~ Genevieve and Abby ~

Abby, a mini fox terrier, arrived in New Zealand from Australia in 2007 and was warmly welcomed into the family of Genevieve Mora. The two have since shared a close bond. Genevieve remembers falling in love with fox terriers, and once she and Abby met, she knew it was meant to be.

It wasn’t until Genevieve met Abby that she realised just how much animals can change our lives.

Between 2008 and 2013, Genevieve battled mental health issues. Having struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and anorexia nervosa, this period in her life was difficult, to say the least. Whenever Genevieve was able to return home, she remembers Abby always being there.

During her 5 year battle with mental illness, Genevieve was in and out of the hospital. This was a harrowing period in her life. Genevieve’s obsessive-compulsive disorder impacted every aspect of her life, and was an obstacle she had to overcome. Genevieve has fond memories of Abby always being by her side.

As you can imagine, this was a very difficult time in Genevieve’s life, but she recalls Abby as being a great support. Abby always kept Genevieve company, and helped her immensely in her recovery. It seemed Abby just knew she needed some more love and care. Being in and out of hospital, Genevieve found it difficult being apart from Abby during these trying times. Happily, Abby was always there to welcome Gen home when she was allowed out.

Looking after Abby helped Genevieve learn to look after herself. Having Abby allowed Genevieve to focus on something outside of herself, and to care for another living being. Seeing Abby after a hospital admission or treatment, gave Genevieve some form of hope and something to look forward to. She could know that no matter what happened, she would return home to her dog who would greet her with happiness and no judgement.

Now, Genevieve is in a much healthier place, both mentally and physically. Although she still has days and moments when things can get a bit much, she has resources and a strong support system to help her, which of course includes Abby. Abby is now 13 years old, but she is still very active.

When struggling, Genevieve enjoys the company of Abby. Abby’s presence comforts Genevieve, and despite her small size, helps Genevieve to feel safer. She is encouraged to go out and have some activity during the day to walk and exercise Abby. This is something Genevieve very much enjoys. Watching Abby run around, especially off-leash, brings both of them a lot of joy.

Genevieve views Abby as a sibling. They have a mutual understanding of one another. When they both are a bit tired, Abby will snuggle with Genevieve, and they even share the bed. When her own mental health is a struggle, she knows she has Abby there as a support. Abby provides Genevieve with much comfort and happiness. They have an unspoken understanding of one another.

After recovering from anorexia and OCD, Genevieve wanted to help others going through similar struggles. She, along with her friend Jazz Thornton, started a charity, named Voices of HOPE. Voices of Hope aims to help raise awareness around mental health issues and to inspire hope.

Since recovering, Genevieve has shared her journey with mental health, both locally and worldwide, to show others they are not alone and that there is hope. On top of this, she is working on an app to aid individuals in their eating disorder recovery journeys. The app, called Love Your Kite, will be launching in the very near future. Doing this can make her days very busy at times, but she knows that whatever happens during the day, Abby will excitedly welcome her back home.