Lately, I have been struggling. I am far from my family, I can't even visit them. I go to work, then I head home and I just sit. I had a terrible case of the Monday's earlier this week. Can I make it until May? I haven't seen my fiance in 2 weeks and it feels like 2 months. I miss my family. I miss grabbing dinner and drinks with friends on Saturday nights. My heart hurts just thinking of the next time I get to see my family and fiance.

Lately,  the only "normal" thing in my life is going to work every weekday. I get home from work and my dog Olive is eager and ready for our midday walk. Her life has gotten much better since the Shelter in Place Order took place because I'm home more than ever. I find comfort knowing that Olive is home, waiting for me.

Simply put my dog is my hero. I know it may sound dumb, she didn't pull me out of a burning house or scare off intruders in my home. Because of her, I don't come home to an empty dark home. Because of my dog, I go out on countless walks that help change my perspective. I take in the sunset that reminds me there is so much beauty in the world, and I'm reminded that my God is bigger than any mountain put in front of me. Because of Olive, I know I am not alone at home, she's there, dropping a toy on my lap because tug of war is always on our to-do list.

Noreen Nartia

My dog isn't a hero in the traditional sense but to me, she's my constant encouragement. If you live alone as I do, I hope you have a pet that keeps you company. I hope you have a hero with paws.
If you're dealing with depression or anxiety because of COVID-19, please seek help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or check out the other resources the CDC has by clicking here.