Man Sets Up Dog Walking Group to Encourage Men to Talk About Their Feelings

 

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Pets aren’t just cute companions—they also come with some powerful mental health benefits. A Bristol-based man named Rob Osman struggled with depression and social anxiety in the past, but found that walking his dog Mali, a Hungarian Vizsla, made him feel a whole lot better. So much so that he wanted to share the experience with other men suffering from mental health issues. So, Osman set up Dudes & Dogs—a dog walking group where men are invited to talk about their feelings.

“Picture the scene. It’s one of those horrible wet and windy crappy cold days that we do so well in the UK. There’s no way in hell I want to go out in this, especially not the way I’m feeling,” says Osman. “But there’s the dog, she doesn’t care that I feel like crap today. She doesn’t care that the weather is rubbish, she just wants to get out and play. With me. Really? Yes really. And you know what, it’s been the best therapy I’ve ever had.”

Osman believes that dogs teach us to enjoy the simple things in life, from walking in the woods to enjoying a few brief moments of winter sunlight. Now, the dad-of-one is encouraging others to join him on his walks, as a way to create a comfortable environment where men can open up about how they’re feeling. “It is a good way to do so because you do not have to look at each other in the eye and are in an open space,” says Osman. “It is at their pace and there is no expectation for them to have to talk— it could be that they just listen the first few times.”

If you’re in Bristol and want to walk and talk, check out the Dudes & Dogs Facebook page for more information on how to join.

After suffering from depression and anxiety, Rob Osman set up Dudes & Dogs—a dog walking group where men are invited to talk about their feelings.

 

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A post shared by Dudes & Dogs (@dudes_anddogs) on

Dudes & Dogs: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [Unify]

All photos via Dudes & Dogs.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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