A girl, a dog, and mental health

When we first discussed getting a puppy, we were hesitant. The familiar arguments circled around us.. “It’s a lot of responsibility”.. “They’re expensive”… “We don’t have the space”… “You have to train it”.. We thought of every reason why we were not in the right spot in life to get a puppy. But then, during one of our casual sessions of looking at puppies online, we found one that called to us. So, somewhat impulsively, we decided to go for it.

And that’s how Turtle came to be.

Turtle is my best friend in the whole world. She is now two years old, and just as much as a monster as the first day we brought her home. She doesn’t realize it, but she helps keep me grounded everyday. Even before all of the COVID19 business, she played such an important role in my mental health. Now with me being stuck inside, unemployed, and scared about the future, she helping me stay grounded more than ever.

Her need for routine helps me keep a routine. I am one of those people who thrives on routine and a schedule. It could be the Capricorn in me, or that I’m just a nut. But I need routine to keep me balanced, grounded, and happy.

But, with COVID19, I am no longer working.. It would be so easy to fall into the trap of late nights, eating sporadically, and doing whole lot of nothing with my days. But that is where my dog comes in. For her, it’s just another day. Another day where she needs her morning walk, her breakfast, her evening walk, and lots of snuggles of course. She is unwavering with these needs, and she doesn’t understand that things are different right now. She has a set routine, and it needs to be met. This rigidness has helped me stick to somewhat normalcy. She wakes me up every morning. She gets me out of the house at least twice a day for (safe and socially distant) walks. Her feeding times help me stick to mine. Not to mention her boundless optimism, energy and love. In her world, nothing as changed, so we continue to carry on as normal.. something that we can find especially tough to do right now given these times of fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

Dogs are tough, and a lot of responsibility. But they also give back tenfolds in love and kindness. I have learned a lot from my dog, and I am especially grateful for her right now. I wish I could express to her all that she’s done for me.. But I guess in its place I’ll give her lots of cuddles and lovings instead.

Meet Turtle

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