Dogs are the new life savers


Jayvonna Corley,

I never thought how much my life would change after I got a dog. I met my dog Chuchie Corley when he was three months and it was like love at first sight. I saw that a friend on Snapchat was giving him away and I knew he would help me with how low I had been feeling at the time. I made him mine.

I never had my own dog before so I was new to the process. I originally realized I’d like to get a dog after seeing a guy and his dog skateboarding. I thought it was cool how the guy taught his dog to ride a skateboard, seeing how strong their connection must be. I then started looking at dogs as more than animals but as companions.

In 2016, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression but I had been having signs and symptoms long before then. Anxiety and depression make it more challenging for me to be a successful student and I’m not alone. A 2017 report from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health stated that anxiety and depression are the top reasons that college students seek counseling.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it can be managed with exercise, relaxation techniques and meditation.

Before I got my dog it was hard for me to go on with everyday life. I worked nights and would stay in bed until I had work. When I did leave my bed it would be to the living room, shades closed and lights off, I would spend much of my time in the dark. I was such a negative thinker and would often voice those negative thoughts to my friends, making it hard for them to be around me. It got to the point that I eventually was alone and always in the dark.

I would spend days in bed not thinking about anything, just laying there with no urge to move. Then I’d get an anxiety attack and start over-thinking about how I’m laying in bed, not doing anything. My empty mind would soon be filled with negative thoughts about myself; like how I am not getting anywhere in life, how I am worthless.

Once I got my dog baby all that changed.

Getting Chuchie changed my life because he gave me a reason to get out of bed.

Since I got him as a puppy I had to teach him everything. I didn’t want him to get into things, so I had to be on high alert at home. I couldn’t stay in bed all day because I was training him to go to the bathroom outside, I would have to get up and go for walks at least three times a day. If for some reason a mood did start to come and I would be in bed too long, he would come and get under the covers with me and show me a bunch of love and affection.

As time went on I forgot he was a dog and started seeing him as more of my son. I would take him almost everywhere with me, my world really evolved around this dog. The few friends I still had called me crazy for how I treated him, but they didn’t understand how much he really changed my life. I no longer felt worthless and always see a reason to get up in the morning, I wanted to make sure my dog was happy and taken care of.

Dog trainers agree that dogs are good for depression.

“Dogs can sense when their owner is in a mood and match that feeling,” Said PetSmart dog trainer Aniaya. “Unless it’s a bad or angry mood, then they try to comfort as much as possible.”

She has been training dogs for three years and has seen the changes between the dog and owner from when training first starts to the end.

It’s been two years since I first met my dog and I am proud to say that I am a completely different person. I’m more calm and understanding. I try to be more relaxed in stressful situations and think before reacting. My dog has change my life for the better.