We recently bought a dog. Â He is a Bernese Mountain Dog. Â His name is Sebastian Augustus:
Yes, he’s crazy cute. Â Yes, we have an over-the-top approach to names. Â Ask our children about that when they’re adults! Â And yes, he will be a lot of work, cost money, etc., etc., etc. Â I know. Â Believe me I know. Â We got him because we’ve always wanted a dog, because the kids wanted a dog, and because the timing and the price was right.
I have to admit, however, that I was a little taken aback by one of the side benefits of getting a dog. Â I’ve read elsewhere that having an animal call help with depression. Â Perhaps you’ve heard of service animals, that go into nursing homes or hospitals to help cheer up the sick. Â I am beginning to wonder if we shouldn’t create a category of service animals for the clinically depressed.
What I have found thus far is that owning an animal has filled a niche that I didn’t know existed. Â A dog just wants to be with you, loves unconditionally, and (despite some occasional poop) is generally pretty easy to care for. Â I expectÂ that will change somewhat as he gets bigger. Â But right now, I’m enjoying things for what they are. Â He’s helped me exercise, spend less time on the computer (always a good thing in my case), and has really lifted my mood in a very different way than all of my usual tricks.
So am I crazy? Â How has your animal helped you? Â How might this fit into a treatment plan for helping the clinically depressed?