If you don't know already, you will quickly find out that my dog, Rudy, is my baby!
He is not just my pet, Australian Shepard, he is frequently my therapy...
Because I will discuss these areas of my life, throughout this journey, I won't go into much detail, today, so I will simply mention that I have been diagnosed with multiple mental disorders that have/ do affect my day-to-day living and well-being. That said, Rudy, in addition to my husband and family, has played a HUGE role in my recovery! The coolest part is - he doesn't even have to try, or make a conscious effort to help - it's just in his nature!
Fortunately, I am currently in a place where the majority of the time, I just enjoy being a typical pet owner, and Rudy is an "average" Aussie with an over abundant amount of energy and love. However, during the first 2 years (we've had him almost 2.5 years) we had Rudy, he was frequently therapy for me...
Bottomline - I can't put into words, the amount of love and gratitude I have for this pup! He helps get me through the good and the bad, and brings me, and so many others, an incredible amount of joy! Whether it's playing frisbee, taking a walk, riding shot-gun in the car, playing tug-of-war, or sitting/ laying with me on the couch, when I feel immobilized (just to name a few) - this ball of fur heals and blesses me!
If you own a dog, or just know one - give them a 'lil extra lovin' today! ...you may, or may not, realize just how much they positively impact your life :) Happy Friday!
Here is an excerpt from http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/pets-depression, that highlights several health benefits of owning a dog, or pet, in general: ***Personally, I can really relate!!!
Uncomplicated love. Are your relationships with family and loved ones complicated and frayed? A pet can be a great antidote. "With a pet, you can just feel," says Teri Wright, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Santa Ana, Calif. "You don't have to worry about hurting your pet's feelings or getting advice you don't want."
Responsibility. You might not think you can take care of a pet right now. Taking care of yourself may seem hard enough. But experts say that adding a little responsibility can help. It adds a new and positive focus to your life. "Taking care of a pet can help give you a sense of your own value and importance," Cook says. It will remind you that you are capable -- that you can do more than you might think.
Activity. Are you barely getting off the couch these days? You need to get more physical activity. Pets can help. "If you have a dog, that dog needs to be walked," Cook says. A little extra physical activity is good for your physical and mental health.
Routine. Having a daily schedule helps people with depression. An animal's natural routine -- waking you in the morning, demanding food or walks -- can help you stay on track.
Companionship. Depression can isolate you. It can make you pull back from your friends and loved ones. If you have a pet, you're never alone. That can really make a difference.
Social interaction. Having a pet can gently push you to get more social contact. You might chat with others while walking your dog at the park or waiting at the vet. Pets are natural icebreakers, and other pet owners love to talk about their animals.
Touch. Studies show that people feel better when they have physical contact with others. Pets offer something similar. There's something naturally soothing about petting a cat on your lap. Studies have shown that petting a dog can lower your heart rate, too.
Better health. Research has found that owning a dog can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and boost levels of feel-good chemicals in the brain. One study of Chinese women found that dog owners exercised more often, slept better, reported better fitness levels and fewer sick days, and saw their doctors less often than people without dogs.