Pugs, Not Drugs (and other ways to heal)

Other than my wonderful husband; there is one other true love in my life.  He is about thirty centimetres tall, likes wild days out and cosy nights in, and never fails to make me smile; no matter how sad things are.  I am, of course, talking about Boris.(He’s a pug by the way; just in case you hadn’t got the gist of this one from the title?)


Boris has been with us for nearly two years.  I knew I wanted a pug ever since my Aunty got one when I was 5 years old.  I would go as far to have put it on my “main life goals” list (yep, I aim high).  Anyway, after about 4 years of nagging my husband and a move to a house with a garden; I achieved it. Boris had landed.

I think when I first went on maternity leave that Boris truly believed I had jacked in a career to become his primary carer and life partner (If only?).  I knew he was going to be a fabulous big-brother to any baby that came along; he still will be, by the way.  When we came home with no baby, no Teddy; Boris was there waiting for us and was so happy to see us. Even then, in that moment, when our baby had died just hours ago, Boris made me laugh.  He made me smile and cuddle him and gave me someone to hold and someone to pour my love into.  I know lots of people who lose children go on to get dogs to help them heal; I was just lucky that my little saviour was already there, waiting to help me in my very darkest hour.


Now if you are having a tough time of late, I am not for one moment suggesting that you rush out to purchase a pug; that would be daft and impulsive of you (but you could?) .  I am just making a point that Boris made me smile, he gave me purpose, the purpose that I was so desperately missing from my life in those first weeks.  When I didn’t want to leave the house, all I had to do was look at his little face, his expectant expression that we would be heading out for our daily walk; and that was enough to make me do it.  Day by day I stepped out that front door, faced the world, breathed in fresh air and became part of daily life again.  That was all down to him.  On the tough days he was there for me to cuddle; he would let me (and still does) cry heavy tears onto him that rolled off his little head, as I clung to each and every thought of Teddy.  Anyone who ever says to me that Boris is “Just a pet.” will never understand what he has done for us; and I honestly will never be able to repay his kind little soul for saving us.

Note;  If you did all just decide to rush out and buy a pug; I am pretty sure the world would be a better place for it.  As much as they snore/ fart/ bark at any living thing on television; they are the kindest little creatures you could wish to meet. (And provide hours of entertainment!)

Getting out the house each day was just the start of my recovery after Teddy died.  I knew that I had to help myself in as many ways as I had the power to.  Not just for my physical recovery after a full-term pregnancy, but for my mental well-being.  I sought solace in many things that I thought might just help me.  Like most people I had been to the odd yoga class in years gone by; but it wasn’t until I was pregnant with Teddy that I began attending classes twice a week.  Annoyingly I didn’t discover it until my third trimester; but it helped me to sleep, eased my joint pains, and essentially made me feel like less of a lethargic pregnant whale.

After Teddy died I was lucky to find a true friend in my yoga teacher; she wanted to hear all about Teddy and offered many kind and positive words in those early days and weeks.  Once I felt strong enough I returned to her regular yoga classes; these were filled with new faces (not a room full of expectant mothers as I had become accustomed to) and they gave me yet another place in which to disappear.  The practice of yoga isn’t just about the physical practice, you are able to set an intention at the beginning of each class (with yourself), of what you want to achieve from your practice.  In those first few classes, I set the intention of strengthening both my body and my emotions to help myself recover.


I began practicing yoga more regularly at home too, and it helped me face the difficult days with a more positive attitude.  It has strengthened my post-partum body beyond my expectations; and allowed me to believe in it again.  For a long time after Teddy had died, and before we had received his post-mortem results, I believed it was me who had let him down; that somehow my body had done that to him.  I now practice yoga at home three times a week and attend classes.  It has given me strength and positivity, eased my anxiety, and allowed me to start getting my usual confidence back.  Yoga is great for fertility too; I didn’t even know that when we had been trying for Teddy.  I can tell you now, I would have taken it up a hell of a lot sooner if I had known all of this!


Balancing my hormones after Teddy was born felt like a full-time job in itself!  My cycles were totally out of whack and I felt like I didn’t really know my body anymore.  After having spoken to so many of my friends after my experience I now know this is entirely normal.  Add some grief and shock into that mix and you’ve got yourself a cocktail for emotional and hormonal disaster!   I decided to try Reflexology (that’s on the feet in case I am speaking another language!) to help with all of the above.  Luckily I found a wonderful practitioner at a clinic in my hometown; so I was able to see her weekly.  After just two treatments my cycles were back to a timely 28 days; you could set your watch by them!  As someone who had suffered with lengthy cycles, missed periods and polycystic ovaries; this was the first time in a decade I felt “normal”.  Now, if that is too much information for you then you’re really in the wrong place, this blog is probably going to get a whole-lot worse; maybe stop reading?  The point I am making is that, in my eyes, this was nothing short of a modern-day miracle!  I achieved that without even so much as one trip to a doctor and no medication required.  Needless to say I have continued with regular reflexology and it continues to help my recovery. (I should also probably say that it is just so damn relaxing that you just fall asleep each time. It’s win-win.)

