DFD Visitor Pam* describes how Goldie*, her comedian retriever and constant companion has helped her keep going for 7 years

“I rescued my retriever a few months after a complete breakdown. She is almost seven and has been my one constant companion through my journey of mental health illness. Some of my happiest days have been spent walking on the beach. A three hour walk, with a swim is her idea of heaven and because I get to speak to other doggie people, it is my idea of heaven too. Goldie is my responsiblitiy and so I have to stay alive to look after her. I have to get out of bed to feed her and I have to get dressed to walk her. When I cry, she knows I am upset and she nuzzles into me and I can feel the love from her. Retrievers are described as being the comedians of the dog family and I would say Goldie has that trait, She makes me laugh when I have no other reason in my life. She also loves the water and has never met a puddle she didn’t like! – she lies in every one she meets. Goldie is my salvation ”

* Details changed to protect contributors’ anonymity.