Animals Help Mental Crisis:
Things I Wish I'd Known Earlier

By: Jaira Makino

I became the breadwinner of our family when I was 14 years old. At a young age, I learned to survive and become independent. Despite not having the best relationship with my mother, I worked multiple jobs to provide for my family. 

Fast forward to 2016, I got in a relationship with a narcissist and we had a puppy and a cat together. After our break up in 2017, I became suicidal. I wasn’t at the best place and was ready to end my life. During one of my suicidal episodes, I heard my dog bark in an unsettling manner. I knew he was panicking. I ended up surviving but everytime I’m in a hopeless situation, I look at my dog’s face and see his tail wagging. I felt instant guilt while I hugged him and I kept crying. I apologized as I realized that my dog, Hachiko, saved me and has been saving me during these dark times.

I ended up moving to a small apartment with my small family. Every time I feel overwhelmed, I look at them and ask myself. “Who would feed and take care of them if I’m not here anymore?”

They give me instant strength and hope as I move on with my life.

They are my saviors. My life became amazing because of them, and I’m still alive because of them. They teach me a lot of things, they make me more passionate, they teach me the feelings of empathy and sympathy. They are my heroes.

I found myself adopting new additions to my small family. Hachiko never gave me a hard time and was always welcoming to the newly-adopted pets. 

Even though some of my pets have already crossed the rainbow bridge, I know that they are the reason why I’m still alive today. They helped me surpass dark phases of my life. They are my inspiration and my motivation.

In 2019, Hachiko passed away and my world turned upside down. My first baby left me but I held on to the thought that his siblings are still there and are taking care of me.

After 2 years, my Neko followed his brother. My anxiety and depression came back and I can feel that I’m about to shut the world out again. 

Today,I have 5 dogs and 7 cats and  I can say that they’re the reason I feel good every day. They ease my loneliness, they encourage me to exercise by making me run around with them. I can honestly say that I can’t live without them. They make me see that life is BEAUTIFUL. 

How I discovered AKF?

I had a pregnant cat in 2020 who was in critical condition. I went around looking for an available and open pet clinic and saw Animal Kingdom Foundation in my search results. I sent them a message and they immediately responded. We drove to AKF as fast as we could. 

Sadly, the mother and most of the litter died, but the doctor tried everything she could to help one of the kittens survive.  I was able to take this kitten back home but I had to bury the others in AKF’s shelter.

Since then, I have been following the AKF page and saw their post about volunteers. I joined and became a proud member of the Animal Kingdom Foundation. 

Join us as we help neglected animals find their new homes or share how these precious animals helped you in your mental health journey.

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