Many people don’t understand the joy that comes from a pet. Of course, they’re super cute to look at, but once you become an owner, you realize that there is so much more to them.
I’m a dog person (about 80% of my family is allergic to cats, or just hates them). I have had dogs growing up, but they lived with my dad, so I didn’t really get the full experience of being an owner. That all changed 6 years ago, when I was presented with my now best friend, Gizmo.
Originally, there was Gizmo and his brother Stripe, however Stripe passed away from Parvovirus (a sad part of dog ownership). They both were purchased with the intention to help me through my fight with panic disorder
(see: My Personal Battle with Panic Disorder). What an AMAZING help raising little puppies was to my mood!
I had a new responsibility (outside of finishing college), and it allowed me to gradually take my mind off of my mind (if that makes sense). I stopped worrying about things that had no meaning, and stopped fearing the unknown, by just living in the moment of being a “fur mom”.
Stripe died when he and Gizmo were around 5 months. Both dogs had developed Parvo, but through God’s blessing (knowing what I needed), Gizmo survived (only spending 2 days in the hospital). Seeing how depressed Gizmo became, made me want to get out of my own feelings and help him. I put my panic/fear aside and nursed him back to 100% health -this is the type of responsibility that I spoke of previously. Gizmo & Stripe When you go through things -which we all do, you have to keep pushing! The world doesn’t stop spinning, because we’re not having a good day/month/year. When you have a responsibility to someone or something, you keep on living, fighting, and pushing yourself through the bad times. That is what I have learned from my time with my pet (my baby).
I recovered from the panic disorder 5 years ago, but recently went through it again, a few months back. This time it was easier to work through (I’m still healing), because of my faith in God, my responsibility to Gizmo, and his unconditional love for me. He didn’t see me as “damaged” or sick. He saw me as his caregiver -the holder of the treats, walks, and more treats (ha ha ha)!
You see, many people may not understand why people are so in love with their dogs (or even cats), and they may judge us; but until you’ve sat on a floor, crying your eyes out, after a massive panic attack that has left you feeling humiliated, all to have your furry friend run up to lick your tears away, you cannot comprehend the therapeutic benefit of having a pet.
Gizmo came to me when I needed a friend. A friend that wouldn’t judge. A friend that would love me for me -because pets don’t have high expectations. When I am sick, full of fear, or just having a bad day, he does something to make me keep wanting to fight. As a single woman this time around, I’m learning that I’m ok and that I can find comfort in the smallest of things. I’m so thankful for my little fur ball.
Though our time with our pets is limited, embrace and enjoy every second of their lives. Those of you that may have judged others, learn that everyone has something or someone that helps them through the rough patches in life. Pets are more than just something cute to look at. I can’t even date or entertain a guy that doesn’t like dogs. If you can’t handle Gizmo being around, you can’t handle me! He’s my responsibility and I love it!