*Please note – I did not write the following. These words belong to someone I know, I am simply passing these words on through my blog in hopes that their quest can reach a wider audience.
Hi friends, family and strangers who might be reading this,
You may or may not know that I have been battling Multiple Sclerosis for several years now. MS has take many things from me; my ability to maintain a fulfilling career, my ability to play sports; even my ability to walk. I’ve had to adjust to significant changes in my lifestyle and one of the toughest has been a move to an assisted living facility that does not allow me to live with my dog Snoop.
MS causes depression in 50 to 80% of MS patients. As much as I try to put on a brave face, I’ll admit that I often fall into that category. Something that can pull me out of that despair is my bond with Snoop. Even on my worst day I know I have to drag myself out of bed long enough to make sure Snoop is fed and taken to the park at least twice a day. I am unable to physically make it through a day of work but Snoop gives me a sense of purpose and structure in my life. When your disabled it’s easy to feel isolated from the able bodied world. Snoop helps facilitate social interaction when I desperately need it and keeps feelings of loneliness from becoming all consuming.
The benefits of the human-animal bond has been well studied and chronicled in many scientific journals. Alberta recognizes service animals that perform physical tasks for their owners and the job they do is invaluable. Unfortunately Service Alberta doesn’t yet recognize Emotional Support Animals despite their proven positive effects on those living with depression, anxiety, PTSD or numerous other ailments.
There is a petition collecting signatures online for the cause and we’re asking for the support of those who, like me, understand the truly invaluable benefit to having an emotional support animal. Please, if you’re able, sign to support us in hopes of making change that will help everyone with mental health issues.
Thanks for reading. If you think it’s time for Alberta to take mental health seriously on more than just “Bell Let’s Talk” day…Please sign and share this petition!”