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Puppies As Promised

Here they are. Lucy’s puppies.

Two boys and one girl.

They’re beautiful and healthy and happy and one of these little guys is now residing in Vancouver, a 10th birthday gift for a little girl from her adoring father.

I won’t dwell on these puppies. I have other issues to discuss, more relevant to my mandate here.

I must, however, stress this. When I was 17, I was given my first dog, a two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Derriere ~ Derry for short. This was following my eight-month stay in a Toronto mental hospital called The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry.

Unspeakably fragile, I needed a focus…

I had been psychotic and for four months during that hospitalization, catatonic. I came out of it, but my doctors had little hope for me and told my mother on my discharge that I’d be a problem for her all my life, a “revolving door case.” My mother soldiered on, one day-at-a-time, choosing not to believe them. She had little support or guidance, but instinctively she felt I needed a focus. I was unspeakably fragile. A little dog to care for, she hoped, might ease my recovery. She believed in me.

Dogs are magical creatures …

So, back in 1967, years before the idea of pet therapy was clinically-known or recognized, a little dog helped me to heal. Dogs are magical creatures.

The history of “animal-assisted therapy” in the rehabilitation of people with mental health issues or physical health issues dates back, apparently, to 1976 in England (though I’m sure people have known for years that dogs are extraordinary creatures to care for and to love).

That process. That “caring and loving” and being “loved by” an animal plays no small part in mental health recovery.

Since then, neuroscience and scads of other research studies have proven time and again, how caring for a little dog or cat or any animal can be mentally and emotionally restorative.

Powerfully, so…

My mother is a brilliant woman and she was very wise when it came to her “troubled” and extremely “different” and “difficult” eldest daughter.

Sometimes I complained about having to go to see a psychiatrist.

She would simply say, “When you break a leg, you go to a doctor who puts it in a cast so it can heal. And when there’s something wrong with your mind, you go to a psychiatrist, a doctor, too, and you talk about what’s bothering you so you can feel better.”

My little Dandie Dinmonts and the puppies they have produced will invariably give their owners and all who know them enormous joy.

I trust, that little 10-year-old girl in Vancouver will adore her Dandie male puppy. She had a dog who died and then she discovered the Dandie Dinmont breed ~ rare and endangered. They are the original terriers from which, it is believed, all other terrier breeds stem. They are the only breed of dog named after a character in an 1815 novel by Sir Walter Scott ~ Guy Mannering.

Enough puppy tales…

So ends my tale of Lucy and her puppies. Now on to other things. I have lots to share. About the power of your attitude. About ECT. Topical issues. Body image issues. Current issues. A disturbing book I’m reading by a man who detests “being manic depressive” ~ his words, not mind. I don’t by the way.

I feel I’ve been away for far too long and now I want to return to my roots, here. There’s so much to write and I’m determined to really get back on track.

Including why I want to continue to celebrate life. I want to write about why I love my life despite some pesky fiscal issues. Hell, it’s only money.

To know you have enough ~ and I have more than enough ~ is to be rich.

Hugs until next time. I feel honoured to be able to write here. To have your ears and eyes.

Stay warm and healthy. Sleep lots. Take care of yourself. Respect yourself. Mind and body. Soul and spirit.


Puppies As Promised

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2011). Puppies As Promised. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Jan 2011
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