July 23, 2013
Ok, so there are lots of scholarly and not so scholarly articles out there about the benefits of dogs and mental health. When I was training on team USA, there were times when we would visit one of the Olympic training centers. About once a week a person with a “therapy dog” would show up, and hang out in the grass. All us love-starved athletes would flock around and get some old TLC from the golden retriever on hand. WebMD and other discuss how Pets Help with Depression, including:
I was about to write this lovely post about how vulnerability and openness can help build friendships. And how a nice neighbor in the park offered to help walk my dogs. And isn’t the world a lovely place after all…..
…until the dog just went shit in the other room.
All to say the dogs came home this weekend from the dog sitter. Even though I theoretically can’t be walking yet, I also very much can’t afford another 700$ for pet care for the rest of the month of crutch-time. Dogs are expensive. It is hard to find housing that accepts dogs at all, not to mention has easy access to outside. Not to mention, if one of the dogs happens to get scared or excited sometimes and relieves himself in the hallway on the way out. They require being at home by a certain time from work. They require getting up at a certain time on weekends. They require love and affection, and really don’t understand it when you want to yell or shout just for the hell of it. (which is not cool: taking anger out on your dog, just because you are angry feels like the yuppie version of child abuse, which is REALLY not cool).
When its 2 am, and your girlfriend is blissfully asleep, and they wake you up scratching and panting, and whining…these are the times when I wonder if I am up for the responsibility of dog ownership. Then (particularly if its 2 am) my mind starts spinning wondering if I can’t handle two very affectionate dogs, perhaps I can’t handle my girlfriend’s love, whose dogs they are, or if I am not ready for love at all, or worse, will never be fully capable of being in loving relationship, not to mention having kids of my own eventually…….and so the self diatribe ensues.
Ok this is when I remind myself that self loathing worry is not healthy and generally unwarranted. While I can’t stop feeling those things, I can use my conscious brain to count the positive things that are going on, and be grateful for them:
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