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The Power of Pet Companionship: David's Journey to Healing

Updated: Jun 28, 2023


David has multiple physical and mental health issues, struggling alone with no family. He sadly lost his beloved dog 5 months before being referred to CARE community support. He spent most of his time alone at home, socialising online with gaming friends and going to the shops late at night when no one would be around. He was traumatised by the loss of his pet; his best friend, and could not envisage ever having another animal as he felt the loss so deeply.


A few weeks after starting CARE community support the opportunity arose to attend an 8-week Equine Therapy course (therapy through caring for and riding horses). Due to his love of animals, his CARE support worker suggested this and David accepted. The first two weeks his CARE support worker attended at his side until he was comfortable with his counsellor, Angie. Gradually, each week, he became more talkative and open, both in the therapy sessions and on the car journey there and back. He even made some delicious brownies as a gift, for his counsellor.


Six weeks into his community support journey, he asked his CARE support worker if she knew about any small groups where he could start socialising with other people. Enthusiastically, she started searching the local area for any appropriate groups and found a local "Man Club" that sounded ideal for him. A safe space where men gather to discuss mental health, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc., with no judgement but to support one another through it.


David also asked if his CARE support worker could take him to a local animal rescue centre as he had seen a dog on their website that he really liked the look of. She drove him to the local rescue, and as they approached it David saw the dog being walked ahead. "That's my dog!" he said, "can I get out here?", he was so excited. He jumped out and went over to the dog and rescue dog walker. Half an hour later David and his support worker left the centre and he was the proud and very happy owner of a new dog! All the way home he was making plans for the future for him and his new best friend, more animated, hopeful and happy than his support worker had ever seen him.






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