Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Pet therapy – service animals

Pet therapy – service animals

You may have noticed the use of service animals becoming more common for people with mental health issues. I felt like talking about this because I recently identified that it was, in fact, the adoption of my cat that brought me out of my depression 3 years ago. I’ve realised that my pets are the thing that brings me out of these terrible episodes. I guess in a lot of ways they are actually service animals.

 

I have a cat who is called Chanel. I can openly say now that she was the thing that kept me going at one point. Whenever things were bad she was always there with love and affection. She has a way of knowing when I’m sad and tries to be by my side as much as possible. It has gotten to the point where she sits on my lap when I’m on the toilet now…

My family also adopted a German Shepherd puppy last year. His name is Harley. No matter how much trouble he causes I can’t help but feel happy whenever I see his sweet little face. Whenever I’m anxious he comes to me and makes sure I’m okay. It just makes me think what did we do to deserve animals?

I urge anyone who suffers from mental health issues to look into getting a pet if you have the means to care for one. Animals have a way of making you feel relaxed and that there is always someone who cares about you.

I find it very difficult being away from my pets for long periods of time now because they help me feel calm. Maybe this is why I feel the need to say hi to every animal I meet on the street.

But this all brings me to the fact that I feel service animals should be more widely acknowledged and accepted. From personal experience I know I am at ease around an animal and I think more businesses should think about having a dog or cat in the workplace. There are still some days where I feel like I can’t leave the house, but this is improved significantly if I have my dog with me. Or just having Harley or Chanel around me on a bad day makes everything ten times easier.

Let me know about your experiences in the comments.

Jade x



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