I say a lot of things I never do. I never got the Vespa I wanted and may never will. I never took my sister mini-golfing like I promised. I wanted to be a zookeeper, but I let my mother bully me into something else. I said I was going to quit engineering, and I never did. Hundreds of art projects go conceived, discussed, and unstarted. My intentions for exercise never quite make it off the ground. Owning and caring for a Corgi was a dream I always talked about but never really expected to happen.
In 2009, after struggling with a festering depression for over two years, I thought about suicide quite often. On a warm July night, I broke down and thought seriously about ending it all. I ended up on the beach with a shovel and I dug a hole until I grew exhausted. I decided then that I would seek help. Seeing a therapist and being fed medication did little to alleviate the dark cloud surrounding me. I slept, and when I wasn’t sleeping, I tried to succeed at a field I despise—and when I wasn’t doing either of those things, I thought about nothing. I was changing my diet, attempting to exercise without aggravating an injury from the previous year, switching medicines, seeing a therapist twice a week, and yet nothing seemed to help. Then, I decided it was time to do something I wanted to do for a change. I wanted a Corgi, and God help me, I was going to get one.
I exhausted the internet to learn about Corgis and dogs in general. I learned about puppy training, dog breeding, dog food, and dog health. I made lists of things my dog would need, when he would need them, why he would need them, and how much they would cost. During these hours, I felt rejuvenated. For once, I was doing something I wanted to do without the approval of my mother or my friends, and I was doing it to the best of my ability with much more enthusiasm than you would expect from a chronically depressed teenager. My therapist, my friends, my family, and, most importantly, I noticed that my mood improved drastically. I was still on medication, but I was happiest at my computer absorbing all the knowledge I could about my future dog. Before I even knew who he was, he pulled my head above water and made waking up a little easier.
A year ago today, I brought him home. I’m without medication/therapy and have been for some months. He saved my life. He’s more than a dog—he’s MY dog, and I cannot be more grateful for him entering my life. No amount of cookies could show him how much he means to me, but he knows, I’m sure. Sometimes, I still doubt this is really happening. He’s a literal dream come true.
I love you, man.
You're the sweetest, most caring animal I know.
I'm really proud of you.
Here's to many, many more years with the best dog I could ask for.