Depression, Anxiety, and Being Chosen by a Dog

“And if Candy notices I’m upset? She crawls into my lap and starts licking me.  When she’s convinced I’m OK, she’ll move. Some people think I’m a crazy dog mom for how I spoil Candy or how worried I get when she’s not feeling well, but she’s my child and my emotional support dog.  I honestly don’t know what I’d do without her. My wallet might be bigger, but my heart would not.”

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An Empathetic Cat, a Rescue Dog, and Anxiety

“Since rescuing my pets it helped me find a bigger purpose as well as it pushes me to take care of my mental health. I am starting therapy again because i know that i want to be my best self not only for me but for them. But it always helps to know that i have a purr machine that will jump on my chest when she knows i am having a bad day, or to know that as soon as i walk in the door i have a puppy who greets me with kisses and a tail wag. I am thankful for my anxiety, at times it sucks but its helped me address issues i never knew were there and its helped me see how much change i can make.”

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Dealing with Anxiety and Finding Self-Worth Through Dogs

“I can’t exactly put into words what it is about Eros that helps me so much, but his constant, unwavering love is the best affirmation I could ever wish for. He has helped me love myself again despite my flaws. In all reality, he has helped me become a better version of myself through his love. He has helped me find my silly nature and my compassion again. He has loved me on days when I feel unloveable.”

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Saved by Rescue

“He brought me back to the shelter he and Gouda came from to volunteer and it was so amazing to just walk with these four legged angels, not having to talk, or share, or explain yourself.  Not having to worry what I looked like, was wearing, or hadn’t showered in a couple days.  They just loved.  And it taught me I could do the same. I got connected into other non-profit rescue avenues and this amazing thing happened..... I found humans!”

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The Constant Care of a Cat

It became really quickly apparent to me that Aurra was a special cat. Wherever I went, there she was underfoot. If I sat down, she would curl up near my feet, on my desk, or in my lap on her favorite blanket. She seemed to be able to sense when I was having a bad day or was particularly sad, because she would always be closer to me and more snuggly. She will coo and purr at me when she knows I'm upset.

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Anxiety and Being In-Tune with my Dog

I can identify when my anxiety is growing and stop to take a minute to calm down and process the emotions before they get overwhelming. It's worth it to me not just to improve my own mental health, but to simultaneously not add unnecessary stress to my pup's life.

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Empawthy ProjectAnxiety
My story

I have met a lot of amazing and inspiring people during my brief time being involved in the Chicago animal rescue community. These people tend to have a lot of traits in common: driven, dedicated, a bit weird, and a history of special relationships with animals. As I began to talk with some of these people, I realized that many of their lives have been saved by their pets, just as mine has been.

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