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    Posted on Jun 21, 2017

    31 Perfect Pets Who Made Their Humans’ Lives So Much Better

    "He's the reason I get out of bed. Why I take my meds. Why I stay alive."

    We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the impact their pets have had on their mental health.

    Obviously, pets can't cure mental illness, but they can play a part in treatment, provide love and support, and make their owners' lives better. Here are just some of the perfect animals that are making a huge difference in their humans' lives.

    1. "On my low-mood days, she's happy to cuddle with me in bed or on the couch until I feel more human."

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    "Luna came into my life last year after the painful loss of my therapy dog. She's helped me not only cope with the loss but helped me get out and be more active, live a healthier life, and be more adventurous. On my low-mood days, she's happy to cuddle with me in bed or on the couch until I feel more human. I literally could not be without my best friend to help me through the day."

    emmah48da0ee46

    2. "She has taught me that life is better than my mental illnesses tell me and that I am to keep fighting."

    buzzfeed.com

    Note: This submission includes content about self-harm and suicidal ideation.

    "This is my baby girl Shelby Belle. I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, ADD, psychosis, and suicidal ideation. I also self harm. Every day is hard. If I didn't have her, I would be in some dark casket 10 feet below the ground in fancy clothes and my organs divided between other people who need them. She is my emotional support dog, a candidate to be a psychiatric service dog for me, and a therapy dog-in-training. She helps me through anxiety attacks by licking my hands and face and nudging me and cuddling me. She gives me a huge reason as to why I need to remain on this earth. She guides me through my psychotic episodes and brings me back to reality. I could not be more grateful for my $35 rescue mutt.

    She has taught me that life is better than my mental illnesses tell me and that I am to keep fighting. Not only does she do all this, but she inspires me and reminds me to stick to my favorite coping strategies, such as photography, drawing, and exercise. As you can tell, she is by far my favorite subject. I would be nowhere without this dog."

    cameronl43677139a

    3. "With Caly's help, I found the effectiveness of being self-aware and returned to therapy."

    buzzfeed.com

    Note: This submission contains content about sexual assault.

    "This is my cat, Calypso. She is also my PTSD emotional support animal. I'm a rape survivor, and when I went away to college, my PTSD became so intense I almost completely stopped leaving my bedroom. Caly started 'putting me to bed' at night time since that is the time that can be the most painful for me. She'll come up to me around 11 p.m. and 'lead me' to my room, looking back over her shoulder and meowing for me to follow. Then I get into bed, she purrs like the happiest cat in the world and lays on my chest. With Caly's help, I found the effectiveness of being self-aware and returned to therapy."

    madelinet402f507fa

    4. "I'm​ a disabled veteran suffering from PTSD and they continually provide me with comfort and love, easing my anxiety and panic attacks with their cuddles and kisses."

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    "These four furry babies (Oso, Baloo, Grace, and Dante) have been helping me through some of the worst moments in my life. I'm​ a disabled veteran suffering from PTSD and they continually provide me with comfort and love, easing my anxiety and panic attacks with their cuddles and kisses."

    pamelab14

    5. "I swear I can feel my blood pressure drop when I hold him, and when I talk to him I know he's listening."

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    "This is Figaro. I've only had him about a month, but he's already made my life better in ways I couldn't even have anticipated. My job is extremely emotionally and mentally draining, and I often come home in an awful mood. I've really struggled with keeping my depression at bay this year. Figaro is so soft, sweet, and funny that I always end up smiling whether I want to or not. I swear I can feel my blood pressure drop when I hold him, and when I talk to him I know he's listening."

    annamf

    6. "As the question goes, who rescued who? In this case the answer is obvious."

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    "I live alone and suffer from severe clinical depression/anxiety. If he weren't with me I'd never be walking out the door. Since he joined my life, he added a two-hour walk into my day and has caused me to lose 100 pounds and lowered both my blood pressure and blood sugars. As the question goes, who rescued who? In this case the answer is obvious."

    sonnovabbobk

    7. "He reminds me that there's more to life than fading my feelings away with drugs."

