Caitlin and Lyra, Melbourne  (via Facetime)

'I went through a really difficult period struggling to come to terms with my sexuality at the same time as going through a difficult breakup. I had, until that point, been a very Type A perfectionist, holding myself to rigid standards with a life checklist that I’d been working towards since I was 13. 

I had a total breakdown and blamed the end of my relationship on my sexuality -  which did not help the internalised biphobia that I was struggling with. I felt like my sexuality was causing all the issues in my life (it was not) and I was ashamed. I felt like I didn’t know who I was, that I had been living a lie and I didn’t know what the truth looked like. For a time, I became very depressed and, on my worst days, suicidal. I rejected most people in my life, because I felt like I was a burden and did not deserve their time or love.

But then, there was Lyra.

The unique thing about the love of dogs is that you just can’t avoid it. It’s so pure, so non-judgemental. There were many days when the only reason I got out of bed at all was to feed Lyra. She would encourage me to get outside, bossing me for a walk. And then we would crawl back into bed together, and she would give me her tightest little-spoon cuddle. Those are the days I am so grateful for. She needed me and I needed her to need me.'

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