Eight years ago, I chartered a private plane to Wales to collect my first dog - a tiny Cavachon puppy named Penny.
Despite the sleepless nights and many failed training attempts, I quickly fell in love.
Here are four reasons why getting a dog was the best thing I ever did for my mental and physical health👇
I thrive on routine, but when my mental health is low, my routine suffers. Having someone else to feed and exercise reminds me that I need the same level of care.
I love walking - this is something I only found out when I got a dog. If I feel mentally or physically 'off', a walk usually makes me feel much better.
I'm autistic, so not naturally social. But when my dog is with me, I can chat with anyone. I'm yet to meet an unpleasant dog walker - everyone is so friendly.
When I am working from home, my dog is great company. She also reminds me to take breaks when I (or rather, she) needs them!
My dog helps me prioritise my wellbeing (by taking care of hers!)