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Animals for Emotional Support

Animals for Emotional Support

Hey there readers,

Since welcoming my little Rudy into my life, a lot of you have reached out to ask if I decided to get a dog for emotional support. The short answer is both yes and no. I decided to get a dog for myself knowing I’ll be moving to a studio apartment soon, and didn’t want to be totally alone. Plus, I love dogs and can’t imagine living without one at this time in my life.

I am not blind to the emotional wellbeing an animal can bring. I grew up with dogs who were there for me through lots of testing mental and physical health trials in my life. I remember sobbing into my golden retriever's fur when going through a high school breakup, and laying next to him on the couch when I was home sick with the stomach flu. There’s something about dogs...they just get it. No matter what “it” is.

A few weeks ago I was having a really difficult day, and ended up laying on my bed crying. Rudy, who is now 16 weeks old, realized what I was doing, stopped playing even in his wild time, and curled up like a donut under my chin. I was floored at how he grasped the comfort aspect, even being so young, which made me cry even harder.

I can’t speak to other kinds of animals because I haven’t lived with them, but animals are known to be comforting and intuitive. I absolutely knew this when I was evaluating the pros and cons of adopting at this point in my life.

As for if Rudy is an emotional support animal, not yet, but he will be. I’m planning to get him certified in the next year so he can travel with me easily. At some point, I’d also like to train him to become a therapy dog because he is such a sweetheart. His loving nature makes it very obvious to me, and those who meet him, that he would excel in an environment where he’s required to bring love and joy to those he’s visiting.

If you’re considering getting an animal for emotional support, remember they’re just as stressful as they are calming. I knew what I was in for when adopting a puppy, but if I were to do this again in my 20s, I see myself adopting an older dog who is past basic training and just needs some extra love. That’s not to say I regret bringing Rudy home as a puppy: I’m thankful for the experience I’ve had with him, which has been both challenging and rewarding.

I’ll keep you posted on our path to emotional support status, and more. We’re getting ready to move in a few weeks, so that will be a whole new chapter of puppy experience to fill you in on!

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