Emotional Support Animal Sunny helps Dog Mom with Anxiety & Depression
Sherrie, Daniel & Sunny (Chihuahua Mix, Rescue/1), Los Angeles, CA
After wanting a dog for several years and finding out my life was going to be re-structured in a way that would be fair to own one, I brought Sunny home on December 12, 2019. I had no idea at the time how much the entire world would be changing and how much I would need her.
Sunny was 3-4 months old when I rescued her. When I brought her home, she had kennel cough, fleas, and two parasites.
Kennel cough was our first quarantine, followed by puppy shots, and spay recovery. We thought we were in the clear and then the Safer at Home orders went into effect for COVID-19. Luckily, we were well-versed in quarantine activities by that point. While we were sad to no longer be able to go to obedience and agility classes, I found an inexpensive home agility set and we spent hours practicing the obstacles on our front porch which entertained not just us but also our neighbors (one even asked if they could bring over their cat for agility).
As restrictions lifted, we were able to go on social distance activities with other dogs in the area such as hiking, camping, kayaking, ocean cleanup, botanical gardens, and pumpkin patches. Sunny is my adventure buddy and my boyfriend often comments on how she is the dog version of me.
I have lived with anxiety and depression for quite some time, so it was imperative to have Sunny by my side as an Emotional Support Animal this year. We laid on the porch in the sun, she reminded me when it was time to play, I taught her some deep pressure therapy (DPT) with the help of a friend's instruction, and she gave me someone other than myself to focus on.
As we move forward, I am working on becoming a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and she is training to be a Therapy Dog. Down the road, my hope is that we can work together in Canine Assisted Psychotherapy to help others the way Sunny has helped me. @sunnysbestlife