In the past I’ve been accused of having an “unhealthy obsession” with Wynston. While I completely disagree because there is nothing “unhealthy” about my relationship with him, I will admit that I’ve become somewhat dependent on him. Is it a bad thing? I don’t think so. Wynston is not cocaine or alcohol. He’s a dog. A therapy companion. But some people may see it differently. People may not like that I enjoy taking Wynston everywhere with me. People may not like that my entire day revolves around him. But because people don’t like the way I live, does that mean I’m too dependent or have an obsession? Let’s discuss.
Am I too dependent on my dog?
I used to be terrified of flying on an airplane. Like, so terrified that weeks before my flight I would be up all night with anxiety about it. I’d have to take Xanax to make it through my travels, and often times my trip would be ruined by the thought of my flight back home. Then I started traveling with Wynston. First he would travel under the seat in front of me in a carrier, and that was a big help with my anxiety. It brought my focus to Wyn instead of my nerves. After traveling that way for a few flights, I made Wynston an emotional support animal. This way he could be on my lap during the flight instead of in the carrier. Would you believe that now I don’t need to take ANY medication to fly?
Not only do I have zero need for Xanax when I fly now, but I actually get excited to fly. I think about all the smiles Wynston brings to fellow passengers. I think about how relaxed I am on the airplane with my boy. I think about all of the amazing adventures we have ahead of us. Wynston’s companionship took away my need for medication. I’d say depending on him for comfort is better than depending on Xanax for comfort. Would you agree?
I have social anxiety. I am a homebody, as my home is my sanctuary, and I’m also an introvert. Put me in a large group of people and I get extremely nervous. But if I have Wynston with me, different story. I no longer have to focus on me and my anxiety. I can pay attention to Wynston and the people who want to talk to me about him. Wynston is a conversation starter, and I definitely meet more dog parents that way. Wynston (and other dogs) bring people together. When I have him by my side, I’m a proud mom and a relaxed individual. Anti-anxiety meds? Forget it. All I need is Wynston.
I’ve suffered from intense insomnia in the past. It was really bad last year, actually. During that time that I was incredibly desperate for more than two hours of sleep at night. I didn’t want to take sleeping pills or resort to medication. Wynston has always slept right next to me, so I decided to try and snuggle with him more. I found that when I laid my head near Wynston’s, or rested it on his back, I’d fall asleep almost immediately. The feeling of his chest rising with every breath and the sound of his faint snores put me to sleep. It was like a miraculous mediation technique that I discovered.
To this day, I still fall asleep that way. Wynston now knows that I need him close so I can fall asleep, so he’s always right at the pillow when we first get into bed. I no longer have insomnia, and I can always count on Wynston to help me relax. I’d say depending on him for sleep assistance is better than depending on medication for sleep. Would you agree?
Living life with Wynston by my side excites me. I can just be relaxing on the couch with my boy when a random sensation of happiness will come over me. Why? Because I get excited about the relationship I have with Wynston and all of the things that the future has in store for us. Do I depend on him for happiness? No. I depend on myself for happiness. But Wynston is a major source of positivity and relaxation in my life.
As my examples suggest, Wynston has been the best replacement for medication in my life. Fortunately Wynston helps me through the worst of times. I believe animals in general can be the best therapy. I’m not discounting medication, as I do still need it for depression. Brain chemicals are something that animals can’t change, but they can provide us some sort of relief.
Am I too dependent on my dog? I don’t believe so. But even if I was, is that necessarily a bad thing? As long as it doesn’t get in the way of regular life duties and relationships with humans, I don’t think it is. And even then, who are people to judge how I live my life? There’s really so much to be determined in each individual situation.
And then here’s something else to consider: We depend on family for support. If dogs are family, isn’t it okay to depend on them?
How do you feel about this topic? I’d love your insight.