Dogs save people all the time, and we hear about those heroes on the news. But we don’t often hear about the dogs who are everyday heroes—the dogs who save us from ourselves.

When I had nothing left, I still had my dog. In fact, at a total rock bottom in my life, all I had was my dog. As I struggled with mental-health issues and alcoholism, my black-and-white Pit Bull, Brayson, saved me on a daily basis.

Brayson’s name was meant to sound soft and approachable for fear of the stigma that Pit Bulls have had to contend with in recent years. And he was soft, friendly and loving. At my worst moments, throughout my struggles, I would promise Brayson that a house with a fenced-in backyard would come.

The first time Brayson and I moved, I had just broken up with a rebound boyfriend after a sad and bitter divorce. I was broken inside, feeling unworthy of love. I drank heavily to soothe the…

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