Cheers to Our Dogs, the Ultimate At-Home Support System

by: Danielle Ternyila

My life became a mess when I lost my dog, to say the least. In fact, the whole world ended, or at least shut down. We parted ways as she crossed the rainbow bridge just 2 months before I would come to work from home as much as she always dreamed when the pandemic hit. After 13 long years with that beautiful husky mutt we rescued when I was a kid, we said goodbye and I started a life without her, in perhaps not the best of times either.

Turns out life without a dog sucked. The pandemic certainly didn’t help by adding in new layers of stress and nightmares to live through. Things never felt right, until I met a new furry friend.

We rescued Clyde, a 4-year-old shepherd mix, almost a year later, and I can’t believe how much in my life has changed. In a way, I’m getting “back to normal.” My angel kept me together at times I didn’t even know I was tearing at the seams. She gave me something to look forward to at home every day, but more than that a reason to wake up, literally.

There is something just so pure about the love a dog has for its human. They will love you endlessly no matter what. You never feel ashamed or judged by your dog, you can trust them with everything. They provide company so you are never truly alone. They help you to feel safe and protect you.

My dog was my other half, and I took that for granted. Without her my anxiety spiked, I was less active, I had a harder time getting out of bed in the mornings, and I even ate a lot worse by falling off routines I was primarily on for her sake.

Moral of the story is, you can never lean too much on your dog (well, mentally unless you have a very large dog)! Whether or not your doctor warrants it, your dog is your emotional support system, your buddy, your protector. Next time you’re feeling stressed, alone, or just confused, take the fluff ball out for a walk or to the park. You’ll both feel really good after burning some energy, even just a walk around the block.

It is never easy to lose a pet, but find solice in knowing your dog will feel better when you get someone new by your side again to take care of you as they had. If you’re fortunate enough to have a second dog, know the baton has been passed and there is plenty of space in your heart to love more.

This is my shameless plug to remind you all: Adopt Don’t Shop! I’m a proud rescue mom. With love and care, you can’t notice the difference between a rescue and breeder-dog (except the health risks that are associated with dogs from breeders!) You’re not perfect either, and so you should consider doing your research through the many available websites and apps now to find the right furry mate for you among the 70 million homeless dogs in the country.

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