The story of how reality kicked me in the face and I couldn’t rescue an animal.
By Justyne Yuen-Lee
I love dogs. Every time I see a dog walking down the street, I will smile or go out of my way to ask to give some pats to the dog. No matter the breed – Poodles, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, or Shibas – I want to pet your dog! You might ask, “Justyne, if you love dogs so much, why don’t you just get one?” And oh boy, I almost did and I had to make the decision against it. The Humane Society even approved me and said I could bring the dog home with me the next day!
The decision to adopt a pet shouldn’t be idealized or minimized in any way. Logically, I understand that having a dog is a lot of work. Dogs are living and breathing animals, they have needs! But I see all these Instagram accounts with people just like myself who have their own dog that they raised from puppyhood and I’m falsely reassured that having a pet is no big deal.
So here’s my story and why I didn’t bring Crispin home.
Why I wanted a dog:
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2014. In my family, and I’m sure a lot of other families, we don’t really scratch the surface of discussing mental health issues. When I started talking about my anxiety in the beginning, I was usually met with the clichéd response:
“Well, you don’t look anxious or depressed.”
I’ve recently made the decision to stop taking anti-depressants as many of the stressors in my life like juggling school, homework, and a part time job I no longer have. One of the risks of taking medication is even though it may help, it could also make things worse for you. I went from being hopelessly miserable before medication to a zombie with the medication, and now back to this weird sense of apathy and even wanting to die. But a relationship with a dog is an alternative to medication and has been proven to be therapeutic!