I genuinely can’t believe that I haven’t done this post before, because now that I think about it, it seems like this should have been one of the first things I ever discussed in this series. Yes, it is about my dog. My gorgeous Alaskan Malamute Elsa has helped medicate me just as much as my anti-depressants, pain killers & antibiotics have done in the past three years & I genuinely would be lost without her.
Elsa came into my life eight or nine months after my previous Alaskan Malamute, Boo, died. We’d had Boo since I was a child & her death rocked both my mother & me to our cores. When we lost Boo my mum was a wreck & it really affected her general well-being; I was also incredibly sad & I just knew our home would never feel the same way again. Boo was a very independent dog, but she was very much a part of our pack; she was the most well-behaved animal I have ever met & the love she had for my mum was beautiful. My mum spent hours walking Boo for miles upon miles & when we had to say goodnight to her for the final time, it broke us.
We had wanted to get a puppy toward the end of Boo’s life anyway, but when we moved into a smaller house, that dream had to dissipate. After we lost Boo though, we knew that we would have to have the pitter-patter of paws in our home again at some point, because we would just never feel whole again without a dog. The May after we lost Boo was when my kidney failed & I developed septicaemia & when I came out of hospital my mum made the decision that we both deserved something positive in our lives, & we decided that positive influence would come in the shape of an Alaskan Malamute puppy.
We spent a decent amount of time looking for the perfect puppy online & when we saw a picture of Elsa & her sisters, we knew we had to have one of them! We went to meet the whole litter, & both their mum & dad, when they were only a few weeks old & we fell totally in love with them all. In the end, we decided that Elsa was the one for us because she chewed my mum’s shoes! She was cheeky & had personality, which is exactly what we wanted.
We didn’t have Boo when she was a puppy, so this was a totally new experience for both my mum & I… thankfully Elsa was already toilet trained when we got her home & the only issue we really had was her biting our feet! We managed to stop her doing this by blowing a whistle whenever she tried to nibble our toes; eventually she learnt her lesson. The first few nights were super difficult because Elsa whimpered loads & all I wanted to do was go & give her a cuddle, but mum said she had to learn to be on her own because we would have to leave her to go to university & work when the summer holidays were over… to our relief Elsa learnt to be on her own pretty quickly, but she did spend sometime upstairs on my bed with me in her tiny days!*
*I say her tiny days because she’s too scared to climb the stairs now as she got stuck upstairs when she was small, whilst we were out of the house. We don’t know how long she was stuck there, but it was long enough to traumatise her because she’s never tried to climb the stairs again.
Anyway; the reason Elsa is relevant to this series is because she really helped me in my recovery after being in hospital for so long… I felt like I had no friends around me as no one came to see me whilst I was in hospital & I had gone through a break up just before the whole kidney drama started. I was put on anti-depressants after my hospital stay, & so, when we got Elsa, she became my absolute world. I spent all my time with her & fell totally in love with her. Our relationship didn’t change as I got better or stronger, & I always felt bad leaving her to go on night’s out when I did eventually get well enough to do so.
Now, three years later, she’s still my rock. Over the last few months, between finishing uni & starting a job, Elsa has kept me company every single day & without her I’m not sure what state I would be in, in regards to my depression. Of course I have my lovely boyfriend now, & I have some wonderful friends, but Elsa is my constant & she’s there regardless of how depressed I am or how much pain I’m in. She loves me no matter what & I always hate when I have to leave the house without her.
Some people just won’t ever understand the connection you can have with a dog, & that’s okay, but I never want to live without a four-legged companion in my life. Elsa is my best friend & the love of my life, she means the world to me & I’m honestly not sure how I would cope with my life if she wasn’t there to bring me toys or give me cuddles on the sofa.