Monday, October 4, 2010

Puppy Therapy

I have never experienced anything scarier than an anxiety attack. Shaking, heart racing, crying, desperate, hopeless, frustrating, horrifying.

I had my first real anxiety attack on Friday. I can't even begin to explain what it felt like to wake up every morning this weekend mid-attack. I tried everything. Anti-anxiety meds, herbs, deep breathing, yoga, a SAD light, and foot massages from my very wonderful boyfriend. But nothing eased the panic like a good cuddle with my puppies.

I know the dogs could sense my unease and at first I was annoyed that they wouldn't leave me alone. Then I realized, they were just trying to help when they were licking my hands incessantly. So during the lowest of the lowest of the low, I turned to my puppy dogs. There is no greater feeling than that of the undying love that I receive from Max, JD, and Crimson. The big, brown puppy eyes and the wet puppy noses and the furry puppy paws all there to melt my heart.

Generally walking the dogs is the most frustrating task. However, the past few days it has been the biggest relief. Three leashes tangling as Max and Crimson fight to be ahead of the other while JD and his old joints drag behind. Constant sniff stops and leash tugging, but the fresh air and the unconditional happiness of the dogs keep me from curling up on the couch. And when I do need to curl up on the couch, there is nothing that makes me happier than a beagle butt in my face and a retriever tongue licking the tears away.

This is what dogs are for. Companionship and unconditional love. Even though they tug on their leashes, run away, and often turn their noses up at their dinner, I know that at the end of the day they are always up for a good cuddle. And as I continue to fall in and out of these bouts of anxiety, I know that I can count on my family, friends, and most of all my puppies to surround me with love.

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