I have chronic depression, which I was diagnosed with in high school. With the help of therapy and medication, I had it under control – well, for a few years. Even though I continued my treatment plan, I found myself feeling worse than I’d felt in my entire life. I felt hopeless, and I really felt like it was never going to get any better.
I can’t explain it, but on my way home from work one day, I had this urge to go to the animal shelter. I hadn’t had a pet since I was a kid, but I’ve always loved animals, so I thought, Why not stop by? And if I hadn’t, I’d have never met Frankie.
By all accounts, Frankie was a shy girl, a little timid even. But when I walked by her cage, she sat straight up (she’d been curled up like she was trying to sleep), and let out a gentle bark almost like she was talking to me. As I walked closer to her pen, her tail started wagging, which was a rare event according to the volunteer who was walking with me. It was love at first sight for both of us, and when I took her to the play area and saw her light up – and felt myself light up – I knew we belonged together.
I really believe Frankie somehow knew I was coming for her, and she knew we were going to save each other before I’d even had a chance to lay eyes on her. I had no idea that caring for this dog would become the thing that got me out of bed every morning, that would make going outside for a walk seem exciting rather than scary, and make life feel full in a way that I’d forgotten was possible. But it has. I’ve gotten my life back (I’m still following my treatment plan, don’t worry!), and Frankie has been a huge part of that.