Sunday, 16 December 2012

The dog that saved my life

I have an amazing black labrador.  Meet Bailey Brown.

My beautiful boy

He was 2 years old in March.  He is a strong boy though.  He is strong enough to carry me, when I can not longer carry myself.

I never had a dog when I was growing up.  I really wanted one, but my mum is scared so just wasn't going to happen.

When I moved in with my husband it took him a lot of adjusting (that's one word for it, others may have seen it as arguments) to my messy habits, he could never have believed we would be dog people.  He was a clean freak, hadn't used the oven - to keep it clean till I moved in!  We took our shoes off before entering the flat, our beige carpets were hoovered every day, basically there was no way we had been thinking about getting a dog.

Too much hassle.

But then again we didn't think I would be crying everyday, hiding under the covers, off work for nearly a year and that my every thought would be about how I could end it all without Mr Brown having to find me.

We were getting married.  We were saving for our dream day.  We also had one of those ceramic pots that said "Wedding Fund" in which we faithfully deposited any £1 or £2 coins we had.  It sat high on the shelving unit in out living room as a reminder to save, save, save.

I was in counselling, which wasn't helping.  I was changing meds again, no lift in symptoms despite taking them faithfully.  I was on a waiting list to see the mental health team and psychiatrist and was beginning to feel even more hopeless.  When I read online in many pages that a dog could help with depression.  With a naivety of the responsibility a dog would be, I proposed this as a flippant suggestion to Mr Brown.

We joked about for a few days then we signed up to see a puppy would cost, ever the budget man Mr Brown thought it was doable.  So my pester power kicked in! Can I get one? Can we? Please, please, please.  It was the most enthusiasm he had seen in me for months.  We had to get one if this was how it could make me feel.

In the pet shop getting food for our hamster (RIP Ellie, Mr Brown's idea, this one didn't work out as well, she was very much a solitary animal, didn't really like us!)  he saw an advert for black labrador puppies that were ready NOW!  Mr Brown is impulsive, not like me at all.  If he decides to do something it gets done straight away, me on the other hand can sit on a decision for years.

Anyway long story short we came home, got a hammer out and smashed that ceramic pot into small pieces.  The next day we purchased a crate, blankets, toys and a black labrador.

The responsibility was just what I needed.  I couldn't quite manage to look after myself but this helpless little puppy needed me.  A reason to live all wrapped up in black bundle of fluff and sharp little teeth!  I allowed my dog to see a side of me that I just couldn't let my amazingly supportive husband see.

He made me sleep when he did, get up, go to puppy classes and generally use my brain a bit more.  He made me smile and loved me unconditionally, even on my darkest day.  And still does.

He grown into a fine man.  So well behaved, even my mum who's scared of dogs loves him! Every day he reminds me that I am loved.

He's very special to me and deserves this proper introduction.  Such a nice post to write.

Love Mrs Brown xx
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