10. Mental Health & Pets – #blog4MH

This is a post I’ve been thinking about writing from the start of the weekend. If you know me in real life, you will not be surprised to read about this post. If you don’t know me in real life, don’t worry, I won’t shut up about it so you’ll hear about it often enough.

I really, really want a dog. My old pup, Bella (or Bayya as I often called her) who was an Italian greyhound, passed away nearly two years ago. We haven’t had another dog since. My parents have both had dogs in the past, and we’ve had other pets like hamsters and a couple of fish before, too. You guys know that we’ve had Nova, and that we have Galaxy right now, too.

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Bayya had three legs and cataracts for the last couple of years of her life (the eye problems, not the three legs). These photos were taken in 2013.

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Bayya’s full size.

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Mr. Nova. February 2016 – November 2016. A cuddly little dude who gave us lickies.

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Mr. Galaxy. November 2016 – present. A fancy marking Chinese hamster, he doesn’t like getting picked up too much, and is still pretty high energy. Maybe when he gets older though… πŸ™‚

(I’ll include more photos of Bayya at the end, because I have more photos of her (folders upon folders!!) and yeah.) Also I have *NEW* photos of some of the doggos at the playtime park. πŸ™‚

ANYWHO!

Back to the point.

When Bayya got sick a couple years ago, she made it to her 12th birthday until passing away a couple of days later, I was so able to push aside all of my mental health garbage bins of bullshittery to be by her side. I genuinely made NO time for the OCD. It was all about being with her while she was struggling.

And I KNOW there is research out there that’s been done that shows the positive benefit of having an animal and how it affects those of us with mental health conditions.

The problem is convincing my parents of this and other factors.

That’s my current problem: I want a dog but my parents don’t. One of my parents is willing to go look at dogs online and with me this weekend and a couple other times for adoption events but they’re pretty stubborn on letting up with their opinions.

Basically, one of my parents is pulling the whole “It’s our house” card and also wants me to be better and healthy before I get an animal involved in the picture. They don’t want to take care of the doggo, especially when I’m not doing well and am going through my dark days. They also think that even if I had a doggo, that when I’m at school and doing poor, how will that help me then?

And then there’s the whole ginormous responsibilities list of the doggo. We’d have to have a female doggo, it can’t be too old or too young (I’m still looking at puppies anyways), it has to learn how to go potty outside, what if it gets ticks? What if we get Lyme too? Who will take care of it when I’m at school? At work? When no one’s home? Will it be in a crate? Who will feed it? Where will it sleep? Will it bark incessantly? Will it chew on the furniture? Will it…What if…??

Thinking of all of this stress subconsciously is why I pulled out part of my brow on Sunday night. Now I’m doing better managing my stress so that doesn’t have to happen again (I’ve pulled a couple times since but not as extreme – and not to that brow).

The biggest argument they have is that I can barely take care of myself so how will I take care of another pet? (I must be honest, I’m struggling with the hamster).

 

So to deal with these stressors, and the stressor of school soon ending, I’ve been coping and avoiding by looking at my favorite doggos online. I use adopt-a-pet the most, but rescue-me is good too.

Some people have suggested I volunteer somewhere–but where? It’s about as useless information as trying to get a service dog (they cost hella more than I thought they would!) Although it’s cool what they have about psychiatric service dogs. I tweetered about that the other day.

 

My therapist told me to keep thinking about problem SOLVING in my session this week. So while my feelings are tumultuous about the idea of not getting a doggo this summer I have to just keep in mind that it will happen. Mainly, by thinking of it happening this summer. I’ve started to really imagine what it will be like to have a doggo again, and I really, really like it. I wish my parents would give me the opportunity to try it out, but they won’t. I think it could really help!! I could even have LESS mental health bullshit, it could PROGRESS my recovery…and still I sit with no doggo present.

I feel an emptiness inside for not having a dog. I enjoy the playtime stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been needing more of it lately than usual, or than before. It’s hard too ’cause it’s not like I can always go to a neighbor in my nearby area to just pet THEIR dog. Usually people want to make small talk more than what I’m interested in. I just want to pet dogs and have some company again. (Like all the time and at my disposal easily)

I really miss my Bayya. Even Nova, too.

I took them for granted when they were around. Because now they’re gone and I can’t have them back.

I see other people have two dogs, three, four! And it makes me jealous ’cause I can’t even have ONE!

I feel like an outsider without a dog. I can’t understand the funny things they do, except for remembering Bayya’s silly things. But Bayya isn’t here anymore… I really miss her. She was more my Mom’s dog though. I want my new dog to me more my dog.

 

I’m gonna just end it there. I’ve been crying enough already. I would show you guys some of the doggos I’m interested in, but I’m thinking if I do they might get adopted sooner, and unless it’s me adopting them, I don’t want that. XD The cute ones always go first…

Here are some of the doggo pictures from last Sunday!

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And some of Bayya (but not all, I’ll do more in the future if you’d like):

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I look forward to new photography adventures with my new dog to come, one day. I think they may even get me back INTO photography. Speaking of, I have another post to work on….

The story certainly isn’t over here. This post involved a mixture of grief of past pets and the hope for new ones. I really think it would help me, but only time will tell for sure. Until then, if you guys have any tips or tricks or could share your own stories of doing either well or poor with an animal and mental health conditions, please do share them!

Thanks everyone!

 

 

5 thoughts on “10. Mental Health & Pets – #blog4MH

  1. I’m in the same boat. My parents won’t let me have one while I’m still living with them. 😦 I’ve always wanted my own doggie, but it was not to be. Hopefully one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: [Repost] Mental Health & Pets – #blog4MH | The Mental Health Repository: Winding Through The Willows

  3. I have a lot to say about this (I love dogs too! And have a lot of opinions on pets and mental health) but no time, so for now I’ll say, could you foster for a shelter? It wouldn’t be permanent, you could give a dog a good home for a while and even adopt it if it feels like the right one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doggos are awesome πŸ™‚ I’d love to hear what more you have to say when the time allows for it.

      For now though, yes, that’s a good idea! My Mom is more open to that idea so I may look more into that process. Maybe that’s something we can do for a while and be a little stepping stone to move into getting an official doggo. Thanks for the encouragement! πŸ™‚ ❀ xxx

      Like

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