“Why Poppy is all the medicine I need”

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It’s been a tough few years where the impact of Covid has caused loneliness and mental health problems for many. Owning Poppy has been a lifesaver; come rain or shine Poppy has to be walked twice a day so that she settles calmly through the night. These walks worked wonders for my mental health throughout lockdown.

Just two weeks after I owned Poppy she spent a whole month in hospital as she developed a virus. My local animal hospital worked wonders with her.  I will forever be grateful that they saved her life.

As the months went by Poppy got stronger and became a cheeky little character.  I observed that on the word “SIT” she refused but would do a dance standing on her hind legs. She still uses this technique when she wants a passer-by to notice her and say, “Oh aren’t you cute!”

Cute is an understatement! As a puppy, Poppy had been put on steroids for the period in hospital and due to this she came home with teeth as sharp as a wolf.  In the course of a month carpets were chewed and wallpaper was sneakily ripped off the walls when I was out of her view.

She came on holiday with me and I remember the cottage I had hired had a glass table with a tree truck as the base. I had to sneak spots of mustard on parts of it to stop her chewing it.

Poppy has many friends, mainly dogs that are double her size.  Having a chat and making friends with other dog owners is inevitable when you have a dog.  You can never be lonely.

Unfortunately, this summer I caught Covid which turned into long Covid and at present prevents me from working. Two of the symptoms that have intensified are depression and anxiety.

Poppy has sensed my illness and stuck by me like glue.  At nighttime she sleeps on my bed and pushes her back into my back which relaxes me and gives me a sense of security and safety.

One of the symptoms of long Covid is feeling tired therefore having Poppy gives me a purpose to get up, get out and breath in fresh air in the many parks scattered around my area. I do believe that this daily routine is speeding up my recovery.

She is curled up fast asleep beside me as I write this article.  Today she went to her weekly dog sitter, who has a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I call it her nursery. Poppy gets over excited when she darts through the front door to see her best friend, Holly. About 100 toys are neatly stacked up and once I collect her in the evening the toys are scattered everywhere.

I have one contented dog, and an owner who adores her.

This is a guest post by Melanie Hutchens. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk.

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