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'Everything changed when my Yorkshire Terrier, Pippa, came into my life'

Like many teenagers, my teenage years were some of the most difficult. Growing up, I struggled to find myself and tried countless times to be somebody that I just wasn’t supposed to be, writes Emma Vince.

A DOG IS for life and not just for Christmas is one of the most true sayings. Bringing something as precious as a dog into a family or home is something that needs be thought about in the best possible way as a dog is a life long companion.

A dog is called ”Man’s Best Friend” for a reason. They’ll stick by you through everything. The power of these animals is rather extraordinary and dog lovers worldwide will know exactly what I’m talking about.

They can make you laugh in the most crazy ways, comfort you through the most difficult time in your life, provide an ear for you when nobody else wants to listen, keep you warm on the coldest winter’s night and simply be there for you when you feel nobody else is.

Like many teenagers, my teenage years were some of the most difficult. Growing up, I struggled to find myself and tried countless times to be somebody that I just wasn’t supposed to be.

I grew apart from friends that I wanted to know forever. I went into a deep depression. I cut myself off from the world and all that was in it. My life became trapped in a constant cloud of darkness. I was only a young girl and I wanted my life to be over because I saw no way out of the hole that I found myself stuck in.


I had the most supportive family who did everything they could to get me better but nothing worked. The constant visit to the doctor, the large amount of prescription drugs and the weekly visits to therapy did nothing to get me back on track and living again.

My life changed for the better 

Everything changed when Pippa, my seven year old Yorkshire Terrier, came into my life.

One day in one of my many therapy sessions, my therapist suggested that my mother get me a dog. At this time in my life, my family was all that I had. Outside of that, I had nothing and no one.

”A dog,” she said, ”may just give her the lift that she so badly needs”. My mother was never interested in owning any pets, so when this was suggested to her, she struggled to choose a course of action.

She wanted my sadness and illness to end so she started to invest her spare time searching dog shelters to find me the perfect pup.

She discovered a website called ”Dogs in Distress” and that is where she found my Pippa. I remember the first time my mother was bringing me to meet her. When we arrived at the home where Pippa was staying temporarily, I saw her in the front room window and upon seeing us, she began barking. We went inside and the moment she saw me she came over and jumped up on me, her attempt at a hello hug.

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Holding her in my arms, I felt something that I hadn’t felt in a long time, happiness. Seven years later, I get that same feeling every time she’s in my arms.

For an animal so small, she has brought the biggest joy in my life. I can honestly say, that she is the reason that I am here today. She brings so much energy and positivity into everyone she meets.


Whenever you leave the house, she looks out the window to make sure you’re safe going off and will often remain there until she sees that you are safe home. When returning to the house you’re met with a crazy animal, who bounces off the wall and kisses you for ages just to show you how she is happy that you’re back.

When she’s out on her walk, she’ll get the biggest stick and carry it for miles, just to show you how strong she is. When you’re sick, she won’t leave your side. She’ll sleep next to you until she knows that you’re better. Whenever you need someone to talk to, she’s always ready and waiting. She’ll listen to you, even if you’re rambling on about nothing for hours. When you’re having a tough day, she’ll stick with you and have a tough day too, just so you don’t feel alone.

There are so many dogs searching for homes, and I couldn’t encourage people enough to consider adopting a dog. My story is just one of many. Everyone can have a Pippa in their life, they just need to get involved.

For example, Dogs Trust have a rescue centre, with over 200 dogs of all shapes, sizes, colours and breeds just waiting for a loving home.

Bringing a dog into your home will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. A dog is a best friend and one that will be loyal to you forever.

Emma Vince is a freelance journalist. 

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