More recently I have begun to have acupuncture treatments.  Not something I had considered ever before in my life, but hey, no time like the present I guess?  Acupuncture can help with so many problems, emotionally and physically, more than I could probably list without boring you senseless.  It doesn’t hurt (contrary to popular belief) and I am able to list to my practitioner each time I see her what I need to treat in that visit (even if it’s just a head-cold!).   I think I am now just of the view that if there’s a chance it will help me heal and make me stronger; then I’ll give it a whirl.  If it doesn’t work out, then there has been no harm in trying.

Of course these are just a handful of the things that have helped me beyond measure on this “journey”(If I am honest I totally hate that turn of phrase, but I am yet to find a better way to describe it?).  I’m not saying they are for everyone (apart from the pugs, they should be for everyone); but if you are in need of a helping hand, without a trip to the doctors or medication to take, then maybe one (or all) of the above could be just what you need?


I am aware that I have now painted myself to you all as a complete anti-conformist, hippy, yogini, crazy pug-lady; and do you know what? I can think of worse things!  I hope we can still be friends?

Elle x






19 thoughts on “Pugs, Not Drugs (and other ways to heal)

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more. After being told it would be highly unlikely I would ever fall pregnant naturally my husband and I got a Westie his name is Reggie he’s nearly 3.
    2 miscarriages and a failed IVF attempt later we now have Charlie a Schnauzer.
    They save me every day, in my darkest days like you say they give me a purpose, it’s their little faces that make me get up and get out. Go for a walk, step out the house, face the world, even give me strength to smile at a stranger as they pass with a buggy and a new born swaddled inside.
    Without them I honestly don’t know what my state of mind would be today, but I know because of them I’m here, still smiling and they have led me back to my happy place (well almost I think I’m 75% there)
    I’m glad you’ve had Boris by your side, I’m sure he loves you more than your ever know x


  2. What a wonderful post!

    My dogs have also been my saviours, in my darkest times, when we came home with an empty bump and even emptier hearts, so I know exactly how you feel about dear little Boris.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reflexology ✔️
    Acupuncture ✔️
    Yoga ✔️ All current favourites of mine.
    Pug 🤔 Not yet! Sounds like Boris has a wonderful heart, and is helping yours too.
    Another gentle and inspiring blog post, love reading these x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully written as always Elle. Yoga is so powerful, (I’m a yogini too !), everyone should practise, even if only for a few minutes each day…..the world would be a happier and healthier place ! I use Acupuncture to help my back and it’s so good. I avoid the GP as much as possible and really believe in self healing. Eat fresh food and get plenty of fresh air…..easy ways to keep positive and healthy. And there’s nothing like a long brisk walk to clear your head.
    You sound as though you’re on a good path now and heading towards a positive future.
    And yes a four legged friend is the very best medicine. Lily certainly knows when I need extra hugs !
    Love and hugs to you from me,
    Pia xox

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Toby came into my life four years ago on the back of a particularly bad depressive episode. The years prior to that had seen the loss of both my parents, illness and major surgery; the upshot of which meant that I would not be able to have children. He is a miniature poodle cross (who knows what with!) and a big happy ball of fluff! Like you with Boris, he has made me get out of the house and been by my side in my darkest days. We walk in all weathers and whether I want to is irrelevant. He needs his walks so the fact that I’m tired or too down is neither here nor there. He is the very best type of anti depressant (along with a bit of yoga!) and I wouldn’t be without him.

    Much love to you and your husband. I’m really enjoying your blog! Jayne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awww! This is beautiful Elle. Loved reading it. I couldn’t agree more – Dogs are most definitely not ‘just pets’ – They are little saviours for so many people! 💕 x x x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely post, Boris is just adorable. I got my Uack Russell puppy, Archie, when I was 16, just after my sister passed away. 10 years on and he’s my bestest friend and I couldn’t imagine life without him. Dogs are the best companions 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My darling Elle, just finished reading the latest blog (for the third time I tell you!!) Cried a lot, not out of sadness, but it has been the sweetest piece of “non-fiction” I have ever read. I think you should do this for a living, what say you? Please give hefty hugs to Boris from me…love and miss you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This post is wonderful, I cried, I laughed and I have never felt so many feelings simply from reading a piece of writing on the Internet. Thank you keep at it xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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