When humans aren’t able to help us, our 4-leged friends willingly step in. They can heal any soul’s wounds with the power of their endless empathy and love, and they can even protect us when they sense that danger is threatening their owners.
We at Bright Side were touched by the stories about phenomenal pets who helped humans overcome difficult times and are eager to share them with you. The bonus section will tell you a story from our author alongside a photo of his favorite pet.
- A dog saved my life. She didn’t save me from an external danger as it usually happens but from myself. A couple of years ago, my older brother passed away, and it resulted in the beginning of a dark period in my life. I ended up in a deep depression. I wouldn’t be able to get out of this condition if not for Ayva, the husky dog of my late brother. During nights when I’d suffer from another nightmare, she would come and lie next to me. When I was hugging her, I would calm down and fall asleep. When I was at home, she would always try to be with me, and she’d bring me a ball and run around — I felt as if she knew she needed to distract me from heavy thoughts. And it helped. Taking care of this dog replaced something that I had lost at that moment. Now I am happy again and am living a happy life. Ayva is still with me and she is the closest creature in the whole world to me. She keeps protecting me. © Chamber #6 / VK
- My daughter, an adult now with autism, can be explosive and loud. Both her’s and my service dog and are trained to jump on her to distract her from self-harm and to lick her face. She is completely non-violent toward them and can’t help but sink her hands into their soft fur. © KC Lee / quora
- I got a therapy dog after my psychosis diagnosis. She has been magical — just her mere presence lifts my spirits and keeps me fighting, knowing that my precious baby relies on me and I need to be a good parent. © Supernove_Blaze / reddit
© Supernove_Blaze / reddit
- My son has an emotional support puppy for psychosis and depression too! The puppy is real and needs you to take care of her! Your life is valuable and you are loved. © throwRAteach / reddit
- I was never the happiest by default, and my labradoodle who was literally everything to me passed away recently. I could think of nothing else but her. Having to drag myself out of that dark place was laborious and difficult. I now have another dog, and I’m so over the moon, now she’s all I think about. My baby, my gift. She is much like my beloved labradoodle, and poorly behaved too! I love her. She bites and scratches and hurts her papa but she doesn’t mean to. She’s a puppy and doesn’t know a thing except for the fact that it’s playtime. I’m also in therapy. Doing much better. © hitbyastick / reddit
- I work in IT at a university and had to upgrade a professor’s computer and they had a therapy dog. This sweet girl kept me company the whole time I worked! © Raging_Gamer14 / reddit
© Raging_Gamer14 / reddit
- Some days, aside from getting up and going to work, taking care of my animals is the only thing I can really manage to do. But I swore to them and myself that no matter how dark my own tunnel got, I wasn’t going to let them suffer because of it. I’m starting to see a “light at the end of my tunnel,” but I definitely think my animals helped me get there. © catatonicbeanz / reddit
- My dog Theodore helped me find life again. He gave me a reason to live. Raising him, providing him with a cozy home, taking him to the park, walking him, etc. When we come home from our trips to the park or just a walk do you think he is the only beneficiary of that? No, I also feel much better, and my mood and emotional health are now uplifted and I’m happy. When I keep my home clean and safe for him and make it cozy, I also have a clean, safe, cozy home. When I am taking care of Theodore, I am also taking care of myself. When I go into a depression, he feels my emotions and can quickly bring me up — even if it’s just a hug and kiss — and we take a little walk and it’s the medicine I need. Theodore is my friend and constant companion, he is with me throughout everything. No human is capable of the friendship and true loyalty and love I need. © Catherine Craddock / quora
- After a lifelong phobia of dogs, I decided to get one. Meet Luna, she helped me to get over my phobia and is currently in training to become a therapy dog! © GoldenLunaNZ / reddit
© GoldenLunaNZ / reddit
- One morning, I got a phone call. “You need a dog,” said my friend on the other end of the line. “I don’t need a dog, I need to get enough sleep,” I grumbled back and hung up. Later (feeling ashamed), I called her back and found out that my friend’s client bought a dog on an ad site. The ad was saying the dog was a pure-blooded Pomeranian. The fraud wasn’t revealed instantly. The dog named Mike grew up and didn’t fit in the world of perfect dwarf Pomeranians. But he fit into my world. It was my dog. At that moment, I was trying to overcome a difficult divorce and issues at work. The dog helped me to cope with all this a lot, and now, I constantly thank my friend for that phone call. © Tata1986 / pikabu
- My dad was extremely ill in the hospital with no hope when a therapy dog visited and made a huge difference. My dad is still alive today. © Drockhound / reddit
- About 6 years ago, my dad had a stroke, which was followed by a long period of rehabilitation. It required 6 months to get him back to consciousness. During one of the sleepless nights, he told me about his lifelong dream: he wanted to buy a house with a garden and get a German shepherd. We didn’t buy a house but we did get a dog. The rehabilitation sped up, drastically. As the shepherd was growing and getting bigger, Father’s moving skills were “pumped up.” Finally, we could walk with our entire family — my brother, mother, father, me, and the therapy dog — all giving power and energy to our dad. All this time, our dog Arnold has been training, and finally, he became a therapy dog. Now he visits hospices and orphanages and gets a lot of pleasure from communicating with humans. © Utopiya86 / pikabu
© Utopiya86 / pikabu
- When I was younger (14-16) I was placed in a psychiatric hospital a few times for severe depression and anxiety. Nothing made me happier than when hospital dogs would come to visit. They would sit with us and lay on our laps. They really are heroes. © bringlio / reddit
- My sweet and calm cat once attacked my friend. I had to lock her in the bathroom, though I was confused because it was the first time in 15 years that she behaved like this. The cat started to be wary of this friend. And she was right because, after this, my friend tried to trick me and my other friend in order to get to my boyfriend. She was also saying a lot of bad things about me behind my back and turned out to be a very bad person. © DrDonna / AdMe
- Therapy dogs help humans to overcome stress, greatly. Such pets were brought to our dorm during exams — no other exams have seen so many students ready to take on the challenge. All because everyone wanted to pet those dogs — they just make life easier. © PrettyMonkey / pikabu
© PrettyMonkey / pikabu
- My mom got our dog when I was severely depressed in high school and it turned my life around. Plus, our family life wasn’t great back then, but once we got my dog, it solved all of our tension. It’s hard to yell at each other when there’s a little golden puppy staring at you. © SpiritualEgg77 / reddit
- Our kitty would periodically start jumping on each sleeping family member at night. Once he woke everyone up, he would calm down and go to sleep. At first, we were very angry until we noticed one consistent pattern: his jumps always started 15 minutes prior to an earthquake. We used to live in a seismic zone. © Alyona / AdMe
- My dentist has a therapy dog and it’s awesome! © angry_penguin54 / reddit
© angry_penguin54 / reddit
A bonus from our author
- At the end of the last year, I was diagnosed with depression but I couldn’t find support from those close to me. They were sure that it came up because I do nothing and simply needed to find something to occupy myself with. It sounded humiliating because I work and study. It all resulted in an increased feeling of loneliness and helplessness. At this point, my cat started to watch after me more. Sophia always sleeps or sits next to me, and if I start feeling really bad, she touches me with her fluffy paw and goes through all my feelings together with me. I never would’ve thought that I’d find more empathy and support in this fluffy ball than in people.
What pets do you have? Are they also always willing to help you?