“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.” --Dereke Bruce

LIFE WITH LYNN


Saturday, December 6, 2014

BRODY, ONE YEAR LATER (Or, Why It is Dangerous to Make Decisions When You are Depressed!)





If you read THIS POST or THIS ONE, then you know that an adorable Yorkie pup joined our family last year.

He was 3 pounds when we got him, and now he's full grown and tipping the scales at a whopping 6 pounds. And short of a human baby, never have so few pounds changed our lives!

















A little pre-Brody background... we were happy CAT PEOPLE with two gorgeous Ragdoll cats. We could go away for the weekend (or a couple of weeks) and those independent, self-sufficient felines would be fine in the care of a friend or house-sitter.  ("Oh, hi. Were you gone?")














Now if you know me, you know that I am typically content and optimistic. I am not prone to depression.  For this I am extremely grateful. But I broke my foot last year (that sorry post is HERE) -- and during those 3 very long, very difficult months, life was very hard.  I got depressed.  I was hard-to-please, miserable and unhappy.

I decided I neeeeeeeeeded a puppy because a puppy would make me happy. A puppy would cuddle in my lap (those dang cats weren't being nearly solicitous enough!)   A puppy would give me sweet puppy-kisses. (Those dang cats weren't giving me nearly enough attention.)  A puppy would greet me at the door with a happy, wagging tail and joyfully come when I called him. (The dang cats NEVER wag their tails [LOL] and lord knows they NEVER come when they are called!)  I envisioned errands and enjoyable, leisurely walks with a devoted puppy by my side.  (Those dang cats hate leaving the house.)

In other words, in my uncharacteristically unhappy state of mind, I decided that a puppy would simply solve all my problems. Any attempts by my reasonable husband to tell me otherwise fell on my two deaf ears.  I was convinced that The Perfect Puppy would change my life, make me happy, heal my foot, end hunger, stop crime, cure AIDS, balance the federal budget, and bring world peace.

So I started looking for a puppy (HERE). I spent every spare minute in my favorite living room chair, bad foot elevated, Mac in my lap, obsessively researching puppies and breeders.  (I know you find that hard to believe, right?)  Well, I found him. And I wanted him. And at that point, neither hell nor high water could have stopped me. And as soon as I was able to put weight on my foot, I flew to Missouri to get him.




















But this post is not really about Brody's story.  Or even Brody himself, for that matter.

No, this post is about MAKING DECISIONS WHEN YOU ARE DEPRESSED!  Because I am here to tell you that within DAYS of being able to walk again, the depression lifted.  It was rather amazing, actually.  I could literally feel the crushing weight slipping off my shoulders.  The last 3 months quickly began to feel like a COMA that I had now miraculously awakened from.

I had "known"at the time that I was depressed, of course, but it wasn't until I was looking back in hindsight that I realized HOW VERY depressed I had been.

So then what happened? Well, when I woke up out of my Depression Coma and looked around -- I HAD A DOG! Egads, how did THAT happen?! A DOG?! WHY do I have a dog?! I'm a cat person! I'm also a busy person! I don't have TIME for a dog! And I don't know a THING about dogs! What in the world am I going to do with a DOG???! OMG, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

Which is the point of this post: I WASN'T THINKING.  At least not thinking "clearly".  And in my depression-fog I made a decision that now commits me to 15 years or so of 24/7 doggie-parenthood.

Thankfully my husband ADORES Brody, and actively shares in his care.  Thankfully Brody is small (in my compromised state of mind I could have gotten a Mastiff or a Newfoundland!) and is (as far as canines go) pretty easy to live with.

But the point is... I made a decision that I would probably have NEVER MADE had I not been depressed.  Which was kinda scary and very sobering.

So the moral of this story is that the experts knew what they are talking about when they tell you to never make an important decision when you are depressed or grieving or otherwise emotionally compromised.

This experience has been quite eye-opening for me.  And thankfully, all I ended up with was a dog.  I think about people who are depressed who walk out of their marriage, quit their jobs, gamble away their life savings, or any number of other equally horrifying scenarios.

Now please don't misunderstand: I love my little dog.  (In fact, he is curled up beside me on this chair where it all began, sleeping like an angel with his little head in my lap.)  I am thankful that he is healthy, good-natured and adorable. And he does love me. He is always so happy to see me, he gives me sweet puppy-kisses, he is a tail-wagger and cuddler of epic proportions.  In many ways now I can't imagine my life without him.

HOWEVER... all that being said, it has not been without a LOT of challenges and adjustments.   But that's another post for another time...