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What My Dog Gives Me

dulci1 has already posted some great articles on the potential health benefits of pets, and, importantly, on the practical considerations and responsibilities of pet ownership. This is all great information, and I won’t repeat it. Instead, I’ll tell you about Dulci, our 15 year old English Springer spaniel, and what she gives me.


One of my biggest challenges with diabetes is that I am something of a perfectionist, and diabetes self-management is inherently imperfect. And even though I know this – I’ve been practicing diabetes self-management almost 50 years – I still can fall into a pattern of excessive self-criticism when my blood glucose results don’t match the effort I put into managing them. Maybe you’re too hard on yourself too, or maybe you get overloaded by unsolicited advice from others who may mean well. Maybe you beat yourself up about even having diabetes.

Dulci – My therapy dog

The truth is that we all probably tend to focus more on negative results, and let more positive outcomes slip by unnoticed.  Still, it’s not easy to just relax and stop judging our “performance.” But, it’s easy for Dulci. And, even though she’s not any kind of recognized therapy dog, in reality she is a therapy dog for me. No matter what, she’s the same peaceful presence every day, and she loves me the same every day – no matter what. She teaches me to be calm, and helps me to be less judgmental about being less than perfect (which is without a doubt impossible).

As a rule, dogs will love you unconditionally. And when you’re a little too hard on yourself, they can remind you to love yourself a little more.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.