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How My Dog Saved Me From Depression

I thought I was saving his life, but he ended up saving mine instead.

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This is Nick.

He's a healthy, happy, caring, one year (and eight months) old mutt. But things, sadly, weren't always this happy.
Nick Liotta / Via Instagram: @nickthemutt

He's a healthy, happy, caring, one year (and eight months) old mutt. But things, sadly, weren't always this happy.

Nick's mom, Bea, died during labor. Shortly thereafter, Nick's brother, Theo, and sister, Zoey, died too. They hardly lasted a day. Nick was then put on a 24 hour watch.

The day after he was born, Nick was weak, wouldn't eat or drink milk, and almost died. He was then taken to the shower where he was put under cold water in order to revive him. It worked. But he was still very weak.

A few days later, I started taking care of him. It was 2013 and I was suffering from severe depression. I would rarely leave the house; I wouldn't eat; I had no interest in life anymore. I had constant thoughts about suicide. Scary thoughts. Dark feelings. When I first saw Nick, my heart filled with joy. I knew I had to put my problems aside and help him. His life mattered more to me than my own.

Having Nick around every day was slowly curing me of my depression.

Nick Liotta / Via Facebook: nickthemutt
Nick Liotta / Via Instagram: @nickthemutt

Like I said, his mother died during labor, and because of that he didn't breastfeed, and because of that he became malnourished.

I started looking after him and giving him processed milk. When it seemed like things were starting to look up, there was another complication: due to a lack of antibodies that most dogs receive from their mother's milk, he developed a skin problem and his fur would fall out. The situation got so critical that at one point he had no fur on his face and many other parts of his body. I gave him some skin medicine and continued taking care of him.

Initially, little Nick was up for adoption, but we bonded so strongly that I ended up keeping him myself. I became so focused on helping him that I forgot all about my own problems and slowly got back on my feet. I would force myself to leave the house — despite my low self-esteem — to buy him food, special shampoo, milk, toys, etc.

Eventually, there came a point when I realized I was no longer depressed.

I thought I was saving his life, but he ended up saving mine instead.

Nick became my son, my best friend, my roommate, the greatest love of my life. He taught me what unconditional love is and he is extremely beneficial to my well-being. He helped me love my life again! Nick is my super companion and I owe him my life.

Nick became my son, my best friend, my roommate, the greatest love of my life. He taught me what unconditional love is and he is extremely beneficial to my well-being. He helped me love my life again! Nick is my super companion and I owe him my life.

Update: You can follow Nick on Instagram @nickthemutt and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/nickthemutt).

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