A good pet really can make all the difference when you’re at rock bottom. Here are fourteen stories from people who had a pet completely change their life.
Many thanks to all the Redditors who responded. Check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
17. Sometimes you just need a friend.
My dog saved my life simply by being there for me.
Back in 2008, I went through a devastating breakup with my girlfriend. We had been together for 7 years, living together for 3, and I had proposed to her about two weeks prior. We we kind of forced to separate for a few months for work, but were still getting together on the weekends.
She said yes to the marriage proposal, then two weeks later she broke up with me. I knew it was commitment panic, so we kept hanging out on the weekends, but then my father decided to stick his nose into things.
One weekend on my way back from visiting her, he called up her new boyfriend’s house. Then he called him at work. I wasn’t aware of any of this until I got a call from her, madder than I had ever seen her before. I lost all hope that things could be worked out. I had a two hour drive ahead of me to think and feel sorry for myself.
About an hour and a half into my tear-filled drive, I had serious thoughts of driving off the bridge I was crossing. At that point my dog climbed into the front seat and put his head in my lap.
16. Copperhead Road.
I went out for a run around my family’s land one morning, as usual, at around 8:00 am. My Doberman, Bonnie, runs along with me all the time. I ran with my music on and was completely oblivious to the Copperhead that was headed straight for me.
It strikes out at me and missed only slightly. When I realize what it was, I panicked and (like my usually clumsy self) fell. It came back and Bonnie jumped in front of it and took the bite herself. Her cry was absolutely horrible, it had her right hind leg.
She managed to turn around and rip it off, proceeding to tear it apart. Afterwards she fell to the ground and her breathing was getting quicker. I picked her up, as heavy as she was, and ran her to my truck. I drove as fast as I could to the vet. Thankfully I got her there quick enough for them to save her. My dog saved me from that Copperhead, and she still lives. 🙂 I love that dog so much.
15. I hope you find something soon!
I’m a college grad who has been looking for work (and getting turned down pretty consistently in favor of people ‘with more experience’) for over a year now since graduation. A few months back I was getting really, really down about it. Feeling hopeless, sliding into depression. Having worked my butt off to do really well in college and then be consistently turned down was really getting to me.
One day I was over at my mom’s, and she was getting upset with me for not having a job yet. After she’d gone upstairs, I just sat in the kitchen with my head on my arms, trying not to cry. All of a sudden, my mom’s cat (who is the sort of cat who likes people and enjoys attention, but doesn’t put up with being held or set on someone’s lap or anything like that) just jumped up out of nowhere and curled up on my legs. He looked up at me and started purring. I’d never felt more comforted than I did right then. He didn’t leave until I had to get up again.
I’d almost decided on cancelling a trip I’d planned months earlier to go to a gaming convention, but oddly enough that kitty cheered me up enough to still want to go. I ended up meeting the love of my life there and moving to an entirely different part of the country. Still looking for a job, but things are a lot better than they were.
I love that kitty.
14. Good kitty.
When I was younger I was severely depressed. I had told my mother about it and she took me to the doctor and got me on medication. The doctor also gave me sleeping pills because I wasn’t sleeping. The medication increased my depression to the point of wanting to commit suicide.
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After my mother left for work I decided that life was not worth living anymore. I was laying on my bed playing with my bird for the last time and writing a note explaining why I wanted my life to be over. I started writing and my little bird ran up and tugged the pen out of my hand. After retrieving it I began writing again. He grabbed the pen and ran to the end of my bed and dropped it on the floor. Then looked at me. Right at me, and then I just couldn’t do it.
I started sobbing and he hobbled up to me and began licking my tears off my face. In that moment it all changed. I decided to live no matter what because as insignificant as my life was, someone loved me and needed me. Every time my depression gets the worst of me I remember that little bird.
13. That’s one way to find out you have a tumor…
One day I was walking my dog and on our way back to my house, a squirrel ran into our garage. I let go of the leash thinking, hey, we’re home, he won’t run away or anything.
Well, turns out, the squirrel runs out of the garage and my dog runs after him. As a last resort, I step on his leash to keep him from running away. It wraps around my ankle and I fall to the ground. It was a little jarring, but I’m ok. The next day my leg puffs up to the point where i’m limping very badly.
We go to the doctor and find out that because I had twisted and fell (because of my squirrel-hungry dog) it aggravated a blood clot (specifically, a DVT: Deep Vein Thrombosis) which caused the swelling. Since I’m only 15, blood clots are not common, so the doctor took more tests and we found out what caused the clot was a malignant tumor near my bladder. The size of a grapefruit.
