• Tara Vaughan

Ziggy Stardust




This dog of mine, she has saved me. I can truly say that I would not be here today if it wasn’t for her. Ziggy has stuck by me when I have spiraled into the darkest of holes. She has been there for me through my worst – that’s more than I can say for any human that knows me. She is my rock. She is my savior. She wipes away my tears – okay she licks my boogies, sometimes my tears. She lies down with me and lets me slobber into her coat. There have been so many days when I have stained her coat with my tears. She is my good days and is always there for me on my bad days. And she was the start to my happiness. She showed me the light and how to follow it out of the darkness. She helped me to step into the light. Even on my darkest days she has made me smile.


I had wanted a dog for three years before I finally managed to persuade my parents to let me have one and still live in their house. It took my mother to see me in a terribly bad way to understand why I wanted one so much. Before that I used to send her article after article about dogs and how they help people with mental illnesses.


Before Ziggy I could still be in bed at two o’clock in the afternoon, not having even got out of my bed to go to the loo. I had jobs where I could work from my laptop so it didn’t matter.


Ziggy's first day at her new home

Ziggy came into my life and everything changed. In a good way. I’ll admit it took me a little while to adapt to that change. I’d still go out and party but I’d take her with me. As time went on I learnt that she was a fantastic excuse to leave a situation. Anything from moving away from a conversation to leaving the pub/house party that I was at.


I started to enjoy life. People say that you should never rely on somebody to make you happy. I did. Ziggy was the source to me finally finding happiness.


As I’m writing this Ziggy is curled up in bed next to me. I can’t sleep. She is sound asleep.


When I was concussed from my riding accident last summer, Ziggy didn’t leave my side. She curled up next to me and slept touching me, she wouldn’t move the entire night. She was the same when Hugo broke up with me, except she would try and make me smile.


Ziggy knows the difference between when I want a cuddle for the sake of having a cuddle and when I want a cuddle because I need a cuddle. She will lie there in my arms as long as I need her to as my tears stain her fur.



In the past five months almost every night Ziggy has spent in my arms trying to help me to get to sleep. I don’t need her in my arms when I’m on the drugs, they knock me out; I don’t take sleeping pills anymore so I rely on Ziggy. When I get too in my head, if I can bring myself back to the present moment, I try to focus on her breathing and it helps me get to sleep. Last night I drifted off to the sound of her snoring – it’s adorable.


Buying Ziggy is the best thing that I have ever done in my life. I can 100% say that I would not be alive today if it wasn’t for her. Yes it made me broke. Yes, I would feed her over feeding myself because at times I didn’t have enough money to feed both of us. But in my eyes, she was more important then me and I still believe that now.

I take her everywhere with. Every car journey she is saving my life because with out her, the thoughts running through my head would have me drive off the road. With Ziggy in the car with me, I can’t do that. I couldn’t bear it if she dies and I didn’t or if I died and she survived only to be trapped in the car. Every car journey, when I think about driving off the road Ziggy is there to stop me.


A lot of people think that I put my happiness on Hugo but the truth is, Ziggy showed me how to be happy before he even turned up. Hugo helped my happiness to grow. He helped me to take off my many masks but I never would have been in that place to try if it wasn’t for Ziggy.



I remember being at a party last year. I made her a bed out of Hugo and I’s clothes, she was curled up asleep when someone came crashing into our room. She jumped straight up onto the bed and sat on top of me and growled at that person. She had never done that before. They swiftly left. Ziggy stayed put, she nestled down in between my legs and growled as soon as the next person came in. That was the first time she was protective over me. She does it now, especially when in bed with me, if she hears footsteps that she doesn’t recognise. I usually recognize them and tell her it’s fine, and then she curls back up into a ball next to me, always touching me.


I owe my life to this dog. She is the reason that I get out of bed in the mornings. She makes me smile every day. She makes me get outside and go for a walk. I could watch her sleep for hours. She is my light, my love and my laughter and will always hold a place in my heart and I believe I will in hers too. She is my dog. But she is so much more than just a dog.




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