Pup’s love is a healer

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Maryanne Taouk

WHEN you’re alone and liv­ing on the streets it can feel like no one cares.

But a small bun­dle of fur pro­vided love and hope to Syd­ney woman Jai Jaru.

“I was strug­gling ... I was in a cy­cle of home­less­ness, un­sta­ble hous­ing or hos­pi­tal,” she says.

Jaru, now 37, ended up home­less at 18 af­ter de­vel­op­ing de­pres­sion in her teenage years. She also suf­fers from a hear­ing dis­or­der, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to hear sounds be­hind her.

But when she spot­ted Bella, the mini schnau­zer toy poo­dle, in the win­dow of a pet shop she knew it was meant to be.

“I had my eye on her, I would come by just to check and see if she was sold.”

Be­fore tak­ing on Bella, Jaru pre­pared for the dog and put money aside for de­sex­ing, food and bed­ding.

“I didn’t want to do any­thing that would harm a dog,” she says.

Cel­e­brat­ing their sev­enyear an­niver­sary, Jaru can’t imag­ine life with­out her best friend, who has saved her life more than once.

“My de­pres­sion was so bad at one point, but Bella was there and re­minded me that I had some­thing to live for.

“We have a give/give re­la­tion­ship. I give her love and food, but she gives a lot to me, she’s my sup­port.”

Jaru’s anx­ious­ness about her hear­ing has also been helped with Bella now “onguard” at her side, pro­vid­ing help­ful yaps when some­one is close.

Each month the pair visit the Pets in the Park char­ity, a vet vol­un­teer­ing group, that helps with vac­cines and pet care. “Peo­ple make as­sump­tions if you’re on the streets you don’t have the same love or care for pets … be­ing a pet owner has made me want to be more and do more.” Jaru is now in a safe and sta­ble long-term home with Bella. See Pets in the Park: petsinthep­ark.org.au

Jai Jaru’s dog Bella has been by her side dur­ing hard times on the streets. Picture: Carly Earl

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