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WILLIE AND BAILEY
WILLIE AND BAILEY

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HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL

How To Find The Perfect Pet When You Are Chronically Ill

 

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL

 

I want to tell you today about a wonderful gift that was given to me.   It gave me unconditional love and support, made me laugh, and made sure that I got out and moving every day.

It was, of course, my little Willie, a Dachshund pup that I have had since he was eight weeks old.

When we first brought him home, I fell instantly in love.  His soft eyes and warm little nose, not to mention the awkward way he ran kind of sideways, captured me immediately.  He seemed to understand that he was to be my companion right from the start as he had snuggled right into me as soon as we met, which the breeder had said was not usual for him.

Those first days were a new beginning for me, we played and I laughed, something I had not done for quite a while.  I freely admit here, that I believe that Willie saved my sanity.

 

MY DOG STORY

I had become more or less housebound, all my friends worked (I should mention that slowly they dropped away over time), my family worked, what was the point of going outside, no one else was?  I pretty much curled up in a ball and watched DAYTIME TV (as bad as it is) until someone came home and I had somebody to talk to.

During that time, it was hurry up and wait for the next test and then the next one and so on.  I couldn’t work because I couldn’t sit, stand, walk, talk, or anything else for very long before I would just collapse with the pain.

Then finally the tests were done and they showed nothing.  They could not find why I was in so much pain, why my arms and hands would let things fall without me sending the signal to let things go, why the sight in my left eye and the hearing in my left ear came and went with no warning.  Why all of a sudden it was like one or the other of my legs had ceased to exist and I would fall, constantly.  They couldn’t pin it all to the Fibromyalgia which had been getting worse and worse every year, so they decided it must be in my head and sent me to a psychiatrist.

 

HOW I WOUND UP WITH A DOG

The interview with the psychiatrist was sort of just a conversation, I thought she would ask me questions and I would answer them but no, it was just like a conversation.  At the end, she had Hawkeye and I sit down and she explained that she thought I had Conversion Disorder, a condition that not only interrupted the signals between my decision centre and my action centre but also threw my pain centre into overdrive.

Her advice was to get outside more, she suggested getting a dog for company and for the fact that it would mean having to go out with it every day. She believed that my being in the house all the time was not helping me and she wanted me to get out into nature.

 

THE HUNT FOR A DOG

Over the next few days Hawkeye and I discussed it at length, we had decided after our last dog and cat had passed away that we were not going to get any more pets.  We talked and talked and eventually what it came down to was that having a dog was a recommendation from a doctor, so we should do it to see if it would help.

My daughter, on hearing what the doctor said, immediately got on the computer and started looking for animals that we could bring home.  She started looking for Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds, and all fairly substantial dogs.  I pointed out to her that I would not be able to handle a big dog because my balance was so bad they could have taken my feet out from under me in no time.

We decided we would look for a Dachshund, they were small enough that I should be able to handle it, and besides, we had always loved them.

That’s when we found Willie.

This little bundle of fur and fun brought me back to life, he reminded me what joy was, and he gave me back my positive outlook.

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 2
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 2

HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT PET AND WHY YOU SHOULD

In doing research for this post, I came across so many listings about how a dog or a cat or a lizard is the perfect pet for someone with a Chronic Illness.

I can’t say that I agree with everything they said (for instance, neither a lizard or some kind of rat was going to be welcome in my home), however every single thing I read said that one of the best things for someone with chronic illness was getting a pet.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PET

So, how do you choose what kind of animal would be best for you?  You really sit down and think about what you are capable of handling.

 

  • How active are you?
  • Do you have allergies?
  • Do you live in an apartment or in a house with a backyard?
  • What is your tolerance for starting with a youngster, remember having a baby animal is like having a baby, you have to watch over them constantly, clean up their messes, watch what they eat and be willing to train them?
  • Would an older animal suit you better?
  • Do you want something that has to be taken out every day, or do you want something that can basically fend for itself as long as everything they need is there?
  • How much time are you willing to put into playing, teaching, caring for them?
  • Don’t forget there will be vet visits, shots, medications, can you accept and afford all that?  
  • Dogs require more effort on your part, cats not as much.
  • How big or small do you want the animal to be?
  • What does your chronic illness let you be capable of?
  • Lizards and Birds require particular habitats, special attention and upkeep and can become a health risk if not handled properly
  • Guinea pigs and Bunnies (not my idea of a pet) need special habitats like the birds and lizards
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 3
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 3

THE RESEARCH ON WHAT A PET CAN DO FOR YOU

I will paraphrase what the experts had to say about having a pet when you have a chronic illness because most of the experts were very long-winded, LOL, and I could be writing a 10,000-word post before you know it.

Maggie Buckley a former member of the  American Pain Foundation had this to say. “This little creature needed me — she needed me to take care of her.” What she found was that her dog ‘Q’ gave her a new way of making friends and a new reason for getting up and getting going in the morning.  While walking Q she would meet people at a dog park and strike up conversations and make new contacts and friends.

The research tells us that having a pet can help ease depression, anxiety, loneliness.  A pet makes you feel less isolated, less of you against the world, less of being alone.

Buckley says in an interview she gave with everydayhealth.com that “A pet is more powerful than any medication when it comes to comforting, soothing, and distracting you when you are experiencing pain.”  

 

WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HAVING A PET

In a post on The Mighty.com, a woman explains that dogs can be a special help with what ails you.  They always love you whether you are healthy or sick, you can tell by the reception you get when you get home after being out for a while.  Their wagging tails and excited demeanour shows you just how much you were missed.

