I recently got a puppy who I am madly in love with. His name is Arrow and he is a Bulloxer (American Bulldog x Boxer). I have always believed that pets have so much therapeutic value. He gave me the reminder I need just the other night.
I have a very stressful job working on a Crisis Team. Some days, I deal with the stress of work quite well. Other days, I hear some really impactful things. I love my job, but it definitely wears on you. Recently, I had a really hard day. It was one of those days that make me question if anything I say will make the slightest difference. When you are working with people who are at their breaking point, this is not a good feeling to have.
There are a few moments in this job that really stick with you, and I had one of those that night. It was one of the heaviest contacts that I have had in a long time. They are the times when it is not so easy to switch from work mode into personal mode. I try to maintain that work-life balance that we in the helping professions try so hard to achieve. I especially try to not let it affect my relationships.
I was worried that night. I was worried that when my partner came home, I would be cold and distant. Then I saw Arrow. I saw his goofy face and his little eyebrow. I saw how happy he was to see me. As soon as I gave him the biggest hug I could, my stress melted away. He didn’t ask me how my day was because he knew. He brought me over his toys to play with him. I went from crying in my car on the way home to laughing my butt off at how silly Arrow can be. By the time my partner came home, I was back to my regular old self. I was genuinely happy to just be with my guys.
Arrow is only three months old and he already does my job better than I ever could.