I'm so sorry about your early childhood trauma and that you had Spot taken away from you. Unfortunately, many people don't treasure dogs as they should. I wanted a dog my whole childhood. My mother would have loved to get one for me, but we rented and the landlords wouldn't let us. The closest I had was my sister's and her husband's dogs. I grew up with Bud and Totsie (pit bulls) and remember Bud having to be put down for cancer and the same with Totsie. My sister all had Chihuahuas and they did not fare well. The first was Raton. Raton ran away and we think we found him and tried to get the person to give him back, but he refused. The second was the first dog I really bonded with deeply, Guerra. I was the one who potty trained her, loved her, fed her, even made her a little sweater out of a sock (I was about 8 or 9) When I was eleven I went with my sixth grade class to an educational vacation to Washington D.C. and I didn't know Guerra had died while I was away. Guerra had a molera or soft spot and my four-year-old niece dropped her on her head and it killed her. Boy did I bawl and bawl! Tito was shot in the side with a BB gun and as much as I begged my sister didn't let me take him to the vet.
I had suffered with depression and anxiety for a long time (I also have Asperger's) and when I was in my 20s I was in the deepest hole you could get. I finally was allowed to adopt a dog and I got my first dog, a Chihuahua! I had wanted a Chihuahua forever and I named her Mija. She helped pull me out of my depression and to become more social and all around helped me. She was my ESA (she passed away on Dec 30th). I have a Japanese Chin named Tami which is my ESA and I plan on adopting a Chihuahua around my birthday in June as my second ESA.
Mija, Chihuahua: 2004-2019
16 years London, Golden Retriever: 2005-2020 15 years Mom to Misty, Sango, Tami, Abby, Kawaii and Pepita the Chihuahua