‘My dog makes me feel like I matter again.’

My name is Jai and my girl is Bella.

Due to numerous experiences of neglect and abuse I have been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. This mainly shows itself as deep dark depression, anxiety, panic attacks and general fear of being around loud noise and lots of people.

I lead a very isolated life. I call it my bubble of safety.

Mia Freedman adopts a new puppy from the Sydney Dogs and Cats home. 



I remember when I first thought about getting Bella. I visited her many times. I talked to them about how I would need to look after her, desexing, fleas, worming, appropriate food and her bedding.

The doctors and nurses in the hospital said I couldn’t look after myself, so how could I possibly care for an animal?

dog
“I lead a very isolated life. I call it my bubble of safety.” (Image via iStock.)

But I had other support networks who believed in me. They encouraged me to look at it as an incentive. When Bella needs food, I need food. If I am cold, Bella is cold.

Advertisement

Being homeless, Bella was and still is my sanctuary. She is my refuge, a place of safety, still and calm.

jai and owner
“When Bella needs food, I need food. If I am cold, Bella is cold.” (Image supplied.)

Pets in the Park play a crucial role in Bella and my wellbeing. I know that I can bring Bella to a space where we will not be judged but be treated with dignity and respect.

The people here understand how important our animals are in our lives. They recognise that even if we don’t have a home our animals provide a relationship and unconditional love that we all deserve. They are more than companions, they protect us, give us a sense of belonging and a sense of worth.

We matter.

For more information on Pets in the Park click here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION