Saturday, October 16, 2021
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My Therapy Dog

We live in an enormous world where I believe we all experience some sort of anxiety. It could range from something as simple as being afraid of the dark to something as complex as panicking about your SAT scores. The majority of my life I have experienced anxiety. No matter how trivial a thing may be, I have become anxious when it comes to the biggest of things. In the past, I have visited a therapist, but now anyone can talk to me about my anxiety, so I have never received proper treatment for my anxiety. As strange as it will sound, I need a friend who won’t talk back. It’s not a friend who can say anything. It’s a friend who will listen. There is unlimited time. A fun bonus is that it’s free. My dog became that friend. My therapy dog.

Every dog has this way of bringing happiness to the world. When you come home after a long day at work or school, they want to warm your heart and cuddle with you to make you feel closer to family and friends. If you suffer from a panic attack, you know that a friend is there to offer unwavering support and comfort. They are truly there for you at a time when you most need them.         

Throughout this season of my life, my dog has likely been there for me through every emotion and anxiety episode. Having gone through a tough start to high school, I found myself stressed. A lot of my time has been spent worrying about my appearance. With all the anxieties that come with being a teenager, I have been stressed about how I will make it to graduation. It’s nice to be able to talk to my dog. As a constant companion, he is always in my room with me. Without making a sound, he is just there for me. Although it sounds odd, it really works. Being surrounded by a companion in your life helps you feel more at peace. There is nothing better than the comfort of a furry friend in times of need.

Animals are known for their touch. Humans can never have this special touch. I think that’s probably what I love about animals and pets. It is impossible for a human to reproduce their love. The “electricity” between you and your pet is a wonderful feeling, whether they cuddle with you or just say “hi” to you at the door. Since I was a child, I never really wanted a pet, but now that I have a dog, the “touch” we have together will never end. Due to his love, I no longer have to be afraid of dogs or other pets. We are safeguarded by the love of the touch. Unlimited love is guaranteed by this feeling. According to petsforpatriots.org, “Studies have shown that even small interactions with dogs cause the human brain to produce oxytocin, a hormone often referred to as the “cuddle chemical.” Oxytocin increases feelings of relaxation, trust, and empathy while reducing stress and anxiety.”  Although they will go up to dog heaven, the touch they have on us will never leave. It is impossible to break the “touch”.

You won’t be able to eliminate anxiety. Our mental health society would be greatly impacted if we had just one companion by our side through it all. According to nami.org, “Dogs can contribute to your happiness. Studies show that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and improve your all-around health.” We live in a world where mental health is an important issue. Imagine if everyone had that one pet or companion by their side every step of the way. A pet that brings them joy, happiness, and peace. When life is kicking you in the butt, there is your dog waiting for you through every second. Choose your dog to be your therapy dog.

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