Now I’m in lockdown at home, my dogs, Mr Fang and Loopy Lou, have kept me from going completely insane. I can’t imagine being locked away without having them as company.
I first met Mr Fang, the Siberian Husky, about nine years ago. I was dancing around the hallway with him. He was a super-excitable puppy and jumped up at me for cuddles. I instantly fell in love with him.
I knew from this day that I had found a true companion in life and I was completely unaware of the difference that Mr Fang would make to me coping with my mental health issues. He would go on to save me from myself when my severe depression hit so hard that I had planned to take my own life.
Our housing troubles first began about a year-and-a-half ago when I was privately renting a property and the landlady decided that she was going to sell the house. At the time I was fostering and working with huskies from rescue centres that had behavioural issues due to abuse from previous owners. Things were going well. I was in the process of adopting previously troubled dogs when I received the letter. It left me heartbroken having to return them to the rescue as I could not keep so many dogs without a roof over my head — I felt as though I had failed them.
Eventually, a few days into 2019 my landlady told me she had sold the house and I needed to be out in 14 days. This sent me into a panic and severely impacted my mental health, to the point where I was feeling suicidal again. It was only when I felt a warm head rest on my legs, it was Mr Fang staring up at me, that I snapped back to reality. I realised that he needed me as much as I needed him and it saddened me to think of what would become of him or where he would end up if I removed myself from his world.
I was completely unaware of the difference that Mr Fang would make to me coping with my mental health issues
After that I was back out on the streets. I didn’t want to risk Mr Fang’s health or risk losing him. There are places that provide food, services and accommodation for people out on the streets but the problem is they don’t allow dogs inside. I found that problem a lot. Because Mr Fang is a high-profile breed, I couldn’t risk leaving him tied up outside as he could quite easily be stolen, especially as he is so comfortable with people.