Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pet Therapy and Mania

This is Part 4 in a 5-Part Series: 
"When the World is Too Bright: An Intensive View of Mania from On the Ground"

(Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 Here)

I moved back home with my mother a few years ago for financial reasons. Now that I’m back in graduate school, it’s been an even bigger help. My mom has a teensy tiny Yorkie, named Brandi. Brandi can be a handful! She loves to give sloppy kisses and to sleep on top of your head or under your back. She’s also a bit aggressive (aren’t the smaller dogs always are?!) with other dogs and some people. But she can be a sweetheart.

When I started to feel manic, I’m sure she sensed it. She followed me around even more than usual. Most nights, she chose to sleep with me rather than in her own bed or with my mom. And I appreciated every minute of it.

When I have been hospitalized or have attended IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) in the past, we have done pet therapy with dogs. I am no animal lover, but there is something about animals loving on humans when we don’t feel our best. It is an immediate mood booster and spirit lifter.

Or in the case of my mania, it slows me down and takes me out of my head. When caring for Brandi, if my mom forgets, I have to remember to feed her and take her for walks. I have to say that it is nice not to have the full responsibility of caring for Brandi, but I do appreciate her presence in my life.

Brandi’s kisses.      

           Cuddling with Brandi.            

Lounging in the backyard with Brandi. 
I work; she plays.

Out for a walk.

Trying to get a head-on shot with her is so hard!
Brandi – look at the camera!

She loves the sun!
She will seek it out wherever it lands in the house.

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