Can Maxx Sense My Depression?


I’ve been on my prescribed anti-depressants for about three weeks.  I can’t particularly identify if I’m “feeling” any different.  The fact that I am expecting something to happen has me on edge, waiting, for that moment to occur.  I keep imagining that one day I’ll be walking or driving and then, like magic, something will switch and I’ll be the Cheney I know.  I have noticed that I’ve been more aware and paying attention, to my surroundings; taking in those things around me.  Most of the time I get lost in my thoughts because I still haven’t figured out how to slow my mind down, which is usually going a mile a minutes (and that’s pretty fast).  Often times, I snap back into the reality, when there’s this awful breath breathing in my face or the gross feeling of a tongue sneaking licks on my hands or toes.  It’s Maxx!

Before I discovered what was wrong with me, I think Maxx already knew.  When I was going through some really bad days, Maxx was really getting on my nerves!  Everywhere I turned there he was, everywhere I walked he was on my heels. Each time I wanted to stretch my legs, as I sat on the couch, I couldn’t because he had positioned himself directly under my bent leg.  Each time I took I shower, I’d open the shower curtain to step out of the tub and he would be laying on the bath math.  I just couldn’t get him to leave me alone.  I’d yell at him and buy him toys and treats to keep him busy, but nothing worked.  Maxx is a very loving dog and has his moments of wanting to be under me, but this time was different. And anyone who knows me, knows that I love Maxx, but during this time I wasn’t in the mood and didn’t want to be bothered.  The day I experienced my emotional break down and woke up on the floor, after hours of crying, Maxx was laying right next to me, staring, as I struggled to get up.

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I did some research and discovered that dogs can sense illness (and I’ve experienced this with Maxx after having a major surgery) and sadness.  Most of the articles and journals I’ve read say that dogs can sense that something is wrong, based on the human’s energy and will act accordingly, trying to comfort even though they don’t know exactly what’s wrong.  Research, by Goldsmiths University concluded that,”dogs nuzzle and lick humans they think are in distress – behaving in a submissive manner designed to offer comfort.”  So it makes senses that when I lay motionless, on the couch or in the bed, Maxx nudges himself next to me and lay motionless too, often the rate of his breathing matching my own.


I appreciate the cuddles and closeness from Maxx.  Sometimes the brush of his fur against my skin makes me feel better.  The stalker stares, of his big brown eyes, makes me smile.  And his random acts of crazy make me laugh, hysterically.  It’s quite funny that he will jump on me and climb up my chest, with his hair in my face and paws on my shoulder.  These little things seem to always comfort me, when I need comfort the most.  On those days when I’m felling alone and struggling to get through the day, it’s good to know that there’s a nine pound ball of adorable fur, that has a bunch of love for me!



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