate from him and feel grateful that I’m in his life and that he’s in mine.
If you want to learn more about ESA’s, check out the article I wrote at Inpathy Bulletin!
Do you have an ESA? How does your pet help with your mental health?