Tag Archives: pets

Fighting Depression with Dogs

Spring is my favorite season of the year.  Spring is when beekeepers can get inside the hives and check on the bees.  The daffodils are blooming, and spring wildflowers are everywhere.  I make tea with dandelion blossoms, and I can eat my weight in hot cross buns.  Yet spring is not always a happy time for everyone.  I was shocked when I read that suicide rates spike in spring, not in the dreary winter as many people might guess.  Depression is an ever growing global problem that was made significantly worse during the pandemic.  A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation stated that 26.2% of Americans reported symptoms of depressive disorder over the last 12 months.  Clearly the need exists to develop strategies for managing depression.  As someone who struggles with periodic bouts of depression, I have spent significant time researching tools that can help manage this unwanted guest that periodically takes up residence in my brain.  One of my favorite coping strategies is dog ownership.  Canine companions can be really helpful in managing symptoms of depression.   

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Lessons from a German Shepherd

A thick layer of snow is currently covering the garden.  Hopefully our bees are still alive, but it is too cold to check the hives.  Salad greens, Brussel sprouts, onions, and peas are safely growing under lights in the basement waiting to be transferred to the garden next month.  Getting sufficient exercise for our dogs in this weather is a challenge, and dogs and humans alike are suffering from cabin fever.  We have two dogs.  Forte is our five year old German shepherd, and Carmen is our senior rescue dog of unknown age and unknown breed.  I am sharing Forte’s story because I hope it will be helpful for anyone who may be struggling with a dog that they love.

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