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Mental Health and Our Furry Best Friends

Hey everyone, I hope you are all staying safe and are managing to enjoy the lovely outdoors a little more now some restrictions have been lifted. We certainly have, we have been exploring a little further afield and will be writing all about some of the walks we have been loving these last few days.

But this week I really wanted to chat about mental health and our 4-legged best friends, mental health awareness week runs from 18th – 24th May 2020 hosted by the mental health foundation their website has loads of support and ideas of how to share a little kindness, anything to drive  even more conversations and create lasting change.

Me and Max and Mental Health

You may have seen our recent post about how I believe Max was my saviour when it came to getting me out of a job that was ‘ruining’ my life and gave me the strength to start my little family business doing what I love, how amazing is that!

He truly gave my light bulb moment, “I love to spend time with my gorgeous puppy max and I love to cook!”

As a young girl I always wanted to be a chef, but my lifestyle has always stopped me from enjoying this simple pleasure and I always end up throwing a pizza in the oven or getting a takeout. I reminisce of my days as a child always wanting to help my nanna in the kitchen peel, chop, stuff, roast and bake. As I got older, I moved away from my nannas more traditional cooking and began to experiment. I would spend Saturday mornings watching a variety of different cooking programmes and would ‘force’ her into buying me all the ingredients so I could rustle something up for our dinner, and usually make a huge mess along the way.

I have always been someone who loves to be the host, make a fuss of everyone including the dog “my boy, Max”. My days off were always made up of big muddy walks across the glorious Yorkshire moors and rewarding my handsome hound with home baked goodies: carrot and cream cheese “pupcakes” peanut butter biscuits and homemade ice-cream. Then I realised I can combine my two loves, cooking and dogs, and now I get to share my love, passion and most importantly my homemade hound treats to our lovely customers.

 

But what gives them the magic effect?

Marion Janner a mental health campaigner and of course a huge dog lover says “Dogs love us unconditionally. They’re the ultimate in equal opportunities – entirely indifferent to race, gender, star sign, CV, clothes size or ability to throw cool moves on the dance floor. The simplicity and depth of this love is a continuous joy, along with the health benefits of daily walks and the social delights of chats with other dog walkers. They teach kids to be responsible, altruistic and compassionate and, valuably but sadly, how to cope when someone you love dies.”

I think we all realise now more than ever that healthy social lives can really play a key role in our mental health; without them, we can become lonely, depressed and physically unwell. I know for many people pets can and have been be a lifeline for people who are having to self-isolate.

Pets as Therapy

We have been so lucky at Kibble Bakery to have visits and lots of long chats with the Pets as Therapy team, have you heard of their work? They are a charity that offer amazing therapeutic visits to support combat loneliness, confidence even help improve the lives of people with health conditions such as dementia.

One of our special visitors to Kibble is Scruffy he is a beautiful Border Collie / Retriever therapy volunteer, also a cancer survivor and arthritis sufferer. Scruffy truly is a first-class Pets as Therapy Dog with his lovely owner Gill.

       

Just one example of his of many important pieces of work that Scruffy does is helping those overcome their fears he has visited The Mind Training Clinic many times to support with people’s anxiety’s, depression, phobias and PTSD. One story in particular was working with a little person and their fear of dogs and supporting them on their journey to no longer be paralysed by their fear, what a hero!

You can see so much more of Scruffy and his stories via his Instagram page scruffypetsastherapy

 

We have been very privileged at Kibble to see lots of dogs go through the temperament assessment, maybe you think your dog could be part of the PATS team? Just take a look at their criteria.

 

All this week we are asking people to share photos of their dogs that fill you with joy, bring a smile to your face and we can share them on our social media page bringing smiles all round, who doesn’t like a photo of a dog right?

Or if you have a story about you and your dog combating mental health, we really would love to hear them, sending lots of hugs from me and Max this week and always! Remember you are PAWESOME!

Jade x