The old saying that “Laughter is the best medicine” really is true.  Our animals make us laugh and as we laugh the pain reduces for a while, you can be curled up in your bed dealing with a bad day look over and see your pet just being themselves and it will make you smile. Or, if you are curled up in your bed, they will lay there with you, just giving you comfort by being there.

You never have to explain yourself to a pet, they don’t care if you’re sick they just want love and companionship the same as you.  Sometimes it can be so hard having to deal with people who don’t get it, from family members to coworkers, to friends, it can be hard for them to understand why you don’t do the same things you did before you got sick; but your pet just accepts the way things are, and that can be very comforting.

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 4
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL 4

 

WRAPPING UP THE PET QUESTION

Only you can know whether a pet is something that you want to deal with, so, I won’t try to push you any further.  I just wanted you to know how much an animal can help you to deal with pain, to get your body moving even when it hurts, to help you just deal with the day-to-day of being ill.

I prefer my dogs (I have two now as you know) they are like a drug, they make me laugh so hard as they play together, they seek me out just to reconnect, and they look to me to take care of them; which gives me a purpose to get up and get going everyday.  I might always be in a flare, and every single step I take feels like hot coals all over my body, but knowing that they are waiting for me to take them out is the best motivator there is.

 

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

I love Hydrogen Peroxide.  There are so many uses for this, I use it all over my home and it really does the job whatever the job may be.

Cleaning/Disinfecting Uses

Hydrogen Peroxide is a food-safe cleaner.

  • I use it when I am cleaning out the fridge, to make sure I get everything cleaned properly.
  • I use it to wash my veggies when I bring them home from the store.  For this, I fill the sink with cool water and add about 3 Tbsp to the water.
  • I use it to clean the inside of my dishwasher
  • I use it to clean the sponges in the kitchen; for this, you will want to use an equal amount of hot water and the hydrogen peroxide, soak them for about 15 minutes and then rinse out. (And don’t forget you can throw them on the top shelf of your dishwasher to clean them too.  Or, you can put them in lemon water and stick in the microwave for a minute, be sure to let cool before you try to wring it out)
  • I use it in a spray bottle to spray down the shower after having a shower, cheaper and easier than the stuff you buy for that.

Other Uses 

  • For a teeth whitener, use a Tbsp of the Hydrogen Peroxide and enough baking soda to make a paste and clean your teeth twice a week with the mixture until you get your desired whiteness.  Then use every couple of weeks to keep them that way.
  • I also use it when I am taking a bath, I use half a cup of the hydrogen peroxide and a half a cup of Epsom salts and relax away, the Epsom salts will leave your skin feeling soft and the hydrogen peroxide will ensure that you are clean.
  • I add a cup to the laundry when I am doing towels or sheets to make sure that they come out smelling fresh and clean.
  • I use it also for when I do the kitchen linens laundry, it helps take away the smell and any dinginess that they start to get.  Oh, I should mention that I also usually add a cup of vinegar and a half cup of baking soda as well, but I do that for every load of laundry.

 

I checked out One Good Thing by Jillee to see if she had any additional uses and she does.  Check out her post at

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/30-uses-for-hydrogen-peroxide-youll-want-to-know-about

I told you I love her blog, I go there every time I think of something and see if she has more info on it.  She usually does.

Fairy Garden Update:  I have been extremely busy with other things, so I haven’t had the time to spend on it that I would have liked.  I will keep you updated though as soon as I can get back to it.

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Once again Pinterest has some of the best quotes, this one had me saying “So True”

Top Ten Quotes Of The Day:

 

A Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there.  I was an exceptionally lucky Mum, both of my kids have grown up to be truly worthwhile adults.  They never got into drugs or any of the other stuff that can bring such grief to a Mum’s heart.  They are not perfect but then who is?  I am extremely proud to be able to call them my children.

 

 

FAMILY LIFE 

Mother’s day has come and gone and as usual, my kids spoiled me.  It was the last one I will probably ever have with my son still living at home.  I am having a lot of lasts this year because once he is married and living in Oregon we will not see as much of him as I would like.

I will still have my daughter at home so, I will not be an empty nester yet, but I am both happy and sad that my son will be leaving our home this year.  Happy because I truly believe he has found the person he is meant to be with, and sad because my baby will be far away from me now.  I know, he is 24 years old and 6’4″ so nothing less like a baby could be even imagined, but he is my baby.

When they are young we worry if we are teaching them the right things, we worry when they stay out too late at night, we worry when the phone doesn’t ring when he is late for dinner, or we worry when the phone rings at 2 am that he has been hurt in some way.

I wonder if we ever stop worrying, I know I will still be worried about him when he has a wife and a new home, but I guess that is what motherhood is for.  Not just to teach our children how to be responsible, caring, upstanding human beings, but to teach us to let go so they can be the people they were meant to be, trusting that what you taught them will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives and that they will pass on to their children the values and habits that we instilled in them.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mothers who are just beginning your journey and to those of us whose journey to bring them to adulthood has already passed.  But, further, I would like to wish all the Grandmothers, Great Aunts, and Great Grandmothers a Happy Mother’s day as well for they are the ones that gave us our values and habits to pass along.

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

BACON MUSHROOM MAC AND CHEESE 

https://barbsoutlook.com/?post_type=recipe&p=7323&preview=true

 

BACON MUSHROOM MACARONI AND CHEESE
BACON MUSHROOM MACARONI AND CHEESE

 

 

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