Weekend Update Volume 5: In which we discuss a good dog.

Kelley Gilbert

I have always had a dog in my life. When I was a baby, my mother acquired a puppy and we grew up together. When she turned 13 so did I, and that was also the year she crossed the rainbow bridge. My first dog, but not my last. 
Our pets are so very important to us. Something about having a furry companion brings us peace and that essential hit of dopamine. 
When I became a mother, we had 3 dogs. My sons grew up getting crumbs cleared off his hands (sometimes a full face lick) by a canine cleaner. Each walk we went on had a dog, each bedtime story there was a dog at our feet, and when those big dogs crossed the bridge, my sons were there to grieve with us. 
When we moved it became clear that we needed a dog again. This is where the best dog for me entered my world. 
Ralphie has been the most connected companion. He is always by my side, sometimes annoyingly so. He sleeps as close to me as he can, and he follows my every move.  Somehow, without understanding why I needed it, he became my PTSD dog. 
Two years ago, just before my 40th birthday, I decided I needed to work on old, dark and deep wounds. I started trying to sort out what was happening to me. I started attending Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families meetings. I started interviewing therapists, but I was at the mercy of my insurance. I did find a good therapist, but then I had a breakdown and suddenly it wasn't just a curious exploration of me, it was an emergency.  Everyday became a mental health awareness day for me. I was experiencing major panic and depressive feelings all day, I wasn't sleeping and I had to get help. 
I persevered and found a wonderful therapist, whom I see every week. And Ralphie? Never left my side. 
Now, I understand why our pets are so important to us. I understand why we always have a dog in our lives. Dogs and cats (bunnies, ferrets, whatever your preferred pet is) are forever giving us their love. They provide transparent empathy: a purely feeling being. And they want us to be with them, no matter what we are experiencing. 
It seems only fitting that I honor my pooch with some bling. The Perfectly Paw-some Pet Dandies are a multipurpose accessory for your treasured companion.  If you are into essential oils for your pets, you can diffuse a diluted for pet safety drop of your choice on the bare beads. 
Here are a few great articles about using essential oils with your pets: Essential oils for pets: article 1doTerraYoung Living

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