They also found the cancer had spread (stage 4) so I started treatment immediately. It’s been 10 months since my dog caused me to fall. Today I am cancer free, and almost finished with chemo :)!
12. Wow… what a line!
Not as serious as some of the other stories on here. I met my girlfriend of 2 years because of my dog.
I was out walking Boots (my dog) in the local park when this cute blonde walks over to say hello. It’s not unusual for people to come over to talk to other people’s dogs in this park and she asks the usual questions, is it a boy or girl, what’s his name and so on.
She’s crouching down petting him when he barks once or twice, and I said lamely, he asked if he can have your number but she laughed and gave it to me! I still can’t believe it worked but my life is much better now because of Boots.
11. I didn’t know turtles could get so excited!
I have a little turtle that adores me. Whenever I’m beat after work and in an “I hate the world” mood, I’ll walk back into my apartment and there he is, flipping out in his tank, excited that I’m home.
Somehow his happiness makes me happy, boom instant good mood for the rest of the night.
10. RIP little Strudel 🙁
When I was in the 6th grade, my mom went out grocery shopping one morning and when she got home, a man was in our house, robbing us (we later found out that he’d been sleeping in the woods behind our house for about a week).
When my mom came in the kitchen door from the garage, he was waiting for her with a knife, and he pulled her inside without shutting the door; we had three dachshunds at the time, and all three ran outside immediately, obviously terrified of this strange scary dude in their house.
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They never go outside without us, and our next-door neighbor saw them pacing back and forth just outside the garage door, looking worried and crying, so the neighbor came over to our house to see what was up. The guy in our house pulled her inside too, but my mom and the neighbor managed to break and run in separate directions, so the guy cut and run too. He was caught the next day, sleeping in a tent in someone’s backyard. If our dogs hadn’t gone outside and cried, my mom would probably have been killed. Strudel, Heidi, and Daisy, you are my hero puppies and I love you. RIP, Strudel.
9. Two lessons in one day!
I was visiting family with my mother and while they were in the house drinking wine and giggling, I went to the backyard (which had a pool). They had a larger dog and I was afraid of dogs at the time (I was about 7). As I was trying to play keep away around the pool to stay as far away from the dog as possible I fell in.
Mind you, this was the 3rd time I had almost drowned in my life. :/ The dog, who I had avoided and treated like crap, jumped in the water (no one heard my gurgled cries evidently) and pulled me close enough to the edge that I got out. I cried for my mother but she still didn’t come out to help. I ended up going inside and I got smacked for going into the pool in my clothes.
That was the day that I learned two things: I needed to learn how to swim and I was not my mother’s favorite child.
8. That’s not something you see every day.
When I was around 16 my older brother brought home this awesome pit whose owners were getting divorced and moving away. We’d never had a dog before since my mom was pretty nervous around them from bad experiences as a child. He was about 8 months old, just really handsome with a patch of color over his eye, so the former owners had dubbed him Pirate. My younger brother and I were super jazzed and we buy him all the requisite dog stuff so we could take him out.
We’d usually walk him around our neighborhood together, but on this one particular day my brother had gone to a friend’s house so I took him out by myself. It was summer, high noon, and getting super hot, so I decided to cut the walk short and go through an alley that would take me back to my side of the block. I turn to go down the alley and Pirate won’t move. He just looks at me. I coax and tug on his leash, and it’s like dragging a boulder. He seriously does NOT want to go down the alley, but me being new to dogs, and having been a cat person for many years, I just think he’s being difficult for the heck of it. Finally, he sees my insistence and just up and bolts, me flying behind yelling at him to stop, but he keeps going, mad dash road-runner style.
As we near the end of the alley, I see this older guy just standing there like a statue, staring at me with his pants all the way down and his dick out.
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I’m in complete shock and don’t even believe what I’m seeing. Pirate doesn’t pause for a second and by then I’m all for running, so we run all the way back to my house where I immediately start yelling my head off about the naked guy by the alley. My mom calls the cops, my step-dad drives down the street looking for the guy and sees our neighbors flipping out because they had driven by and seen him too, although he was gone by the time they turned around to get a closer look. There had been girls getting attacked in our area that whole summer so it was definitely serious and I had to file a report.
I never thought I’d be a dog person until I met Pirate, I can’t even imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t been with me. I miss that dog so, so much.
7. Lil pug love can solve any problem.
I had a severe depressive episode earlier this year and I sat at my couch staring at a glass of water while holding a fistful of pills when my tiny pug puppy crawled into my lap. He just sat there and stared up into my face and began to lick my chin and I just couldn’t do it with him looking at me like that.
I put the pills away and just cuddled my puppy on the couch for a while.
