Rob Osman, 38 years old, lives in Bristol, England and he didn’t have an easy life. He’s been dealing with depression and anxiety for most of his life.
At one point, he lived in his sister’s basement without windows and was smoking too much weed to care.
However, one day, he decided it’s time to fight.
A lot of things helped him improve, including pursuing a degree in psychology and counseling at a local university.
But, he claims that it was his dog Mali, a Hungarian Vizsla who helped him realize what’s important in life.
While they were walking outside, Rob felt relaxed and his tension disappeared.
Rob Launches Dudes & Dogs
Becoming aware of the healing property of walking with his dog, he opened up a group that he named Dudes & Dogs.
He describes it as a mental wellness community which empowers men to get out of their homes for a walk and talk about how they feel and what they’re going through.
The group’s website claims that ‘talking helps. It really does’.
He also added that Dudes & Dogs wants to improve things for the next generation by simply getting outside, talking things through, and improving our mood.
Dudes & Dogs Becomes Popular
It all began during one of those many wet, cold, and windy days in the UK. Rob didn’t want to go out; especially because he was feeling unwell.
But, there was his dog who didn’t care about the fact her owner didn’t feel good. She also didn’t care about the bad weather- she just wanted to go out and play.
Rob says going out that day was the best decision he made- the best therapy he got.
Soon enough, he began inviting friends to join him on his walks with sweet Mali.
Some days, they would only talk, but often, they would just hang out together.
He realized that his friends also loved the fresh and inspiring dog walks. So, he decided to expand the model and enable other men to benefit from it too!
Men Aren’t Very Keen on Seeking Mental Health Treatment
According to a Priori study, 40 percent of men won’t discuss their mental health with someone.
However, dogs seem to ease them into having such talks. Rob believes men need someone to listen and the idea of using dogs gives them time away from the family.
Dogs tend to have a healing energy and when we’re around them, we somehow seem to drop their shields.
According to one of the men who went on this walk with Rob, the walk takes you to good places, both physically and mentally.
He got a new view of the Suspension Bridge and experienced a relaxed chat combined with the fresh air about the good and not-so-good parts of life.
Another member praised the concept of the group and highly recommended it. And, he emphasized how he’s having a rough time lately. Meeting the group is of great help and he admitted to a couple of bromances.
Rob’s goal is to help men realize that it’s not just alright to talk, but that it’s essential.
Rob lost his dad at the age of 20 and he suffered from social anxiety since the age of 10.