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My Best Friend: Part Two

Man’s (and Woman’s!) Best Friend

In late 2015 I wrote about “My Best Friend” Jess, my dog who was my constant companion through my hep C journey. Jess had passed the month before I wrote that piece and I was in the grips of grief. He was there through the toughest days of the illness that led to my diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. He was at my side when I felt so alone, and he provided the unconditional love that animals are so famous for.

I think of him often, but a few months ago someone new came into my life. Charlie is his name and he looks very much like Jess did and came to my side in a not so dissimilar way as Jess did all those years ago. He needed a home, a forever home where he would have security and love because he could no longer live where he was due to circumstances he had no control over.

Like many other dogs and pets that are in the same situation, he needed a home. Charlie is home now, and although my struggles with hep C as a chronic condition have passed, I still have much to do in providing support to others who are newly diagnosed, trying to access treatment, or dealing with life after treatment and ongoing health issues. Who better to have at my side in my journey now than a dog like Charlie? When I sit at my desk writing these pieces or on shift with the helpline I work on in assisting people navigate their way through their own journey, he is there at my feet always.

Pets Can Boost Your Mood

I am an unabashed dog lover so my own health and peace of mind is inextricably linked to these furry critters I love so much. They know when we are in pain, when we are happy, and they know all our moods and never do they complain or argue. Who does that? OK, so maybe cats and other critters are good company but for me a dog is it.

If you are a dog lover you know what I am talking about. There is tons of evidence that dogs improve on our outlook and can have a direct effect on our mental health in a positive way. If you are dealing with health challenges because of hep C you may also find you will do better with your own best friend, and if you don’t already have one you might consider finding one from your local rescue society. Providing a safe environment for a dog may be just what you need, but remember that there is some work involved. Dogs like walks and activity like walking is good for us too. They need routine and not to be left alone just like you and I. If you have the time and the energy it may help you immeasurably, like it has me, and of course it is not a decision anyone should come to without careful consideration and commitment. Woof says Charlie! That is Yay for dogs!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.