Interviews

How the Dog I Rescued Ended up Saving My Life

Autumn Adele is a model living in Los Angeles. To the outside world, moving to LA to launch her career 10 years ago was an exciting time. And she admits it was. But it was also the beginning of a new bout of depression that saw her cut herself off from the world. It was only when she rescued Wetherly from a local animal shelter that her life began to return to some kind of normality, which she doesn’t think would have happened – or wouldn’t have happened when it did – if it weren’t for her rescue pup.

Even nowadays when it’s more talked about than ever before, mental health issues still have a stigma around them. You might not even know when someone’s suffering because what you see will be what they want you to see. It might not be the true picture of emotions going on behind the face put on to the outside world.

Autumn shared her story with Kim O'Meara at K9 Magazine to raise awareness about depression and help inspire others who might be struggling saying “you’re not alone, even when you feel it, know that you are not. Help can sometimes come in the most unexpected of places – like it did for me when I rescued Wevs.”

Hi Autumn! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today and share your story.

Hi! Thank you for allowing me to share with others. I have to say it’s difficult to talk about this now because I'm living a happy healthy life at the moment and recalling such a low point in my life isn't pleasant, but it's important that I share my experience.

But I hope that someone reading this will find comfort and hope through my story, because having a dog, the best companion you can have, really can change your life!


Photo Credit: @RevolvePhotog

About 10 years ago I moved to Los Angeles to pursue modelling, and despite having a pup my entire life, I couldn't afford to care for a dog on a rookie modelling salary. It was a difficult adjustment because I've always relied on the companionship of a pet, and living in a new place without family or friends was not easy.

A few years later, my roommate was looking for a pet, so we headed off to the nearest rescue to adopt a furry friend for our pad. We walked into a place called Barking Bitches (yes it's a real place!) and we brought home a spunky little four month old Terrier, Chihuahua, Chinese Crested mix (I like to call this unique combo ‘The Gremlin’ breed).


Photo Credit: @RevolvePhotog

We named her after the street we lived on, Wetherly. My roommate was very busy, so Wetherly, better known as ‘Wevs’ slowly became my best friend.

Not long after, I went through a devastating breakup, that sent me into a deep depression. I had experienced mental health issues in the past, but never this extreme. I spent the better half of six months hiding in my apartment avoiding human contact.

Wetherly gave me purpose when at the time, I didn't feel I had one. I knew she relied on me to care for her and love her, which motivated me to push through the hardest days. Her constant love was my security blanket.


Photo Credit: @RevolvePhotog

I quickly realised that animals were the key to my heart. I had her registered as an emotional support dog so I could take her wherever I went, and having her near me made all the difference. Once she even got to fly with me to San Francisco for a commercial I was shooting - what a lucky dog!

It was a long road to recovery, but we made it together. I simply couldn't have done it without her. Not only was she a typical tail wagging friendly face to come home to or cuddle up with over a long weekend, but she helped bring me out of my shell again.

You might have noticed her wild hairstyle, believe it or not, it's all natural, folks! Because of her unique look, we were approached regularly by people wanting to know what she was and if I cut her hair like that.


Photo Credit: @RevolvePhotog

Next thing you know I've spent 10 minutes chatting with a complete stranger. One of the perks of having a dog is you're never alone and they are always a glance away if you need reassurance. You see, there are so many ways having a dog shaped companion can add to your life. Science even says that petting an animal for 15 minutes releases stress relieving chemicals in your brain, how cool is that?

So you probably want to know what are Wevs and I up to now...well you can usually find us cruising the coast with the top down, wind in our hair, or strolling the marina watching boats go by, and our new hobby is paddle boarding! Which is a good fit for us, since really we are each other's life preserver!

I may have rescued Wevs, but she saved me.

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