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A dog is the only creature on Earth that loves you more than he loves himself

As the sun began to tuck itself away behind the horizon, the sky above Buġibba became an evolving collage of colours. Orangey red gave way to an odd shade of purple, which in turn metamorphosed into a dark sheet spread across the sky, perforated by countless sparkling dots. However, all this natural wonder was under threat, as a small army of heavy grey clouds began gathering in the west. The weather didn’t stop Buddy and his friend Joey from going on an adventure together.

Buddy and Joey made their way on a boat and soon found out that nobody was there. Buddy stepped boldly on board for he knew that they weren’t going to be disturbed. The watchman was sleeping soundly on the other side of the dock, making what sounded like train noises with his nose. Buddy chuckled as he couldn’t understand how humans can make such silly noises when sleeping. He watched Joey admirably, as he untied the rope of the boat, slipped behind the wheel, and started the engine. Joey skillfully manoeuvred the boat out from the dock. They slid warily, cautious not to make any noises.

Some time later, Buddy lay down and took a long rest, while keeping himself semi-awake to keep an eye on any weird encounters that could prove troublesome. He wanted to be the shoulder that Joey could always rely on. The night was far spent. It was broad daylight when he found himself facing Comino, the small island situated between Malta and Gozo. The crystalline waters of Comino with their splendour begged Buddy for a dive and so he obliged and plunged himself into the cold sea.

Later that night a terrible storm took place, with punishing rain, violent claps of thunder and blinding lightning strikes. The boat rocked heavily from one side to the other. As a result, Buddy’s friend got injured and couldn’t move, let alone take control of the boat. Buddy got extremely worried but collected himself and avoided going down the panic route. He put on a red life jacket with his snout and paws and put one onto his friend. He covered Joey’s head with the bedsheets and waited in a state of horror and suspense.

As the tempest slowly died down, Buddy’s first impulse was to feel grateful. After seeing that everything was clear, he helped lift Joey up on his feet and gave him his own bowl of water. Whenever he looks back at their adventure together, he finds it hard to believe the near death experience that they had together. Then again, the fact that he was the support that Joey needed during his time of need fills him with pride. Thankfully, after that ordeal, they were both safe and sound.

The aim of this short story is to help us see the importance of animals in our lives. Caring lovingly for a pet can help both our mental and physical health. Animals can:

  • Help you with physical activity. By taking your dog out every day for a walk or run, you are encouraged to be physically active. It’s also a fun way of exercising!
  • Dogs provide companionship. They also provide you with a sense of security as they share your day and experiences with you.
  • By caring for them, you will feel wanted and needed. This can boost your self esteem.
  • Dogs can provide you with support and thus reduce and ease your anxiety.
  • Dogs can calm you down during difficult and overwhelming times.
  • Dogs can be good listeners, offer unconditional love and won’t criticize you.
  • Dogs can help ease loneliness. Dog owners often stop and chat to each other on walks or at parks. Dogs can also offer a creative way to meet people; in pet shops, training classes etc.
  • Dogs can also help you structure your day thanks to the daily rituals that involve feeding, exercise and caring for them.
  • During difficult times, dogs can be very soothing and help you overcome adversity.

Maria Mifsud

About Maria Mifsud

Maria graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) in 2008, then went on to read for a Masters in Probation Services at the University of Malta. After years of being part of the Government workforce, she realised that to better understand her clients and be more equipped, she had to further her studies by enrolling in a Masters in Systemic and Family Psychotherapy with IFT-Malta. Some years later, she continued to pursue her studies in Clinical Supervision with IFT-Malta. Maria is also a qualified Victim Offender Mediator.

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1. TherapyPacks come in bundles of 5 or 10 sessions. Prices of bundles:

  • 5 sessions – €270 – must be utilised within 3 months from date of purchase
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