Do Dogs Help With Depression?
Some of you are yelling at your computer or phone screen, “Yes dogs help with depression! Are you a moron? A million, gajillion studies have been done!” Calm yourself. Unbunch those panties. This question is different, more personal.
I know that dogs help with depression. Having a dog as a companion means:
- Unconditional love
- Something to be responsible for (a reason to get out of bed and get moving)
- Touch therapy – whether or not you want to pet your dog, it will be in your lap, in your face, nose under your elbow, begging to be touched
We know this. Yay for dogs and depression! My problem is that when I’m depressed (which is actually a fairly rare occurrence), I start looking for dogs on PetFinder and Craigslist. And the local pound. Let’s break down who lives in and around my house:
- Four adults (myself, my husband, two adult male sons)
- Two 60 pound dogs
- Two 13 pound lap dogs
- Two upstairs cats
- Four hens
- One ducks
- Plenty of indoor and outdoor fish
Some of you are saying, “Oh, that’s not a lot. You should see my house!” I don’t live on a farm, y’all. I live in a cul-de-sac, behind a Sonic and a CarMax. It’s a lot of live things to be in charge of. So hush.
Looking for Dogs While Depressed
My point is, when I’m depressed, I start looking at dogs. Lonely dogs who are being kicked out of their homes because someone didn’t think through the decision to get a dog. Dogs whose owners are having a baby and want to find a home for them because their well-behaved, loving pooch will be too much work. They have no idea what a benefit a dog is when the baby arrives.
I really can’t bring another dog – or any animal – into this house. So why do I start looking at dogs when I’m depressed? Do dogs help with depression in my situation? I’m bright enough to look down the road and know that the results would be disastrous. I know that I currently have four good dogs who keep me somewhat sane. So what is it?
Maybe it’s a female thing? The need to nurture something in need of help? And why would I do that when I’m depressed?
I have a lot of questions right now and no answers. Questions like, wouldn’t it just be better if I slept all day? Then I wouldn’t be online looking at dogs, or jumping into my car and driving to the shelter to pick one up. I think the answer to that is no. But I’m not sure.
And you know what? Writing this out is helping. Thank you. I think I’m going to shower and dress, do the dishes, maybe some laundry, then hang out with a friend for the day. I predict that Easter morning will find me better. Maybe.
Today’s post is gently recycled. It’s a chemo week, which always kicks my butt. So yes, there’s a little depression today, but I’m not looking for dogs. Just sleeping.
Here’s a little good news – Jones Natural Chews is giving some lucky dog a Bully N Bacon treat! Entering to win is easy. Click this sentence and a new window will open, then scroll to the Rafflecopter and click for instructions. Easy peasy. Go!
Spreading the good chews …