Confiding in a Furry Friend

 

Livonia junior, Heather Eldridge walks her Emotional Support Animal, Cali, for a walk down Main Street in Mount Pleasant on November 2. 2016/ Eldridge walks Cali at least once a day.

Livonia junior, Heather Eldridge walks her Emotional Support Animal, Cali, for a walk down Main Street in Mount Pleasant on November 2. 2016/ Eldridge walks Cali at least once a day.

Livonia junior Heather Eldridge gets a kiss from her Emotional Support Animal, Cali, which cuddling her in her bedroom at the Delta Ph Epsilon house on November 16, 2016.

Livonia junior Heather Eldridge gets a kiss from her Emotional Support Animal, Cali, which cuddling her in her bedroom at the Delta Ph Epsilon house on November 16, 2016.

Displayed are the three medications that Eldridge takes for anxiety, antidepressant, and her bipolar disorder. "I have her (Cali) so eventually I can get off my medication and not have to take it. That would be really big for me if I could just manage my symptoms through her (Cali)," said Eldridge.

Displayed are the three medications that Eldridge takes for anxiety, antidepressant, and her bipolar disorder. “I have her (Cali) so eventually I can get off my medication and not have to take it. That would be really big for me if I could just manage my symptoms through her (Cali),” said Eldridge.

Livonia junior Heather Eldridge fills a cup of water for her Emotional Support Animal, Cali, in her second floor kitchen at the Delta Phi Epsilon house on November 2, 2016.

Livonia junior Heather Eldridge fills a cup of water for her Emotional Support Animal, Cali, in her second-floor kitchen at the Delta Phi Epsilon house on November 2, 2016.

4 month year old, Cali, a Pit Bull and Terrier mix, plays with her toy next to Eldridge in the upstairs living room of the Delta Phi Epsilon house on November 7, 2016.

4 month-year-old, Cali, a Pit Bull and Terrier mix, plays with her toy next to Eldridge in the upstairs living room of the Delta Phi Epsilon house on November 7, 2016.

Livonia junior Heather Eldridge kisses her Emotional Support Animal, Cali while carrying her back to Eldridge's room in the Delta Phi Epsilon house on November 7, 2016.

Livonia junior Heather Eldridge kisses her Emotional Support Animal, Cali while carrying her back to Eldridge’s room in the Delta Phi Epsilon house on November 7, 2016.

Livonia junior Heather Eldridge spends quality time with her Emotional Support Animal, Cali, in her bedroom at the Delta Phi Epsilon house on November 16, 2016. "This house is 100% pet free, but registering her (Cali) as an emotional support animal my landlord can't say know," explains Eldridge.

Livonia junior Heather Eldridge spends quality time with her Emotional Support Animal, Cali, in her bedroom at the Delta Phi Epsilon house on November 16, 2016. “This house is 100% pet free, but registering her (Cali) as an emotional support animal my landlord can’t say know,” explains Eldridge.

Heather Eldridge from Livonia, MI recently got an ESA (Emotional Support Animal). Eldridge is a junior here at Central Michigan University and was diagnosed in June 2016 with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Eldridge always had found comfort with her dog at home.

“Moving up to college I really missed my dog back home. He was always a mood stabilizer for me, so I thought getting a dog to have up at school would be really helpful,” explained Eldridge.

Eldridge has owned her ESA, Cali (a Pit Bull and Terrier mix) for 4 months and had her Grandmother buy her after Eldridge found Cali on Craig’s List. Eldridge currently lives in her sorority house, Delta Phi Epsilon, which is traditionally an animal free residence, but since getting Cali and registering her, Eldridge has been noticed for this increase in acceptance of ESA.

“Whenever I am having an anxiety attack she (Cali) is really conscience of it, so she will come up and cuddle me. She will be that calm thing. If I something, like an outlet, to reduce stress I take her on walks and play with her. It really just calms my mood,” Eldridge said.

As stated by the US Dog Registry website Emotional Support Animals help people with anxiety, depression, bipolar/mood disorders, panic attacks, and other emotional or psychological conditions. There is a constant rise in ESA and therapy dogs for mental issues.

Eldridge, like many others, has found comfort confiding in her furry friend and is making a difference by having Cali on CMU’s campus. Eldridge even admits that since she got Cali, she has become an emotional support to more people than just Eldridge herself.

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