Writer, broadcaster and dog lover Emily Dean joins Happiful’s mental health podcast I am. I have to talk about her amateur psychologist tendencies, what loss taught her and how a Shih Tzu called Ray came into her life

Emily Dean, writer and host of the hugely popular podcast Walking The Dog, has spoken with Happiful and Counselling Directory’s podcast about her new book Everybody Died, So I Got A Dog, and the path that led her to becoming a dog-owner after many years of yearning for her own pooch.

Emily’s first ‘I am’ will come as no surprise, following on from the title of her book and podcast. She is a dog lover. Recounting her childhood longing for a dog and her belief that here family were not a ‘dog family’, Emily goes on to tell I am. I have about the four paws that finally made their way into her life; Ray - whom she describes as ‘a little bit weird’ but totally wonderful.

Leading on from the assertion that dogs are also wonderful for mental health and meeting others in our closed urban communities, Emily shares her next I am - ‘I am an amateur psychologist’. She insists that this is great for her job as podcast and radio show host (co-hosting on Absolute Radio with Frank Skinner and Alun Cochrane), but is a nightmare for her friends, as a natter in a pub can turn into analysis - but with very good intentions.

Emily’s final ‘I am’ is that she is half noisy performer and half introspective observer, both states were cultivated from a young child, living in a family she describes as eccentric, apart from her much loved older sister, ally and anchor Rachael - who sadly died at the age of 43 from cancer, after a brief illness.

It was the death of her sister and her Mum and Dad in the three years that followed, Emily says, that has led her to conclude that bereavement can be a powerful teacher and has brought her to the place she is now.

You can listen to Emily’s episode of I am. I have, as well as interviews with Munroe Bergdorf, Martin Robinson, Estee Lalonde and others.

There will be a full interview with Emily Dean in April’s edition of Happiful. Subscribe to get a free e-edition of the magazine delivered to your inbox.

Emily’s book, Everybody Died, So I Got A Dog, published by Hodder & Stoughton is available now. You can also listen to her podcast for The Times, Walking The Dog.

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