Archie is a 3-year-old Lurcher (4 in June) who has completely changed my life. Throughout my life I have suffered from severe anxiety and other mental health issues, but 4 years ago they were so bad I was scared to leave the house and had attempted suicide multiple times. I just couldn’t see the point in life. I was recovering from a suicide attempt when I saw a litter of puppies for sale online. I found the courage to leave the house and my mum took me to see them. Archie was the only puppy not spoken for, and the moment I saw him was the first time I had felt genuinely happy for a very long time. A week later we went to pick him up and my life changed forever. I started going for walks and overcoming my anxiety to talk to people. We trained constantly and I looked forward to waking up every day. He gave me the confidence to start working again, I came off antidepressants and my mental health continued to improve.
I’ve now had Archie for nearly 4 years. We have appeared in multiple magazines, newspapers, and even on live BBC radio, raising awareness of how dogs can help people with mental health issues. I hope by sharing my story I can help other people feel less alone, and let them know there is hope for recovery. I now work full time at a dog rescue centre, a job I absolutely love. I learnt to drive, and now we compete most weekends in agility and other dog sports/shows. We even made it to Crufts 2020 and won our class in YKC crossbreed of the year, this was a childhood dream that I thought would be impossible due to my mental health. Archie is also the first Lurcher in the entire world to become a grand champion level trick dog. We enjoy putting on performances and have won several dog talent competitions. If Archie hadn’t come into my life when he did I don’t think I ever would have got better. He absolutely saved my life, and thanks to him I am thankful for every single day I have, and I look forward to the future. As well as changing my life, Archie is also a registered, (and very enthusiastic!) therapy dog, who brings joy and smiles to everyone he meets. I wouldn’t have got through the last year without him as Covid and the lockdowns have made my anxiety so much worse. But Archie has always been there to calm me down and stop me spiralling into a bad place mentally. It’s hard not to be happy when he’s around! I am extremely proud of what Archie and I have achieved in the last 4 years. He is my guardian angel and my soulmate. I wouldn’t be me without him.