Freddy — Therapy

Charity Partner: Hand in Paw
Location: Austin, Texas

I suffered for years. Depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, all of it. I guess “suffering” isn’t really the right word. I didn’t feel suffering. I didn’t feel anything. I felt empty and hollow. Void of emotions. A shell of a person that, if touched the wrong way, would crumple into pieces too scattered and jagged to be put back together. Every aspect of my life was hanging by a thread: my marriage, my career, my family. Most days my brain didn’t allow my body to leave the house, let alone the bed.

On a whim I went to and fell in love with the first dog I saw. A little spaniel mix named Freddy who was a scraggly, scruffy mess, not unlike myself, and had just been pulled from a high kill shelter. I filled out the application without thinking twice.

One by one he put my jagged puzzle pieces back together and formed me into a person again. He gave me a reason to get out of bed. He gave me a reason to live. There is no doubt in my mind that he saved my life.

Freddy is now a certified therapy dog. We visit schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to spread love to others who may need help putting their own pieces back together. Just the other day he sat with two young girls in a hospital waiting room as they received news that their grandmother had passed away. They cried and gave him hugs and kisses and he comforted them in a way only a dog can. He was there to help them with their puzzle pieces that day, just as he is for me every day. He is my true hero.