I get by with a little help from my friend

The time in my life when Breagha’s path crossed mine was not what I would consider a high point in my life. If I’m being honest, I was becoming something of a misanthrope, cynical, and pessimistic. These are just natural tendencies for me I think, and all of these are still areas where I have to check myself before I wreck myself at times. But I have to credit this weird little derp for honestly changing my life.

From day one Breagha has pulled out all this love I did not know was inside of me, forced me to feel and to be vulnerable, and pulled me out of myself. Watching her approach everything in life with the utmost enthusiasm and reveling in the smallest of things makes me smile every single day. Through her I have been able to see all of the positive things in life I could not (or stubbornly refused to) see before. Life is a lot more fun when you get to see the world through the eyes of a creature who is positively overjoyed at things such as finding a stick or something disgusting to roll in. You realize how much joy there is in life – right there in front of you, yours for the taking – that you’re missing out on when you share your life with someone who seizes every opportunity to be happy about things and doesn’t care a bit whether someone is watching or what people will think. I was totally unprepared for this change, but it’s been a wonderful surprise and one I continue to marvel at every day.

I don’t recommend getting a pet specifically to “fix” the problems in one’s life. And indeed Breagha’s gift to me I think has been more one of self-awareness than turning me into a different person. Also, in the case of actual mental illnesses, I think they can be helped by animals, but a pet is never a substitute for professional help. But for me, whose past self was not so much depressed as simply a budding pessimist, it has made all the difference.

Most people don’t really get why I am so enamored of a mere dog and why I prioritize her in nearly every aspect of my life. I don’t really understand it myself. It’s one of those wonderful things in life that doesn’t have to have a reason. It just is.

I’m not sure what brought about this reflection. Probably the new year coming up. Anyway, just some thoughts I’ve had recently about a certain Border Collie who came into my life and turned things upside down.

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