Although it’s not something I’m particularly proud of, I have struggled with major depression since I was thirteen. It may be even further back than that, that’s my first memory of “feeling different.” Now I am fifty-three.
Of course, he didn’t even know it was depression, and even if he had found out it was, he would have gone into hiding, since, in the educated society of rural Mississippi, at that time, one did not see a therapist or psychiatrist and remained in society. . It was hidden in the closet. Today, things have changed and there are many state-of-the-art mental health clinics and recovery programs in the region. Unfortunately, mom is still the word. I now live in Southern California where, at social functions, therapy and recovery are often common at social functions and events.
It wasn’t until old age, when I discovered a stray dog named “Thor,” that I learned about alternative therapy. He had often heard that owning an animal can ease depression and even lower blood pressure, but the dramatic changes were yet to be seen in the first few months of owning Thor. I noticed that I wanted to get out more and walk with him, as he loved that activity. This in itself lifted my depression. A long walk can, in fact, increase endorphins in the system.
Thor introduced me to people. People will open up to a cute dog faster than a human, therefore they will open up to human as well. Thor loved people. I had had dogs in the past, but Thor was my first rescue dog. The jury is out on whether he rescued me or I rescued him. I didn’t adopt him from a shelter, but surely I would have found him in one. He appeared in the rural forests of Mississippi with a pack of two other dogs. He was the sickest of them, obviously abused and / or struck by a vehicle while limping, and was a ball of matted fur. A vet friend took it home and put it in drops, shaved it and gave it to me.
I did my research and put him on the vomit diet. (bones and raw foods). I put the same herbal tinctures that I was taking. He never had another vet bill for a decade and lived to be nearly twenty-two. He had ten very happy years like me; mostly free from depression. We were both quite depressed when we met. He passed away almost a month ago today. I keep crying for Thor, but I feel like I’ll be ready for another rescue dog soon. I will visit the shelter. He is not completely disinterested; Now I fully understand the meaning of “they do much more for us than we do for them.” A rescued dog remembers. He / she gives unconditional love and we get that gift to pass it on to other people. I can’t begin to tell you the difference in the way other people treat me now, and the way I treat them. I do my best to do what Thor taught me, which is to love them unconditionally. He saw me as one of God’s creatures; I was a god to him, and now I see all living creatures as part of God’s creation. I was never so religious and I am not now. But how can I not be spiritual. Thor helped cure my incurable depression.
Rick London is a cartoonist and electronic entrepreneur. Many of their cartoon products are related to dogs and a percentage of each sale goes to benefit various animal causes. He is also the founder of the Internet’s leading cartoon site, Londons Times Comics.