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Mental Health and Pet Adoption

When I first started to consider adopting a dog, a lot of people told me it was going to be a big commitment along with a lot of responsibility. They weren’t wrong, it is a commitment, but in my opinion, the positives of owning a dog outweigh any of the negatives. I found my dog, […]

When I first started to consider adopting a dog, a lot of people told me it was going to be a big commitment along with a lot of responsibility. They weren’t wrong, it is a commitment, but in my opinion, the positives of owning a dog outweigh any of the negatives. I found my dog, Pico, at a time in my life when my family and I were going through some traumatic and stressful difficulties.

I’ll never forget the day I adopted Pico. My dad had recently been submitted into the ICU and had just pulled through a very serious heart surgery. His recovery was going to be a long haul and there were still a lot of questions up in the air regarding his health. I was feeling heartbroken and began wondering whether or not I was ready to adopt.

I went to the humane society on February 9th with mixed emotions. I still wanted to go through with the adoption, but I wasn’t sure it was the right time for me. After signing the proper documentation, it was time to meet my new friend. The employee assisting me was holding him in her hands- this very tiny, innocent and sweet, 4-pound black and white puppy with little floppy ears and a wrinkly face.

When she handed him over to me, I felt overwhelmed with happiness and sadness. It hit me, this was the beginning of a new chapter, but lingering in the background was another chapter that could potentially be closing soon.

I couldn’t help but cry; I had so many emotions running through me. I knew at that very moment it was the right time.

Adopting Pico was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am so grateful to have him here to comfort me, and distract me, when I need it the most.

“Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Perhaps most importantly, though, a pet can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.” Lawrence Robinson and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.

Pico has been a great companion for the past 11 months, and I am grateful for him every day.

How has your pet impacted your life? Please share your story in the comments section below.

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