My dog has saved my life after I wanted to end it all in lockdown

A man struggling with mental health under pressure from the lockdown said a dog saved his life.

Pete Undrell, 51, hit rock bottom when he began struggling emotionally and financially in lockdown.

Things got so bad for the former Grimsby man that he considered ending his life.

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Pete, who now lives in Scunthorpe, said, “I was very depressed. Let’s put it this way, I didn’t want to be here anymore.

“I lost an ex-partner. We broke up just before Christmas and things got out of hand.

“Covid-19 hit me very hard, like everyone else. My relationship has suffered. My fear is really difficult to control and overcome on a daily basis.

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Pete’s life was in crisis before Benji found his way into his life

“To be locked away from the world for so long was extremely painful. I felt lonely for a long time.

“I also suffered a lot financially and had to rely on the support of food banks.

“I just struggled to get over the pressures in life when it got too much. I thought about ending my life.”

Feeling helpless and alone, Pete wanted to overcome the problem and turned to an unlikely rescue that would change his life.

Pete said, “I didn’t want to feel like this anymore. Then a wonderful idea occurred to me.

“We always had dogs when I was younger and I absolutely adore them. From that moment on, I just knew I had to get a dog.”

About seven months ago Pete contacted the West Yorkshire Greyhound Trust in Doncaster and told them about his recent struggles with mental health.

The story of the restoration of a man’s life through the love he received from a greyhound

The Trust had three suitable dogs for Pete, but he noticed a former racing dog.

Pete said, “I saw a gray pooch named Benji. He was bred as a racing dog in Southern Ireland.

“When he was finished racing, the Greyhound Trust took him in and trained him to be a pet.

“He had a home for nine months before he was brought back. I’m not sure why he was brought back because he’s such a nice boy.

“But from all the dogs there, he chose me and I was thrilled.

Pete wants to promote the power pets can have as an aid to mental health therapy in the wider community. Pete and Benji recently attended a group session for the Islanders Group in Crowle to help people manage their own mental health and promote his turning story.

“The way he was with me was amazing. I could see in his eyes that he wanted me to take him home. He didn’t want to leave my side.

“Every now and then I thought to myself ‘He has to come home with me’ and the rest is history.”

Benji, 5, had a profound influence on Pete’s life that completely changed his attitude.

He said, “This dog was a gift from God to me. He’s 100 percent saved my life. I don’t know where I would be without him.

“And the strength of a dog is phenomenal. You’ll never know until you have one. He’s a blessing. I will never look back now.

If you are struggling with your mental health, Scunthorpe Mind offers confidential listening on 01724 279500. You can find more information on his website here.

The Haven currently provides psychological support seven days a week from 6 p.m. to midnight. To access it, call Mind on 01724 279500 and leave a message – don’t forget to include your name and phone number – and a representative will call you back.

The Samaritans can be reached at 116 123.

“He’s helped me interact socially with others, he helped me meet new people and inspire others to change their lives.”

Pete has become more confident through Benji and recently became a volunteer therapy dog ​​handler with his companion.

He supports Pets as Therapy, a charity that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of thousands of people in communities across the UK through animals.

Pete plans to go to schools and charities across the UK to help others fight mental health and wellbeing.

You can keep in touch with Pete and Benji’s trip here.

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