I've always loved dogs. From a young age, I was endeared with the soft, cuddly animals that provide unconditional love. However, there was a strict 'no furry pet' rule at my house, largely due to my father. Therefore, I was denied the love of a dog that I so dearly craved.
I petsat as soon as I was old enough, giving me access to dogs and showing me what it was like to own one. My parents hoped this would turn me away from owning a dog when I saw how much work they could be. However, I found myself only more endeared to them. They were so loving and trusting, and there was something wonderful to me about having an animal rely on me for its needs. It gave me a sense of importance and responsibility that I had lacked before. I turned up my begging ten-fold, but my parents did not give in.
Despite this, I managed. I comforted myself with knowing that one day I would be able to get a dog for myself. I just had to get through college and the time would come– if I just waited long enough.
However, the time came sooner than I thought. My girlfriend decided to get an ESA, also known as an emotional support animal. She wanted an animal that wasn't in a case, required some effort, and would give her love. She's allergic to cats, so dogs were the only animal left. She began searching, and after going through the entire process for weeks, found the perfect dog for her, a three(ish) year old corgihuahua named John Jon.
She adopted him and he has been in our lives for about three months now, and life has never been better. Living with a dog has helped with my depression and anxiety. I can no longer wallow all day in bed without end because I know he's relying on me. When I'm anxious I just cuddle him and he helps calm me down. He also provides me a regular schedule. I can't stay up until 3 am and sleep until 12, since I have to be awake to care for him.
More than that, he provides my life deeper meaning. He loves me and I love him. He was abused as a puppy, so we do whatever we can to spoil him and give him the life that he truly deserves. He is more than just a dog; he is my best friend. He sits on the couch with me watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch, he sits near me when I read, we walk together and spend as much time together as possible. The love we share is only surpassed by the love shared between a girlfriend and boyfriend.
Having a dog is the best thing I ever did, and I highly suggest everyone do it. It has helped me form a relationship with an animal that I always wanted but was never allowed to have, and I am so grateful.