Although he’s not exactly my pet, during the pandemic my sister and Bruce, her dog, came to live with us. It was the first time I’d had a pet outside of the goldfish I won at a fair once, and I really didn’t expect the positive effect it’d have on my mental health.
I remember that the day they announced the rule of six coming into place, I was hoping to celebrate my 21st birthday with friends back on campus. That of course didn’t happen, which really crushed me at the time. As I was sat on the living room floor, Bruce walked in and tilted his head as he looked at me, then walked over. I just started stroking him and it helped ease that pain I was feeling at the time.
Another moment that stands out to me is that whenever I’d come downstairs in the morning, I’d be greeted with Bruce’s face and he’d get excited to see another one of us was awake. He’d start licking my legs and feet, which I’d giggle at because I’m incredibly ticklish. During a time where it was very easy to feel lonely, seeing a pet who’s happy to see you was a great way to start the day.
I went from being a little bit scared of dogs to being a complete dog person, and I’ll always be thankful to Bruce for that.