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.