Pets can serve many purposes in a person’s life. They become part of the family, like a child to those who can’t have children, a companion, a helper for those with handicaps, and a comfort to those with different kinds of illnesses, including mental illness. Some people have dogs that help them with their anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses. Some dogs are trained just for this purpose and some dogs have that natural calming effect.
This Wednesday I went to my foot doctor after getting a MRI on my ankle. I have been going to therapy for about four weeks for ankle pain. Nothing seemed to ease my pain, so my foot doctor arranged for me to get a MRI. I sat in his office while he explained the results. The weeks before I got the results I worked hard at fighting my worries and convincing myself he wouldn’t find anything, but he did.
“You have a tear in your ligament,” my doctor said.
I fought to hold my tears back until we left the office. I felt the darkness seep into my soul. I have gone through so many physical problems and had foot surgery on the same foot two years ago. When would the pain end? I felt helpless, angry, and sad. My husband took me to lunch. At lunch he looked into my eyes and said, “Cheer up. We’ll go to the animal shelter at noon and find a dog to bring home.”
I doubted we’d find a dog. I also doubt I could love another dog as much as I loved my departed Elli, but agreed to go to the shelter. I walked into the shelter and the place rang out with barking, but in this one cage was a medium size dog named Esther. She didn’t make a noise. Esther sat on her bed with forlorn eyes. She stole my heart. I knew I had to have her.
While we adopted Esther, my sadness faded. The forlorn dog formed a bond with me and my husband right away. When we took her home, she snuggled up on my lap, and suddenly the bad news I received earlier that morning faded to the back of my mind. Her sweet and loving personality brought light into my dark day. Her personality comforted me when I needed it. I miss my departed dog Elli, but found a new love for Esther.
While I’m back to wearing a boot to work and facing possible surgery, Esther gives me unconditional love and comfort. Having a loving husband who cared enough to know we needed a new little one to brighten our days and help me face my sadness means the world to me.
Esther and my previous dogs comforted me in different ways when I needed it the most. They give me that unconditional love that shines a light in the darkest times of my life. I’m excited to have Esther in my life as my baby girl for many years.
If you’re feeling lonely and deeply depressed, a pet could bring you the comfort you are longing for. I believe each of my dogs was brought to me by God. Maybe God has a special one for you. Don’t pick any pet. Find one that steals your heart and you just know he or she is the one to fill your soul.
When I lost Elli, a light went out in my soul. I felt empty and lost. Esther has helped fill my soul again. A new light shines all around me.