Conversations with Dog

pawprintsAbout 2 years ago I encountered some enormous changes and massive challenges in my life. I separated from my husband of 10 years and I was posted to a small outback town, 10 hours drive from where I had lived since moving to Australia, at about the same time. I suddenly found myself very alone.

I had always been used to having people all around me. Our house was always full of friends and relatives and I was lucky enough to know many wonderful people in the area. But in the outback of New South Wales I knew no one. The position came with its own challenges and I found out that the people that were supposed to be helping me were  less than supportive. The town’s population was about 600 but only about 350 of then lived in town with the rest scattered out on properties. Being on call meant that it was very hard to get to know people and I found myself spending a lot more time than I was used to completely alone.

Conversation was not a problem. If I wanted to talk to people of course all I had to do was pick up the phone. I developed a bit of a social media addiction because I could feel like I was a part of all the action of my friends lives, even from my far away land. And I had the incessant chatter of my own mind to listen to every time I wasn’t practicing to slow it, calm it and stop it with breathing and meditation practices.

Amongst all the issues I was facing, what I realised was that a large part of being alone was the fact that there was no physical contact. I was no longer in a relationship and I was no longer getting the hugs and kisses from friends as we said our hellos and goodbyes. I was getting the occasional handshake at most. There was no sense of friendly energy, of another being sharing my space and being part of my journey.

Once I acknowledged this I opened up to a totally new and exciting adventure that had the potential to solve this aloneness. I considered becoming guardian to a dog.

Having spent over 20 years looking after other people; children, adults with physical or developmental disabilities, and more recently emergency care patients, I steered away from having children or animals so that my home life can be spent looking after myself and staying on top of all the things I need to in order to be mentally and physically well. This is very time consuming for some of us!

But once I had opened up to the idea of having a dog in my life – a dog came into my life! A local police officer’s dog had had a litter of pups and it only took me about 10 seconds to fall in love with a beautiful little white one.

Metta puppy


Since that moment I have never felt as lonely as before. My little Metta Bonetta Schnuffalupagus Velvet Head (or Metta for short) is the best companion a person could wish for. I can’t believe I was 36 before I learned about the love of Dog. She is loyal, unconditionally loving, playful, protective and snuggly. What more do you want from a best friend? Studies have shown that cuddling dogs has the same benefits as cuddling humans by increasing the “love-hormone” oxytocin (see the link below)

And it turns out, as an added bonus, that she is also great to have conversations with too – we very rarely disagree about anything.

So if you live alone or have feelings of being alone then consider letting a god into your life, sorry (easy mistake), a dog into your life.


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