My therapist is a dog

January 25, 2023 Comments Off on My therapist is a dog

I hope you never have to get quality mental healthcare from Kaiser.

The first yahoo they sent me to was a guy I’ll call Dr. Bro. Of course he wasn’t an actual doctor, as Kaiser doesn’t seem to have many of those, but he was really experienced helping people suffering from humanity, and dog knows I was.

Our one session went like this:

“So what’s on your mind?”

“I’m stressed and anxious.”

“About what?”


“Got it. Do you have any ideas about why?”

“Yeah. I’m recently divorced from a 32 or 35-year marriage, depending on how you count it, and I’m not coping well with all of the related life changes.”

“Got it. Do you have any ideas of how you’d like to cope?”

“Yeah. I’d like to get on my bike and ride around the world until I’m 70, then die.”

“I see. Well, what’s stopping you?”

“Um, reality? I mean, does that sound like a good plan?”

“Hey, buddy, you only live once.”

I called back Kaiser and told them that Dr. Bro hadn’t worked out and could they send me another counselor, preferably an MD.

“Do you want medications?” they asked.

“No. I want competence.”

So they hooked me up with Tarina, a very cheerful young person ill-suited to my old age and perpetually dim outlook. We had a few sessions that left me feeling much worse, although she did tell me that “We’re going to get you outdoors and get you exercising. It’s counterintuitive, but physical exercise helps with mental health.”

“It does?”

“Yes. Studies show that fifteen minutes of exercise three times a week can decrease symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.”

“Oh. So what about, like, 120-180 minutes seven times a week?”

She laughed. “If you did that, you’d be stress-free and in the Olympics.”

My confidence in her sagged.

I called Kaiser again and asked for competence, and they assured me they would get right on it. For $627.23 per month, “get right on it” doesn’t really mean “get right on it” so much as it means “Bye!”

While waiting for the callback that never came, I went to the pound and got Snykes.

Here are the key differences between my human therapists and my dog therapist:

  • My dog therapist sleeps with me and there are no ethical issues.
  • My human therapists therapized with me for 50 minutes every seven days. Snykes therapizes with me all day long.
  • Snykes has no good advice whatsoever, but then again NEITHER DID THE HUMANS.
  • Snykes is the most patient listener on earth. When he falls asleep during sessions, he wakes up and picks up where we left off. When my human therapists fall asleep, the session still ends on time and I still get billed the full amount.
  • If I cry, Snykes licks me. Never got that from Kaiser.
  • If I’m really sad, Snykes puts his head on my lap and looks at me with the sweetest eyes.
  • The only thing Snykes asks in return is food, a comfy blanket by the fire, and lots of walks.
  • Snykes not only likes exercise, he helps me do it.When there are strange noises at night, Snykes barks at them. My human therapists never did that.
  • I’m Snykes’s only patient.
  • After extended petting sessions (which are unlimited and have zero deductible), we both feel better. Isn’t that the point?


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