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Dogs Help With Depression

How do dogs help with depression? Well, one of many remarkable things about a dogo is its ability to display unconditional love. You can feel it. They are always happy to see you; unless they did something naughty, then they show you the sorriest, most guilty looking face!

I have to admit during this time of looming deadlines, career changes, needy children, moving, new medical apparatus, stressed marital relations and financial woes, I was stressed out and feeling down. Below is a snippet of how dogs have helped me.

Life’s Stressors

My career spanned four decades wearing a shirt and tie. 20 yrs. as a corporate accounting manager followed by 20 yrs. as an IT manager. Coinciding with my stressful professional life was my stressful personal life consisting of my wife and I raising a young family of three children, two dogs and a cat!

We each lost parents a younger brother and we moved three times, once across state lines! I was under a lot of stress. Depression hit both my wife and I but quite honestly ur dogs happy faces and constant enthusiasm got us through it. Our new pupper, a Staffi mix continues this trend.

Adding to the bedlam, in the ’90’s, our 3rd child was born with a severe condition named Lissencephally, which required everyone’s utmost attention. At the time Lissencephally was relatively unknown and our daughter was the first case in the entirety of the Mid-Atlantic region. There were only 50 cases known in the United States!

An incredible journey of learning and a seemingly unsurmountable amout of family stress but our dogs helped us get through it. For an upbeat look at how we survived caring for a severely disabled child click here: Lisskid.com

dogs help with depression with child with Lissencephally
Erica Bayliss, a Child with Lissencephaly actually loved her cat more than the dogs!

Stress Relief

Yes dogs are remarkable. If you own and/or care for a dog, you know there is nothing better than being greeted by a happy face with a wriggling body and wagging tail! Our dogs were named Pugsly and Smoochie and Samson (so named by the kids).

Pugsly was rescued from a kill shelter and we adopted the other two from a family who couldn’t care for them. Two Sharpies and a Sharpie mix!

These dogs kept us busy! But look at those little faces. Super friendly dogs and they were soft and fuzzy too.

dogs help with depression. Chinese Shar-Pei dogs wearing Birthday hats
Chinese Shar-Pei dogs wearing Birthday hats

Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol

Dogs Help With Depression

Chinese Shar-Pei are dogs help with depression
Chinese Shar-Pei dogs

Today I am retired (out on disability, actually) but as they say, that is another story. It’s been a long summer seemingly fraught with more downs than ups.n I am not writing, I contemplate my life, star gaze, ponder the universe, and sometimes watch the depressing news. Having a new happy puppy around goes a long way in keeping my spirits up!

“One reason dogs can be so comforting when you’re feeling blue is that they don’t try to find out why.”

dogs help with depression
Artemis cheering me up.

Pictured above is 6-month Artemis, our Staffordshire Terrie. Artemis came to us from a family who could not keep her. It’s hard not to smile with this fuzzy face looking at you!

As I think about it, dogs have inspired me throughout my life! Look for future articles featuring how inspiring they really were and the lessons they taught me. So yes, in my experience, dogs help with depression.

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Originally posted on August 23, 2020 @ 1:00 am

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