Dogs

How A Dog Saved My Life

The healing powers of dogs. My journey to emotional recovery.

A. Alexander (Alex)
7 min readFeb 25, 2022

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Photo by Yannick Lung on Unsplash

Life is beautiful, but it’s also unpredictable. An unfortunate event can turn our lives upside down and push us into a journey of sadness and despair. Everyone handles death and sorrow differently; some find comfort when expressing their feelings. I admire that. It’s healthier than suppressing them. Many years ago, I experienced a loss. I am not ready to share that story, but I will share how a dog taught me to cope and saved my life.

I felt depressed, angry, unhappy, and lost. My mind was on autopilot while I worked. Three friends at work knew what happened; the rest remained unaware of the situation, and I preferred it that way. I knew I would break down if I shared my feelings. I didn’t want to mix my professional life with my personal one. I used work as a tool to distract myself from the sorrow. I smiled, joked, and laughed. People assumed I had a happy life; nothing could be further from the truth. I was overwhelmed with sadness. I couldn’t cry much or at all. Maybe because my little Chihuahuas comforted me. I don’t know what I would have done without them. They were an important factor in my recovery, too.

I became a hermit, and although that is not always a bad thing, the negative emotions I was feeling only stressed my depression. I loved running, but I was not about to force my little dogs to run with me for five miles. I didn’t want to jog with other people either. I love German Shepherds; I grew up with them, so I pondered about adopting one. Ethical breeders are hard to find nowadays. Most couldn’t care less if the dogs they are breeding are healthy; they only care about the profit. People shouldn’t contribute to the ongoing puppy mill problem. There are so many dogs in shelters and rescue organizations that need a home. I applied to The Virginia German Shepherd Rescue. I had my eye on a special needs dog named Toby. He was gorgeous; I hoped to adopt him. A family was ahead of me for consideration. They were approved, and Toby went to live with them. I was disillusioned, but things happen for a reason.

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A. Alexander (Alex)

I love photography & writing. I’m a human/animal right’s activist & an environmentalist. My favorite quote is: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” 💯