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    "This is my dog and overall best friend Moo. He has been my rock and my guide through crazy life. I have huge issues with anxiety and I am a diagnosed bipolar, which tends to go hand-in-hand with substance abuse. I am a recovering heroin addict. When I was in outpatient rehab four years ago, I got a text from my sister, who works at a local ASPCA, saying that she had puppies that were born that day, and that she was bringing them home. I was instantly in love. I have never felt a connection so strong.

    He will be four this November and I couldn't imagine my life without him. He was sent to me from heaven and we have an unbreakable bond. He reminds me that there's more to life than fading my feelings away with drugs. He's my soul dog so to speak."

    sloanekel

    8. "It can be hard to find people that you feel like you can be absolutely yourself around, particularly when you're as anxious as I am, but with dogs it just comes naturally."

    buzzfeed.com

    "While people always talk about dogs as being a source of unconditional love, what matters the most to me about pet ownership is that his unconditional love allows me to love him back unconditionally, effortlessly. It can be hard to find people that you feel like you can be absolutely yourself around, particularly when you're as anxious as I am, but with dogs, it just comes naturally. He may still judge me a bit (he's a sassy little grump), but at the end of the day he'll still be sleeping at the foot of my bed."

    cb27

    9. "Together we help each other overcome our insecurities. Aang is a constant reminder to always stay strong and never give up."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This is Aang. He came into my life about a year ago and I cannot picture my future without him. I have always suffered from anxiety, but since moving away for college, my anxiety had gotten to the point where I could no longer control it. Aang was abandoned at my university and became a target of abuse. This left him very fearful of people, so when animal control caught him, he was deemed 'unadoptable' and set to be euthanized. I pulled him out and began fostering him through Forgotten Felines Rescue of Louisiana.

    By gaining his trust and helping him overcome his fear, we formed a strong bond. Our connection was undeniable and I officially adopted him a few months ago. Together we help each other overcome our insecurities. Aang is a constant reminder to always stay strong and never give up."

    hannahl40f5061b1

    10. "I have spent many times sitting in my room crying, but Loki always comes and sits by my side and licks my tears (and snot) away."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This is my good boy Loki. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression he makes my life much better. Most recently I have had a major depressive episode and have spent many times sitting in my room crying, but Loki always come and sits by my side and licks my tears (and snot) away."

    hanalanz

    11. "This 80-pound lover will lay right on top of me when he can tell I'm having a really bad day."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This is Bruce Banner, also known as Hulk. I have anxiety and I'm in the midst of planning my wedding this year, so needless to say I've been having my fair share of 'moments' lately. This 80-pound lover will lay right on top of me when he can tell I'm having a really bad day. If anyone or anything tries to come near me, he will climb even more on top of me to protect me. He has made me so happy, and while having him around doesn't get rid of my anxiety, it certainly makes it a lot easier to manage."

    mameeks

    12. "Knowing that they need food reminded me that I did too."

    buzzfeed.com

    "My cats, Sawyer and Scarlett saved me from my anorexia and depression. Knowing that they need food reminded me that I did too. Plus seeing their cute little faces can make anyone smile."

    braelynk

    13. "After having not left the house for almost a month, my mom showed me a picture of the cutest little black kitten at the local humane society. The only catch was I had to go with her to get it."

    buzzfeed.com

    "Last summer I went through one of the worst points in my life. My boyfriend of years had broken up with me, my depression and anxiety had increased exponentially to the point of never leaving my house, and my family structure was once again falling apart with my sister in the hospital having major surgery. I wasn't eating and was barely sleeping.

    After having not left the house for almost a month, my mom showed me a picture of the cutest little black kitten at the local humane society. The only catch was I had to go with her to get it. So I finally left the house to pick up this small, little kitten who fit in the palm of my hand. It was an instant attachment and I immediately knew what I wanted to name her: Meredith. After that moment I started feeling better. She slept with me every night and I played with her after my therapy sessions. Something about that cat brought me back from what felt like the dead. She's my best friend and it's been exactly one year today that I picked up this little bundle of fluff."

    annabelleleec

    14. "My amazing dogs listen to me when I rant, comfort me when I'm anxious or scared, and love me relentlessly."

    buzzfeed.com

    "They have a huge impact on my mental health. Dogs don't judge you for ANYTHING. My dogs seem to support me literally no matter what, unlike most people. My amazing dogs listen to me when I rant, comfort me when I'm anxious or scared, and love me relentlessly. I love them with all my heart and would never ever abandon them."

