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My Best Friend

Itโ€™s clichรฉ I know, but my dog is my best friend. She’s my Netflix partner, a great cuddle buddy, and she’s always happy to see me when I come home… or if I leave the room for 2 minutes.

Ever since being a little girl I’ve forever wanted a puppy. I’ve had countless fish, a hamster called Jaws that had to be handled with gardening gloves because she bit everyone, rabbits and guinea pigs. I even owned a tortoise at one point! I used to get so jealous seeing friends with their puppies, I’d get home and recite a speech that I had rehearsed a hundred times

“I promise I’ll pick up all of the dog poo, and I’ll take it for walks twice a day” that came alongside the “please” which I managed to drag out for a couple of seconds longer each time I said it! It was swiftly followed by me stomping my feet and throwing a tantrum because my mum said no again…

Three years ago I was in an extremely dark place in my life, I was struggling severely with my mental health and self harm. I was contending with a lot of things that had happened and I had tried taking my own life several times, and the truth is, if you asked me then if I thought I’d ever be happy, or if I thought I’d be alive today the answer would be no.

Whenever I thought about the future, I couldn’t ever picture myself married with children and my own house to come home to each night. In fact, whenever I tried thinking about the future, it was a total blur and I became angry and irritated as I was adamant that I wouldn’t make it to the end of that year, never mind 3.

On the 12th July 2013 a huge void in my life was filled with the animal I now call my best friend and fur baby…

Don’t get me wrong, Nala’s no angel. She barks at brushes and any noise she hears from outside… She thinks she’s a Rottweiler sized guard dog and runs as fast as her little legs can carry her to get outside and bark at whoever walks past the garden. She almost takes up a full double sized bed and snores so loud that I’m surprised our next doorneighbors don’t hear her… but I wouldn’t change her for the world.

I’m not certain how such a small animal can bring so much joy into someones life, but I’m not going to question it. There’s no way on this earth that I would be alive today if it wasn’t for Nala…

Here are some reasons why my dog is my best friend…

She gives the best greetings. Every single day without fail, she’s always happy to know I’m awake in the morning or when I come home. Not just happy either โ€“ it’s full on wiggly tail, kisses, climbing all over me excitement to the point she forgets to breathe and starts choking!

She doesn’t talk back. Whenever she barks in the back garden for 15 continuous minutes at the kids playing on the field behind our house but comes running inside as soon as she hears me mention a treat or food, I may sometimes call her a greedy cow or talk about how fat she’s going to be and she doesn’t argue back.

She loves our walks and adores car rides. I’m sure she understands that I can’t walk far… She’s happy going out for 5 minutes and walking around the block, but she’s also happy being walked for over an hour with others too.

She lets me watch what I want on TV. She doesn’t complain when I put on a Pretty Little Liars marathon or watch Inside Out for the millionth time, she still watches it with me (or snores her head off next to me).

She’s always so excited and grateful. When I buy her a new “baby” (any animal stuffed toy) they don’t at all last long, they all end up decapitated, or destuffed, the squeakers end up broken, but she’s always appreciative and you can always tell which ones her favourite because it takes her the longest to destroy!

She doesn’t care what I look like. Sometimes if I’m feeling sick or I’m having a bad time with my MH then I won’t leave my bed all day, maybe even 2 but she doesn’t mind me wearing second day pyjamas or not bathing for 48 hours and she’ll still love and cuddle me like I’m the nicest smelling human in the world even though we both know I’m not.

She’s my bug killer, now I’m not strictly saying I agree with her killing bugs, but I hate moths, spiders, any creepy crawly or little creature that flies. Nala however, loves “playing” with them until they die/she kills them, my hero.

She’s always there for me. If I have a bad day she’s right there, and she’ll always be there when I need a cuddle or someone to cry on.

She loves to sleep just as much as I do. As soon as I lie down on the sofa or cuddle under a blanket, she cuddles right up with me, and she knows how to get her sleep on.

She’s so much fun. She’s always up for a game of fetch a friendly play fight. When I’m feeling a little tired she’ll happily bring her ball all the way back to me and even nudge it with her nose to remind me it’s there if I’m too engrossed in Emmerdale…

She’s the best at keeping secrets. I can tell her all of my worries, fears, well… anything without having to worry she’ll betray my trust.

She makes me feel better when I’m ill. She’ll happily lie in bed with me all day snoozing, she doesn’t mind if I don’t fill her food bowl right on time if I’m in too much pain to get out of bed.

She keeps me motivated, she’s the reason I wake up everyday and the reason I push myself to be better. Like a mother for their child, I do everything I can for Nala. I’ve cut down my operation stays from over a week, to 5 days at a push because I want to be back at home with Nala.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do without Nala, in fact it scares me to think that if she didn’t become a part of our family 3 years ago then I wouldn’t be alive today.

Emma Cosgrove

Emma Cosgrove

Our aim is to help and support teenagers and young adults fighting or affected by cancer.

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