6. I want to drink with that moose.
Not exactly a pet, but when I was visiting friends up in Nunavut there was a moose that used to hang around and get drunk off of fermented apples near their house. It was surprisingly chill with people, probably because it was drunk most of the time.
Anyways, one day my friend and I get back to his place and the moose is standing right on his doorstep blocking the door. Only an idiot messes with a full grown moose so we let it be and get back in the car to wait for it to leave.
After a few minutes a couple of mounties show up…then a couple more…then more… Up there you don’t normally see more than two cops at a time so it was a bit of a strange response to a moose on the doorstep, especially considering we hadn’t called anyone.
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It turns out they weren’t there for the moose, they were there for a man who had beaten his girlfriend, stole her shotgun, robbed a store and was last seen being chased by a drunken moose right into my friends house.
If the moose hadn’t been blocking the door the guy probably would have shot us or something. It took the cops hours to get him to come out, and he was absolutely wasted when he did.
5. I guess we know who’s a good boy.
I was going to kill myself. It was late at night and everybody in my house was asleep. I decided that I was going to go to the kitchen and slit my throat. I went to the kitchen and got a knife out of a drawer.
Before I went through with it, I wanted to make sure the knife was sharp, so I tested it on my wrist. It was sharper than I anticipated. I cut myself pretty bad. At that moment my dog immediately started to bark his head off. Within what seemed likes seconds, my mom was at my side. I was on the ground trying to get my blood off the floor for some reason. I guess I was just panicking.
I told the paramedics and my family that cutting my wrist was the suicide attempt. I couldnt bear to tell my family that I was prepared to do something as drastic as cutting my throat. I thought that would just be too much.
I believe my dog saved my life that night. He knew I hurt myself and he got me the help I needed.
4. A little pair of eyes peeking around the corner.
This is not a pet story, but it has a critter that saved my bacon. Around 20 years ago I was severely depressed, hooked on heroin, and decided to end my life. Without any emotion I had tied a bunch of electric cords together and sat there staring at a blank television screen.
I decided to give prayer a shot, and so I told God that if I was supposed to be alive that he’d better send someone now because otherwise this thing (me hanging myself) was going to happen. It was just one sentence.
Instantly another pair of eyes met mine and it didn’t seem real but those eyes were shiny and alive and looking right at me. It was a mouse. Right where I had gazed out, a mouse had peeked from the side of the turned-off television. Whiskers, pale brown little body, everything. And it was like time stopped.
And it was the kindest, gentlest thing, and we sat there looking at each other. And I had my answer. Not today.
3. Brotherly love.
I guess the best thing me first pet did for me was to teach me bout grief and death. They day he was being put down, I knew the time, but still had to go to middle school.
I left class to go to the “bathroom” at that time, really just to be alone. I ran into my brother in the hall.
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Without talking about it, he’d decided to do the same thing. We walked silently together, and I felt very solemn and sad, but that life would go on.
2. Okay I’m going to use that trick if I’m ever in that situation.
Not me but my best friend a few years ago had a really bad break up with his girlfriend when she left for college.
The relationship was always bad and the distance just made it horrible, constant arguing, and screaming. One day they’re arguing on the phone upstairs while I was in his basement. I hear him yelling, then stop and then something hit the ground hard. I run upstairs and he’s collapsed, convulsing, having a panic attack and unable to breath. He’s just shaking, his dad, mom, and I crying over him begging him to stop telling him to breathe.
It was so scary. Just then his dog runs in and starts licking his feet. And somehow he just starts laughing. Coughing and laughing, but able to breathe again. Apparently she had just broken him down emotionally and he couldn’t handle it. That day his dog really saved his life.
1. I hope he went away for a long time.
When I was about 6-7 I lived pretty close to a lake. I was splashing around with my grandma and my German Shepherd (long dead now, unfortunately). There’s dozens of little beaches and rarely many people at most of them, so we always picked the one closest to my house.
As I was walking out of the lake, some dude runs up and grabs me, I start wailing while he’s running off (still holding me). My grandma and I are both freaking out and she couldn’t exactly do much. This is Buddy’s cue to mouth tackle the back of this dudes leg, he goes down pretty hard, as do I (have a nice scar on my head from hitting the pavement). I don’t remember much, except for my grandma crying, some police, and everyone showering the dog in affection. It was like a cheesy movie (except it all happened really fast).
As far as I know, the guy managed to initially get away after fighting off my dog, but eventually showed up at a hospital for bite wounds and was arrested shortly after.
Who knows what could have been had Buddy not been there. That dog loved children and was immediately at attention if me or my cousins started crying/yelling etc. Best dog I’ve ever owned.