I've been on antidepressants for depression for a while now. I won't bore you with all the details but get to the point where for the last couple of weeks I've felt a return of some of the symptoms. Feeling down, no sense of purpose or worth, not being able to concentrate on one task.
I used to feel very lonely during the day time. My other half works during the day and I leave for work before he gets home and I'm there until 10pm. During the day, particularly the dark winter months I would feel very alone and often stay in bed until I had to get up to get ready for work. Having my pups gives me something to get up for. They give me something to concentrate on and strive for. They give me something to smile at and feel thankful for. They keep me company and stop me feeling lonely. They'll play or do something cute and I can't help but laugh and smile at them. When they do something good I have to use my cheery voice to praise them and that makes me more cheerful. When they give me cuddles and lick my face is warms my heart. When they wag their tails and get excited to see me it makes me feel better. When I get their food and water, give them treats and teach them things it gives me a sense of purpose and reward. I can't believe just how much of a difference these pups have made to my depression. I've seen times in the past where I know I would have felt bad if I didn't have the pups around but I was fine instead. They're my babies.
They both look after me. Willow is a happy girl. If I call her she will come running, excited, tail wagging ferociously and give me lots of kisses. She loves to cuddle and when she sleeps she will burrow as close into my side or legs as possible. She's so cute I can barely stand it some times. Mylo is my gorgeous little boy. He's so caring. He's been giving me lots of cuddles lately...I think he's becoming in tune to my feelings as he grows a bit older. He keeps coming and sitting on my chest so I can cuddle him...he's also been putting his neck on my shoulder. He has always made sure to lick any cut or sore you have, whether you want him to or not! If I cough, sneeze or choke on something he immediately looks up to see if I'm ok. If it sounds really bad(more than just a sneeze) he leaves what he's doing (even if that means Willow getting what he was chewing) and jumps up on the chair to lick my face, or inspect me to check I'm ok. When he's sure I'm ok he will go back to what he was doing. He also does this to Rich and Willow. He's such a sweet boy.
I've had dogs growing up and I loved them and still think about them and miss them but I didn't know it was possible to love dogs as much as I love my two. I love them more than I love most humans. They're my babies. I have actual motherly instincts. I blame nesting instincts on my urge to buy beds and blankets and make sure they're warm and covered at night. I didn't realise there would be such a difference between having family dogs and my own dogs. I haven't had a dog since I left home at 18 (9 years ago) and I've really missed it. I've only just come to a point where I could afford it. There are a lot of other things I could have bought with the money and more money could be going away towards the wedding each month or whatever but I wouldn't hesitate to do it all again. I think I ended up with the pups I was supposed to have. They're so well behaved for puppies and just perfect for me. They bring me so much joy that no amount of money would not be worth it. It's like having our own little family and I hope and pray that they will still be here when I have children and they're grown and they can teach each other love and empathy and to look after one another.
I just wanted to share how much they mean to me and how good they have been for my mental health. If anyone you know is suffering from depression buy them a chihuahua!
Sorry for the length of the post!