HOW I FOUND HAPPINESS IN AN UNLIKELY PLACE.

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Its mental health week and I think its so important to keep your mental health in check, I take it very seriously. I have learnt over time the things I need to keep my mental health in check which includes things like getting a proper amount of sleep, meaningful conversations, alone time and setting small goals for myself.

I had a bit of a tough time one year, I was living away from home for work and I didn’t have a lot of friends in that town and then I got the worst phone call of my life my nephew had passed away. I took two weeks off work and then I tried to get on with things those around me had no idea what I was going through I was the happy bubbly girl so I kept this up leaving my grief and sadness for private times alone.

My mental health was suffering because of this, but you know what got me through day by day?

Apart from my supportive boyfriend  I found comfort in an unlikely place….. the wag of a tail on those lonely mid afternoons when I was feeling down its weird for me to write that because even though I had a labrador growing up I was never a crazy dog person I remember putting my foot down for a solid year about getting a dog.

Then one day I caved and in came Jordy a staffie cross rescue dog. I remember thinking she an outside dog and she is my boyfriend Russell’s responsibility, I also remember thinking she was a burden that I didn’t want.

It didn’t take long for her to make her way into my house, my heart and now even in my bed!

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I remember on many occasions when I was running on empty coming home and opening the door and having her unconditional love and enthusiasm pull me out of my funk.

Whenever I was sad it was like she knew she would slowly waddle over and ever so gently put her head in my lap.

Even though we will never be able to have a conversation it was like she was on my wave length.

(I know total crazy dog lady talk, I am now by the way a self confessed crazy dog lady!)

I can say my mental health since getting a dog has improved so much. Gone are the lonely mid afternoons I now occupy them with cuddles and walks and don’t get me wrong you still need plenty of human love in your life but the puppy love has definitely been amazing!

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There have been numerous studies into the effects dogs have on us and I have seen and heard first hand accounts of what dogs have done for children with special needs and therapy dogs, its nothing short of amazing.

In saying that I’m not advocating this a solution for all mental health problems or that everyone should get a dog but I will say this they call them rescue dogs for a reason.

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Carly Portch