Can a dog help when we are grieving, when we are anxious, when we are dealing with bad news?
I am not a dog behaviouralist nor a vet. But I am a dog-mom and I have felt the healing power of a dog. I have had my fair share of poor days. If I did not have my dog by my side, I would not be able to survive such days. Just petting him and lying down next to him helped me get through the bad days.
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Recently, I chatted with my first and oldest friend, I have known her since we were three years old. With Jiniya, I learnt what a friend means. We played together, we celebrated occasions together and we even got compared over marks 😉 When I got to know that she has a dog now, quite obviously I wanted to chat about Bo. Yes, Jiniya’s boy is called Bo – the namesake of another famous doggo (clue Barack Obama)!
I learnt how Bo has converted my childhood friend into a dog lover, someone who used to be petrified of dogs. Bo came into Jiniya and her partner Arindam’s life when they were dealing with an irreparable loss, one that needed deep healing. With his pup antics, energy and oodles of love, Bo did the healing act like a pro.
“Bo really did heal us with his energy. Even on bad days, we got up only because we had to walk and feed Bo. There were days when we felt like sleeping in until the sadness went away. But we woke up because Bo would be whining if we were a few minutes late in taking him out. He would be ready to greet us with tail wags and slobbery licks.”
On January 9, Jiniya and Arindam’s boy turned one. Bo, a big-time chewer got a lot of custom-made, hand-sewn chew toys. These toys, however, did not survive beyond two days such was Bo’s joy and excitement. Bo spent more time than usual hanging around with his BFF the neighbour doggo in their backyard. Even the humans treated themselves to royal meals and organised parties to celebrate Bo’s first bark day.
Bo, the pandemic kid has spent the first year of his life enjoying his humans’ company as they are working from home. Sometimes Bo acts like an alarm clock, ensuring that the humans take regular breaks by playing with him for a few minutes every few hours. He also makes sure that they are agile by making them pick up his toys that are beyond his reach. The boy already knows who the boss is. He also enjoys watching television shows with the humans – dog and food shows are their favourites.
“Until Bo came into my life, I did not realise that I could fall in love with a dog. Now I stand converted into a crazy dog-mom, who is forever fussing over Bo’s food and toys, organising doggy dates for him and being equally serious about his obedience training. Arindam has always been a dog-person and now I too realise the magical power of dogs.”
Bo lives with his humans in Kentucky, Louisville in the US.