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My Dog Saved My Mental Health & Life

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I’ve been feeling rather uninspired lately but over Labor Day weekend I took a really cute photo with my dog and I wanted to use it somehow. I typically never do blog posts inspired by photographs I’ve taken. But this one got me thinking just about how much Pixie has helped me over the past almost five years. Especially in the mental health department… and honestly I don’t think I’ve written anything about that on my blog. Or if I have, I didn’t see it in a quick search of my previous posts. So why not discuss it with that photo I love so much of Pixie Bug and myself.

Pixie Bug and Mae

We got Pixie Bug within a month of moving away from my dad when my parents separated. I had just moved back from Montana after basically flunking out of college due to my bipolar disorder which had been just getting worse and worse even with medication. On top of moving back home to my parents separating/getting divorced the second I returned home, I had no friends, no job, and no hope for the future. I honestly was debating on ending my life… for the fourth time (I had three failed suicide attempts up until that point in my life).

Even through all this going on in my head, I managed to get a job since my mom required I paid rent to live with her. And considering I didn’t want to be anywhere near my dad (you can read all about that here), I was glad I managed to find something I could do to occupy my time. Not that stocking shelves or ringing up customers helped my mental health. So I begged my mom to let us get a dog. We used to have one when I was growing up but she had passed away from old age. Then in October 2013, we managed to get Pixie Bug. We were going to get her sister, but the day we were going to pick her up I had to work. So my mom and sister went instead. They ended up bringing back Pixie  (who was named Susan) instead of her sister Romana as they liked her fur better. I honestly didn’t care, because either way I had a puppy.

Every night or time I wasn’t at work, I spent with Pixie. She stayed in my room with me as she couldn’t be in a crate or she would get sick all over it. So she kept my attention every second of the day. Any time I felt sad or down, I would play or talk with Pixie. And eventually I just didn’t even think about suicide anymore. I even went back to college and was able to maintain a straight A in all of my classes. Even starting thinking about the future for myself, something I hadn’t been able to do since I was like a freshman in high school.

And while I still have bipolar disorder, it’s not something that just going to go away since I have a chemical imbalance that can’t be cured. Pixie always helps me feel better. And I can’t imagine not having her in my life. She forces me to get out of the house, keeps me from feeling lonely, gave me a sense of purpose when I had no hope for a future, and helps me not feel as stressed out. Pixie is a busy little thing and always keeps me on my toes. Well she is way more mellow today than she was as a puppy, she is still just as crazy as ever.

At one point I did even consider getting her registered as an emotional support animal for myself. But it’s not like I have anything going on where I need to have her near me all of the time, and there are tons of people who really need one to get through the day. And I strongly believe you should not register your pet as an emotional support animal or service dog, unless you seriously need one and a doctor prescribes you to have one.

Pixie and Mae

Some day I’ll probably get a little pack, but I don’t think any other dog could ever mean as much to me as Pixie does. Since she basically saved my life. Not that I wouldn’t love them, but Pixie and I just have such a bond from going through all that. However, you never know especially when Pixie passes. She won’t be my last dog, but she’ll always be one of my favorite dogs that I’ve ever had.

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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