Why Chester came to live with me
Chasing Winchester came about after my mother took me to look at a litter of King Charles Cavalier puppies. Needless to say, one little guy captured my heart instantly. I named him Winchester, (Chester for short) after Sam and Dean Winchester, brothers from the TV show Supernatural. From then on, I had two shadows; one with two legs, the other with four.
My mother took me to get Chester as a means of distraction and to give me a companion during a very dark period of my life. Since I was roughly sixteen, I have been struggling with mental health issues. I had been diagnosed, over several years, with severe depression, generalised anxiety with panic attacks, social anxiety, bipolar disorder type two, then finally, borderline personality disorder.
My family moved around a lot while my sister and I were growing up. By the time I was ten, we had already moved three times, but then my parents were offered jobs in China and everything changed again. We lived in China for a year, Vietnam for three and a half years, then returned to live just south of Brisbane for my final years of high school. Partly because of this chaotic upbringing and partly due to genetics, I have never considered myself to have a home, and have constantly struggled with abandonment and identity issues.
After high school, I moved back to my birth state of Victoria, where over the course of six years, my behaviour was so erratic and my emotions so uncontrollable, that I became involved in three destructive relationships, ruined countless friendships, struggled to hold down my job at Bunnings Warehouse, and engaged in binge drinking and prescription pill abuse. In 2016, things came to head. I had my drink spiked on a night out that resulted in a suicide attempt by drug overdose, being airlifted to a Melbourne hospital where I was kept in an induced coma for a few days, then placed in a private psychiatric clinic where I underwent electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.
When I finally got home in the second half of 2016, I found I had no close friends, no job, no boyfriend and no money. I was so lonely I would cry myself to sleep most nights. My original depression had eased with the ECT treatments, but situationally my life was still chaotic and empty. Then there was Chester. He was such a tiny little fluffy lifeform, completely dependent on me to survive. Suddenly I had responsibilities, some purpose to my life. Had a reason to get out of bed every morning, because if I didn’t and Chester didn’t get breakfast, he would jump on my face and nudge me until I was forced up and into the land of the living.
Now, Chester and I began to do everything together. I would take him out for coffee, on long walks by the river, to the beach, camping, hiking, pretty much anything I did, Chester did too. That includes sleeping under the covers in my plush, pillowtop bed. I still wonder sometimes if he knows he is a dog and not a human. He truly was my only friend when I needed one the most.
Chester’s Favourite Things
Favourite Things to do