When I adopted Jackson, I was not in the worst point of my life. But I also was not nearly close enough to being in a good point. I was lonely, I was lost, and I needed something.
For years during college, I had tried to find that something through people pleasing, being a fun and well-liked person, and some things that definitely were not healthy for me. So, as most 20-something aged girls do, I went on the search to adopt a puppy. Yep, a puppy. I was going to take the big leap, even though my apartment at the time didn’t technically allow dogs (oops!).
After weeks of searching online and at PetSmart, a woman from my hometown posted a photo of a sad-eyed dog on Facebook. The moment I saw the image of that dog, I messaged her to ask if someone had requested to adopt him yet. When she said no, I sent “I want him”. There was no doubt in my mind this dog was for me. Read more about this story by clicking here.
And although Jackson came with his fair share of problems — he has suffered abuse so he struggles with humans and other animals at times — he has been one of the best things to happen in my life thus far.
With that said, here are five ways that my dog saved me:
When I want to lay in bed, he makes me get up.
When you don’t own a dog, getting out of bed (on the weekend, anyways) is an option. Ask any of my old college roommates and they will tell you that there were days I wouldn’t emerge from my room until midday. When you don’t own a dog, you can wake up and turn on Netflix. You can spend hours binge-watching TV and putting off any of the things that you need to do.
But when you own a dog, he has to pee. And after he relieves himself, he has to eat and drink water. He also has to exercise. He needs love. And from what I have found, they can be excessively needy so they refuse to let you stay in bed.
Owning a dog makes you get out of bed on days that you want nothing more than to stay there.
When I want to lock myself away indoors, he makes me go outside.
On sunny days, there are still moments when we do not want to step foot outside. We all have days when we want to lay on the couch and waste the day away — once again, we want to binge watch Netflix. Okay, maybe I just have a problem with watching way too much Netflix!
Anyways, owning a dog makes you go outside. Not only does the dog need to go outside to use the bathroom, but he also needs exercise. And if you don’t truly consider exercise for your dog, you will have a strong desire to take them outside when you see them staring outside from the window.
When I want to cry, he makes me smile.
Do you have those moments where you just lay in your floor and cry for what feels like hours? Well, when you own a dog, that’s no longer such a problem!
If you lay in the floor, you are going to be licked. No questions asked.
If you are crying, dogs actually tend to have a sense that you’re upset. Often, they will bring you their toy. This isn’t actually them wanting to play for their own personal happiness; they bring you their toy because they want you to be play and be happy.
When you have a creature that loves you that much, there is no possible way you can sit and cry for hours.
On your worst day, a dog will make you smile.
When everyone else cares about what you said or did, he doesn’t.
When someone is upset with you or when people are judging you, your dog doesn’t care. Your dog will never judge you. Your dog will never be upset with you… okay, he may be upset with you but it will only last for like 5 seconds max. Seriously, dogs — or at least my dog — have terrible attention spans.
The point is: your dog doesn’t care what you did wrong. Your dog doesn’t care if you said something that was perceived negatively, or if you fail a test, or if you dye your hair six different colors. Your dog still loves you, no matter what.
When it feels like you are alone, he is there.
On days that it feels like everyone has left you or that no one cares for you, your dog will be standing there, bright-eyed and wagging his tail. Your dog will always be jumping happily when you walk through the front door.
Honestly, you can’t get away from your dog! Seriously. My dog follows me into the bathroom.
You’ll never be alone again.