Sarah Kishpaugh

How Dog Sitting Kicked Depression's Ass

When my spouse left the family home I asked him to take our 5-year-old brown lab with him. At the time I was barely suriving the day. I had a prescription for an anti-depressant, and I was eating half a Xanax to secure a good night sleep. I wasn’t working and I was writing for my life. There was a lot of public crying and I lost the weight.

For months the no-pet-having-life was a relief—no water bowl to fill, no shedding, no sad “take me for a walk, please” eyes. But after a few months I felt the cracks inside me deepen. Not only had my guts been scooped out, but the warm animal had vanished. The wagging, wiggling, loud, panting, always-love-you-no-matter-what creature was just ghost. I had expected to be lonely without the man, but the grief for the dog suprised me. I would fall to my knees and wail in the hallway. Yes, it was for the man, and it was also for the dog. They weren’t dead, but they were gone.




Selected Works

Essay
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Nonfiction
Bitch Magazine
Guest Blogs
Feminist Wednesday
The Writer in the World

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