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Rocky & Me – How a puppy changed my life

I never wanted a dog. For years, my kids would literally beg me to have a dog but I could never understand why anyone would want a dog; life is complicated, busy and full as it is, why add on more responsibilities? So I told my kids they had a choice – they could choose to have their mom or a dog – and with that, my kids submitted to the proverbial tail between their legs and gave up with much sadness.

However, something inside me changed a few months ago. Professionally, I felt that I have made an impact and have accomplished much. Personally, I have made concerted efforts to pay-it-forward by helping other women through Mom Relaunch. So why was I still stressed out? The simple answer is I felt a prevalent sense of unfulfillment and monotony. An emptiness. A void. A chasm. Especially with my two kids being grown and increasingly becoming more independent, I needed to fill the empty space with something positive that can make a change and difference in my life, to break out of the same routine.

I started thinking about a friend of mine who, like me, disliked and was afraid of dogs but ended up getting one. The sense of wondrous marvel in her voice as she spoke about the difference that her dog made in her life made me think that maybe getting a dog was the answer. As a person who prides herself in efficiency, I got down to business quickly once I decided that, yes, I will get a dog. Turns out that despite my past reluctance to get a dog, my daughter never gave up on her dream and was amply prepared with all the information we needed to acquire one. Within ten days of my life-changing decision, we came home with Rocky, a tiny cavapoo of twelve weeks, in our arms.

It wasn’t love at first sight for me, I will admit, although my kids’ faces beamed alternately between happiness and disbelief that their dream finally came true. It was their version of winning the lottery! When I first met Rocky, I was afraid of even touching him but within a week of having him home, I cannot imagine a life without him. When I looked into his puppy eyes, I felt a connection, my heart melted, and all my worries and discontent melted along with it.   

The difference that Rocky has made to my life has been nothing short of remarkable. I would even go as far to say that it was miraculous. My personality has changed – I am more patient, feel a lot less stressed – and the biggest change of all is that I am much happier and contented. As a family, we are also bonding more than ever with the advent of Rocky. Rocky’s trainer told me that looking into a dog’s eyes secretes Oxytocin, also known as the ‘love drug’, which promotes the feeling of love and well-being. I can certainly attest to that; before we got Rocky, the ground rules for my kids are that they will need to take care of all the dog’s needs. Fast-forward to today, I voluntarily take on all Rocky’s care as I do not view it as a chore, rather, it is a healing process for me and brings me great joy to be able to take care of one that I love.

My family and friends who have seen me with Rocky have commented about how different a person I am now. Indeed, I feel extremely fortunate to have found pet therapy at a time when I needed it most. Having such positive change in my life, I would also like to hear your story about your pet and the impact it has made. Do share your joy about your pets with me!

Reena is the founder of Mom Relaunch and a mom of two teenage kids who are still over the moon that their doggy dream came true. Connect with Reena on https://www.linkedin.com/in/regupta/