Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dogs as an antidepressant.


Julie Barton has a new book out on her relationship with her dog, called Dog Medicine. It's a memoir about her golden retriever Bunker, and how he acted like a a therapy/aid dog and helped her survive her depression.

She also did a short Q&A about the book over on The Daily Dose.

This is a bitter-sweet read for me, I love hearing about the non-medicalized ways we can seek soothing and comfort, but I want a dog so badly, and I miss having one in my life so much, that reading about having one bums me out.


I can't get a dog unless I work closer to home and can go home for lunch, or, I eventually have a partner I co-habitate with, who shares the responsibility with me. And, I don't know if that's ever going to happen - it could never happen. And that bums me out out out.

I think having a pet-friend is a big responsibility, and stories of them being locked-up all day, or returned/abandoned make me furious. So, I take everything into consideration when thinking of adoption, and that's why I don't have a dog. I don't want it to be alone over 8 hours a day.  

dog dogs panda dog s cute animals

Maybe if I end up in a condo building the allows animals, I can walk and dog-sit for neighbours. That would be a happy alternative, that would at least quench my dog urges.

I mean, I notice dogs the way creeps notice a pretty woman. I make eye contact them immediately, more so than I ever have with any other living thing. I talk to them. I want them to walk by me. I like asking them questions I know they can't answer. I want to know their names. If they ignore me it's devastating.

I sometimes babysit my brother's dog and when he leaves, I definitely feel the difference. I don't take him to the dog park. I can't cuddle him at night. I can't pet him while watching a program on TV. If I drop food on the floor, I have to pick it up (the worst).


It wouldn't be so bad if I had dogs around I could help out with, but my friend C moved to Victoria with her dog, and my one friend left with a dog lost it in a recent divorce, and I sometimes feel like I'm the one who is the most upset about the loss. So here I am, I don't even have a proximity dog.

The BarkPost  love animated cute dog

I pulled a few Barton quotes that sum it up well for me:
For me, the fact that I didn’t have to pretend or explain myself around my dog was the most incredible gift. A dog never asks “Why?” I could be as sad as I wanted to be around Bunker and he didn’t care. He just accepted me. 
That's true. Though when I was very depressed and a dog owner, I often felt guilty about not taking the dog out. She'd sometimes look at me and sigh, which was, well, brutal.
I could be a complete sobbing mess and my dog would calmly sit with me, maybe roll over and ask for a belly rub, maybe bump his big butt on mine. All of those actions always felt like a, “Hey, I’m here. Just so you know."
 From what I understand, golden retrievers are magical dogs made of pure light.
And then there are the things we can’t explain, like when we’re in a room alone, feeling bad, and the dog is all the way across the house, but he still comes trotting down the hallway and peeks his head around the door, his eyebrows, so concerned, say, “Person? You ok? Did you forget that I love you?”
That's the good stuff. That a dogs' needs are simple enough, and that they align with a basic schedule of taking care of yourself. Food. Walk. Fresh Air. Maybe some play. Some cuddles. A friend.

The BarkPost  cute dog food adorable

I miss having a little furry friend.

I contacted a local animal shelter about walking their dogs, but they seem to be over-run by volunteers of that kind.

For now I'm just going to be a dog-creep I guess.

funny dog funny puppy funny animals cute

No comments:

Post a Comment