    pancakecollie

    15. "Every night I'd cry myself to sleep and it would only ease up when my kitty Bellatrix would cuddle next to me."

    buzzfeed.com

    "I suffer from anxiety and depression. Last summer I was going through a divorce. Every night I'd cry myself to sleep and it would only ease up when my kitty Bellatrix would cuddle next to me and lick my face or lick my hand. Her purrs alone would relax me. I am prone to anxiety attacks as well but if I was home all I would have to do is pick up Bellatrix and I would calm down. Even though she hates being picked up she let me. I love her so much."

    sarahisabel13

    16. "My ferret Happy likes to sleep nearby and he helps me be less anxious when I'm studying."

    17. "She’s helped me reach some sort of routine that felt impossible before, and her care is so helpful in getting me to take care of myself too."

    Mars Margaret

    "I adopted Baby a little over eight months ago, and I’m still so thankful for her every day. She’s a very cute, very sassy citron cockatoo. She's around 30 to 40 years old, and is missing a few toes and the second half of her wings (born without the toes, but her wings were cut at the bone early on in her life, sadly). She is a professional at cheering me up, and is always ready to cuddle, kiss, show off, or chat. I’ve never met a sweeter bird, and she makes going through depression, anxiety, and god knows what else a lot easier. She’s been by my side through many bad episodes, usually cuddling and telling me to 'go to bed' and making many kiss noises. She’s helped me reach some sort of routine that felt impossible before, and her care is so helpful in getting me to take care of myself too. Showering and cooking is a lot easier when Baby needs her daily shower, or her different meals of fresh foods. I love this girl with all of my heart, and really can’t wait to spend the next 30 or so years with her."

    —Mars Margaret

    18. "I had no time to be in my head as I put all my focus on the dogs. And suddenly, they were healthy and happy, and so was I."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This is Zazu Ponchonsky and Bilbo Baggins. When we got each puppy, they were wary of people and were scared babies. At the time, my mental health was at it's worst. I basically lived in my bed. I was in my bed when my brother brought Zazu home and just poked his little head around my door. I got out so fast. We spent the rest of the evening cuddling in the living room. Through my puppies, I reconnected with my sibling just by the simple act of caring for something together. I had no time to be in my head as I put all my focus on the dogs. And suddenly, they were healthy and happy, and so was I."

    d4208fd0b0

    19. "On my worst days, he's been the reason I keep going."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This saucy little minx, Dodger, has been with me for seven years now. He's equal parts stealthy panther, tyrannical monster, snuggly lovebug, and court jester, and there isn't a single day where I'm not grateful for his presence in my life. On my best days, he's a goddamn delight. And on my worst days, he's been the reason I keep going. If he could understand me, I'd tell him that I've loved him since the day we met. That rescuing him was the best impulsive decision I've ever made, and that my life is immeasurably better because of him."

    norriskl

    20. "There isn't a day that when I see him my heart doesn't fill with joy."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This is my friend Kiwi. He's a quail. Unorthodox? Maybe. There isn't a day that when I see him my heart doesn't fill with joy. He's an amazing listener and an even better friend. From helping me relieve stress to making me laugh from his antics, I can't imagine the day he'll be gone and all I wish for is that he knows how much I love him."

    michi97

    21. "It's like he knew I was broken-hearted and feeling incomplete."

    buzzfeed.com

    "I recently got hit with the news that after multiple years of trying, I'm infertile. It's like he knew I was broken hearted and feeling incomplete. This was what him or his brother did every night when I got home for about three weeks. Maybe it's their little way of reminding me that I'm still a mom to them."

    staceym16

    22. "She never leaves my side when I spend all day in bed due to depression."

    buzzfeed.com

    "I came out of an abusive relationship and she was the reason I got up each morning to go to work and not give up. I still struggle, and she seems to sense when I am having an anxiety attack. She never leaves my side when I spend all day in bed due to depression. Her purrs help me and she makes me so happy. She is my best friend."

    eliskaj

    23. "I got a tattoo to remind me that no matter how much I mess up or how sad I am, Holly still loves me."

