How Animals Are Saving LGBTQ+ Lives l Barking Buddha

Posted by Lori Marsh on Jun 14th 2022

How Animals Are Saving LGBTQ+ Lives l Barking Buddha

How Animals Are Saving LGBTQ+ Lives Daily

We all know that dogs are heroes, but sometimes their daily deeds make more of an impact than we can imagine. Through love, we grow, and by nurturing our pets, we create a bond unlike any other.

Hi, I'm Lori, the blog writer, and I love writing these blogs for Barking Buddha (and Natural Cravings. Go check them out, too!), and I can say that without a doubt, this is an amazing company to work for. This is my (not-so) secret love letter to them about acceptance and how my animals have saved my life more than once.

Related: About Barking Buddha

Kelly wearing a hat, the first dog I came out to.

Here's How My Pets Saved My Life.

My dog was the first soul that heard the words aloud, "I'm gay." I had struggled for years with myself, my feelings, and how I was always different. I looked at my Doberman, my best friend, and said the words aloud for the first time. Kelly picked her head up, looked at me, licked the tears from my face, and flopped back down in my lap.

It would be years before I told another person, but at that moment, it was the start of my new life. A life of acceptance. Because if my dog would still love me, then it must not be too bad, right? That was the first night I didn’t hurt myself about being a lesbian.

Years later, I was out on a walk with my parents with a different dog. With my protective pup at my side, I finally felt confident enough to tell my parents. My hand was shaking when I spoke to them about being a lesbian. However, as if by magic, Isis leaned against me as we walked. I found strength in that.

While I was lucky, my parents loved and accepted me, but it wasn't always so with the world. And you come to learn that a job can be exactly like high school. I was a hard worker. After all, I grew up in my father's dog training and boarding business, but that didn't stop my bosses from singling me out.

One particular morning shift had me doing tasks such as scraping a trash compactor, deep cleaning the men's bathroom, and other tasks (as my shift manager later told me) that were never given to a woman. I was later suspended because I arrived 10 minutes late due to a train. Meanwhile, other employees could come hours late with no repercussions. Anyway, those days drained me, the harassment got to me, and I'd often return home defeated.

Until I opened the door to a wet nose and a wagging tail, a few puppy kisses later, and my day would be completely turned around. Despite wanting to end my own life multiple times, my dog was always there for me.

Barking Buddha is an inspiration to companies. I believe Lucy said it best, "When you surround yourself with good people, diversity follows." Shop Barking Buddha for natural chews and other healthy ways to treat your dog.

When my mother fought cancer and my parents divorced. I was kicked out of my house and moved across the country to a place where I knew no one. I was grateful that I had my cats. My little personal furry support system helped me deal with the self-blame I imposed from my parent's split. Guilt and depression tore at my soul, and bad self-harming habits resurfaced. But those cats reminded me to get up, their bowl was empty and I just couldn’t let them down.

Anya the Black in a cute tie.


Years later, my partner fell deathly ill. Things were bad, bills piled up, and medical treatment after medical treatment. Finally, she decided to return home with her family as things just weren't working out for all parties involved. At that moment, it felt as though my world had fallen apart. I struggled with addiction problems in the months to follow and depression so bad that I became a risk to myself.

Related: Pets With Superpowers: How Disabled Pets are Inspiring Disabled Children

However, animals are amazing creatures. My best furry friend Anya the black would save my life more than once. But she had a unique talent when it came to being a hero. She would often lay on my chest and block me from looking at my phone. She forced me out of bed every morning. Furthermore, she helped me beat my addiction and find happiness in life again.

Even now, while writing and editing this, she's up on my lap, reminding me to take a break.

Fun Fact: I've never driven drunk in my life because my animals would never know why I didn't come home if something had happened.

Anya the Black with her pride bandana.

Animals are Real Heros

Animals are some of the most unjudgemental creatures on the planet. They love us for who we are, no matter what we look like or what we have done. Animals provide us with companionship and unconditional love, which is something that everyone needs in their lives. When we feel down, animals are always there to make us feel better. Animals have even been used in correctional facilities to help inmates.

That is why animals are such an essential part of our lives. They help us to be happier and healthier people. We should all do our best to show them the same love and compassion they show us. After all, they deserve it. And a tasty beef cheek from time to time.

Quite often, pets are the first to hear about their owners being LGBTQ+. Many trans folx who are in the middle of their transition find comfort in their furry (or feathered, scaled, and otherwise) best friends. Furthermore, pets give acceptance and love when a family can be harsh.

Lori working with Anya on her lap.

Animals and Therapy for LGBTQ+

For many people in the LGBTQ+ community, animals provide an important source of support and therapy. They are non-judgmental, loving, and accepting, which can be a lifesaver for those who often feel ostracized or rejected by society. Furthermore, pets help to provide a sense of safety and security, which is essential for many LGBTQ+ people who live in unsafe environments.

Related: Pets With Superpowers; How animals are helping LGBTQ+ Youth

In addition to the emotional support that animals can provide, they also offer many practical benefits. For instance, studies have shown that pet ownership can lead to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine (which are hormones that promote feelings of happiness and well-being). In other words, owning a pet can actually improve your physical health!

A happy person at a gay pride event with their dog.

So, if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community and are looking for a source of support, consider adopting a furry friend. They just might be the best thing that ever happened to you.

And to spoil your furry best friend, shop Barking Buddha, which supports the LGBTQ+ community all year round.