The Dog Dish
The Dog Dish
Mental Health

In this episode I bark with Pup Dodger and Michael Gutierrez (a human!) to get different perspectives on the importance of mental health and its connection with human-puppy play.

A quick content note: Due to the subject matter in this episode, there will be general discussions of experiencing trauma (both individual and collective), coping with depression, and preventing suicide. If this isn’t a good time for you face those topics, you might want to skip this episode for now. More specifically, late in the episode, there’s a brief discussion of the traumatic events at Wilton Manors Pride 2021.

All that said, this episode digs into a vitally important topic that needs more attention in our community. The conversations are a bit on the serious side, but that’s appropriate for the content. I hope you enjoy this discussion and that you feel clarity and support through listening.

Dodger on Stigma

Hear from Pup Dodger about his experiences coping with, talking about, and competing on a platform of mental-health awareness. We come up with a good self-check before going to events that can help make sure you’re there for the right reason and ready to healthfully engage the community.

Michael on Coping

Next, hear from a licensed clinical professional counselor on the benefits and limitations of using escapist play. His therapeutic perspective takes pet play seriously and shows how helpful it can be in the right circumstances. Think of this as an extension of our earlier episode about Healthy Headspace. We identify a threshold that might mean someone’s relying too much on pet play. Folks who cross this line should instead consider seeking out professional services.

Overall, this is a serious — but seriously important — episode. Let’s normalize conversations around mental health in our community. It’s an easy way to help all of us.