    buzzfeed.com

    "Holly has helped me so much with my depression! I've been in and out of the hospital and every time I come home she seems to know how I'm feeling and snuggles up to me. She just turned 8 last month and I hope to spend many more years with her. I got a tattoo to remind me that no matter how much I mess up or how sad I am, Holly still loves me."

    elizag41de50121

    24. "I get a sense of calm when he's around, and its fun to see peoples reactions when I tell them I adopted a hedgehog."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This is Sir Quilliam Thatcher. He gives me a sense of companionship thats been missing in my life the past few years. I love being able to snuggle with him or just do normal house projects while he hangs out in my sweatshirt pocket. I get a sense of calm when he's around, and its fun to see people's reactions when I tell them I adopted a hedgehog."

    Misequa

    25. "It was so uplifting to raise him from a skinny, sick shelter kitty to the 10-pound floof he has become."

    buzzfeed.com

    "I adopted Rochambeau when he was 2 months old as an emotional support animal during my first semester at college. I was very depressed and anxious, and I can say Beau-bear has been the best medicine. He has changed my life. It was so uplifting to raise him from a skinny, sick shelter kitty to the 10-pound floof he has become. He's helped me through good times, in making great new friends, and bad times, in helping me just get out of bed in the morning. He's the best decision I've ever made."

    rachelp4f1909ff2

    26. "She kept me from hurting myself that night."

    buzzfeed.com

    Note: This submission includes content about self-harm.

    "Four years ago I had the worst depressive episode I've ever had in my life —

    somedays I couldn't move, talk, or even read. She made sure that at the very least, every morning I got up to feed her. If I was having more difficulty than usual, she'd stick her head under my hand and lift it up, like she was trying to pick me up.

    The one incident that defines just how much she does for me occurred during that terrible depressive period. I had worked up the nerve and energy to try and hurt myself, and was in the kitchen picking a knife out of the drawer. She had been eating, but she came in quietly, sat at my feet, looked at me with those huge kitty eyes, and gave a little meow. Not the loud, urgent one she makes when she's begging for food, just a really small, 'Hey.' She kept me from hurting myself that night. I'm still struggling really badly, and I definitely think about giving up a lot, but she still won't leave my side. I really don't know what I'd do without her."

    inventrix

    27. "When I get really bad panic attacks he licks my face and lays on my bed with me."

    28. "There have been times lately that I have been so consumed by stress and sadness that I've very seriously contemplated packing a bag, hopping in my car, and running away from my problems, and the one thing that keeps me grounded is knowing that this little guy depends on me."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This is Beck. I've been going through a (really) rough patch lately, personally and professionally. He always seems to know exactly when I need a snuggle and will voluntarily subject himself to as many hugs and pets as I need. I live alone so when I've been feeling isolated lately by my emotions, he's really the only thing that will get through to me. There have been times lately that I have been so consumed by stress and sadness from the challenges I'm facing that I've very seriously contemplated packing a bag, hopping in my car, and literally running away from my problems and the one thing that keeps me grounded is knowing that this little guy depends on me."

    hannahr40c7dd0b4

    29. "My whole family still remembers this moment, when he came and actually hugged me one day while I was sobbing on the couch."

    buzzfeed.com

    "I've suffered from extreme depression since I was a little girl. High school was particularly grueling. We had a dog named Rocky who was an angel in fur. He knew when I was suffering and wouldn't leave my side. He died at age 4 from a skin disease and 15 years later my whole family still remembers and talks about this moment, when he came and actually hugged me one day while I was sobbing on the couch. He was one in a million."

    nleblanc03

    30. "He understood that crying meant that I needed to be consoled, so he would start crying too and putting his paw on top of my hand."

    buzzfeed.com

    "This is Odin. When I got him, I had no idea how much I actually needed him. Being in college has brought on many mental breakdowns, some of them including crying and ice cream pints (yes, pints in plural). When Odin got a little older, he understood that crying meant that I needed to be consoled so he would start crying too and putting his paw on top of my hand. After I stopped crying he would just cuddle with me until I was fine again. He is the sweetest pup and I hope one day he realizes that I need him more than he needs me."

    saksxid

    31. "He's the reason I get out of bed. Why I take my meds. Why I stay alive."

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