By now most of us have heard the tragic news of Robin Williams passing. Like many, I felt like I knew the guy. He seemed to transcend the typical boundaries and expectations I have of famous people. He seemed like the kind of person that yo…u would have coffee with; catch up, laugh, hit a couple deep topics, and then laugh again. He seemed real. I have found myself incredibly sad since I learned he had taken his own life. My heart has been heavy. It’s been difficult to read the posts and see the tributes being played out on television. Jimmy Fallon had me laughing and crying simultaneously. I kept trying to figure why I am feeling so much sorrow for someone I didn’t actually know. This man took his own life because he was suffering from deep seeded depression. He struggled with demons that haunted him. And then it occurred to me; I too have been in that dark place. No one can truly understand what depressions means unless they have experienced it. It’s a black abyss that engulfs you; a blanket of hopelessness that covers you. Your heart feels like it has literally broken. It hurts.The pain mutilates your psyche until it becomes laden with scars. The agony leaves your mind and heart disfigured. You can actually pass the point of believing that life will ever be anything worthwhile. Life seems like an exercise in futility. You eventually become numb to anything that matters. If you’re lucky, you can find a tendril to grab on to, or a patch of light to guide you from the depths of the chasm. For me, my patch of light came in the form of Hound dog named Daisy.She saved me.The day I met her, I had spent the morning in despair. The walls of my home were closing in on me. I didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t want to be there. I was so sad and lonely. I had spent months pondering what the point of my life was.I wiped my tears and drug myself to the animal shelter. I thought a dog might help. I needed a companion. The handler at the shelter brought Daisy into the meeting room. I sat on the floor to greet her. She wacked me with her happy tail, licked my face, and sat on my lap. As if I wasn’t already a “goner” who had fallen head over heels…the man told me that she needed someone to depend on. She needed her person to follow through. Daisy had been returned several times. If she came back again they would put her down. I took her home. Our first experience, at home, together was curling up and napping on the couch. It’s still our favorite past time.Daisy’s presence was a life preserver; big, bright, and buoyant. She was a lifeline that was tossed my way at the last second. I was fortunate enough that I didn’t have to stare down the barrel of a gun to realize that I wanted to live. Instead I had the soulful look of a Hound dog to bring me back. She became my very reason for living. Her expectation was that I would come home every time I left the house. She needed me. Instantaneously, I started rushing home each day to see her! I couldn’t stand being away from her. As our relationship evolved she also provided direction and function. She gave me a sense of purpose. She managed to fill the lonely nooks of my home and my heart. Daisy allowed me to connect and become intertwined with another being without the fear of rejection. She provided the unconditional love I needed.I will forever be indebted to that breath of life that has blessed me with her presence for the last seven years. I consider myself fortunate with each additional day I am given with her. I wanted to share my experience with you because maybe you too have a story about your dog(s) saving you. I encourage you to share and post pictures. But, I also wanted you to know if you are suffering with depression there are so many ways to get help. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support. The companionship of a dog may not be the cure, but there is help. You don’t have to endure this by yourself. Don’t wait until you have passed the point of no return. Please know that you are not alone.I wish that Robin Williams had found his tendril, his patch of light, his Daisy. What a great loss for all of us. Good bye Robin, we’ll see you on the other side.
Love, Nikki & Daisy Doo