My dog is my saviour.
I've had her four months today. A month before I got her I was in the ICU for a suicide attempt. While in the utterly useless psych ward I had a dream. In it I was being invited in to enter death's house and I was eager to go in and have tea with the people there. A strange dog kept bumping me away from the door. Kept blocking the way and whining at me when I put my hand on the door. Pulling at my cloths to get away. Like they knew it was bad to go in.
A week after I got out of the hospital I decided to look for a dog. This was going to be my one last shot at living. If I could find a dog and bond with it then maybe I could stay alive. If I couldn't I'd give the dog back and end it all.
A week later I brought home Annie and something in my soul woke up. She's a rescue from America where she had been abused by past owners, been attacked as a stray on the street by strange dogs, and burnt by the pound that took her in. She was slated to die the next day. People saved her and got her well enough to travel to Canada. We share a soul I think.
Sure there is the physical changes she has made in me. Losing 40lbs, walking 1-2 hours a day. But there is so much more. I'm learning to have a voice again. To speak up for my dog's welfare. Yes, I will take her to the vet when she's hurt even if no one in my family believes in health care for animals. No, you may not chase her when playing because she cowers. Small things but giving me the chance to speak where I always have remained silent.
The most healing thing for me is our walks. I can get in the car and drive to a trail and push my body hard in the woods for a couple of hours a day. I can be alone among the trees and rivers and let myself feel. I can cry. I can double over in sobs, feeling like I am being choked. I can angrily stomp up a hill. Knowing that no one will hear me and unlike my family my dog won't judge me for displaying emotions. That she'll just show concern if I'm being upset and come and lick my hand before leaping in the woods and making me smile.
She wakes me up from nightmares, has made me feel more at ease with another being touching me. She has saved my life.
So shut up all the people I know about loving an animal too much. For her being my life. She is the only reason I continue to wake up in the morning and I would rather save her life than any of yours.