3 Benefits of Having a Pet as a Companion When You’re Chronically Ill

It probably goes without saying that having a pet is good for your health. It would seem this pretty much holds true no matter your age, or your capabilities. As far as what type of pet, I’d say to each his own. A pet could be anything from a turtle, to a snail, to a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly, to a dog or cat, or even a horse if you have the abilities. Some people with chronic illness shy away from pets as they have a difficult time caring for themselves. But I would encourage you to ask your caregiver or family member if they might be willing, for example, to clean your aquarium here and there, you might be surprised that they are more than willing. If you’ve been tossing the idea around here are a few more benefits to think about:

  1. They are humorous and heartwarming – Maybe not immediately, but once you get to know them and their habits you might start to develop a relationship and find them to be rather funny, or silly, or so darn cute. Whatever it may be, it’ll likely feel good just to have that deeper relationship, that one that takes you out of your own head and allows you to giggle, and enjoy the very moment you are in.
  2. Companionship – Let’s face it, as a species we’re not meant to be isolated. The ultimate form of punishment in this country is solitary confinement. Unfortunately, with chronic illness a lot of us spend a lot of time isolated. Thankfully for social media we are able to reach out and connect, but it’s still lonely being alone so often. Having a pet, a living breathing thing, helps you feel like there’s company or companionship. It’s someone to pour your heart out to, that’s never going to tell a soul. Now that’s a good companion…am I right?!🤷🏻‍♀️
  3. Unconditional love – Pets, especially the furry ones, for the most part, just adore you. I’m pretty sure one of my cats was in the mafia before he came to me, but that’s another topic for another day. Despite his regular shenanigans I know he adores me and I adore him too. Pets grow on you. Let’s face it pets are pretty easy to love, especially when you are isolated. They are the ones there. They are there on the bad days, the good days, the high pain days, and the ‘go to ER/A&E or not to go’ days. It’s good to have that, it’s good to have company, unconditionally.

You didn’t think I’d end this without sharing my buddies, did you?😉

This is Rusty. He’s 12 this year. He’s our resident mobster. He’s the boss. I kid you not when he walks into the room the 130-pound German Shepherd gets up off his bed so Rusty can lie down. I tried to correct this behavior, to no avail. This is an alpha club I’m not a part of. Here’s the thing about Rusty, he cuddles with me every morning, without fail, and he’s the one that when I’m really flaring, checks on me regularly and spends hours cuddling, licking and purring with me. So underneath that tough life of crime is really a sweet, caring guy and I appreciate that. Oh and he has a collar, but the collar life isn’t for him 😁 so he’s microchipped.

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This is Lily. She’s 11 this year. She’s a princess. 🎀 She sleeps with me, always touching me. When I leave the bed, which isn’t all too often, she cries at the top of the stairs. She’s sweet, soft, delicate, and at a whopping 8 pounds she absolutely terrifies the dog because she can be a little sassy too. 😬😁

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And lastly, this is Kaiser. He’s 9 this year. We got him originally partly to help my son feel safer, partly because we wanted a dog. We had no idea how head over heels in love we would all fall with him. He’s hilarious, smart, sweet, and protective. When I say protective I mean he protects me like I’m the Queen.👑 There is a parameter and depending on his mood can range from a few feet to a few more feet, but he’s not afraid to ferociously suggest that thou shall not come closer! We trained him, socialized him, and did everything you’re supposed to do with a German Shepherd but he knows I’m sick and he doesn’t care. He is always on guard. One of the funnier things about him and Lily is that if she hears a noise she always looks to him to make sure we are all safe. I think secretly she kinda likes him but she’d never tell!

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So those are my buddies and if you can’t tell, we spend all day, every day in my bedroom together.  They keep me entertained, we are a pack, I love them, they tolerate me, and even though I can no longer do things like buy them food or walk Kaiser on my own, they’re still here. Hopefully because they want to be.😉

For those of you who regularly follow along, the hearing is tomorrow. I could have written a whole blog just about that but I’m trying with all my might not to ruminate as nothing feels good about that experience and I don’t want to go there. So enough about that! Here are a few of my watercolors. Little light on energy and focus which you might see. This month Doodlewashed and WorldWatercolorGroup on Instagram have opened the challenge to pencil, pen and ink sketches, as well as watercolors. Please feel free to join in!

 

 

35 thoughts on “3 Benefits of Having a Pet as a Companion When You’re Chronically Ill

    1. Thank you for the wishes and the compliment. 🌸 I adore them, if that wasn’t obvious.😉 Hoping all is well as can be with you. I’m off to check if Australia has cold weather in the Winter.🙃 Was going to ask if you enjoy the cooler weather but realized maybe it doesn’t even get cold.😁

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      1. I do enjoy the cooler weather! It’s been a very hot Autumn so far but I am looking forward to some refreshing cool days. I’m in a colder part of the country (Victoria) and I reckon a very “cold” day would be considered about 10C max (50F).

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I am a tough old 94 year old WW II veteran who has fallen in love with a very wanton feral calico cat we call Puss Cat. She likes to rub against my pant leg and seduce me into putting out her food too early.. A few weeks ago I saw a large gash on her back and figured a fox ( we live on a farm ) had attacked her. Next day I saw her lying in the sun like she was dying. I really started to cry at the unfairness of the world. Then she disappeared.for a day and I thought she went off to die. Next day she was at the door again expecting her food.
    I saw your icon by Jamison’s article in our blog and I am just beginning to learn more about this plague that besets you, Jamison and many others.One of my daughter in laws also seems to have a milder form. I have a graduate degree in psychology and up until now I felt this problem was psychological and could be dealt with on that level. Reading your story and others I now see it is a serious national health problem that requires immediate attention.
    I tell the story of Puss Cat because it is a story of fortitude.Your courage and will hold me in awe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, thank you for your service and sacrifices you made for the country.

      Second, you’re a great writer! You had me on the edge of my seat hoping the kitty was okay, which I’m very thankful that she is.

      I’m sorry to hear your daughter-in-law has this illness too. It’s no way to live. I agree with you, this illness is leaving millions falling through the cracks and it’s scary, terribly sad and very frustrating. But we are a strong lot so as a group we keep pushing in a united front to spread awareness and beg for more research. The good news is that it would seem more research than ever is happening as you read this!

      Jamison’s blog, although I’ve never told him, gave me the idea to start blogging about my illness. I don’t really have anything new to share but it’s therapeutic to share something. My heart goes out to younger folks like Jamison. They are in the prime of their lives and it’s terribly sad to watch them miss out. While I’m in my 40s, I’ve been married and had a child, in other words I’ve lived life. While they are just starting out. So for them, the ones who have a full lifetime ahead of them, I continue to push and shout from the rooftops (or maybe just my blog).

      Wishing you all the best, thank you again for sacrificing your life, and hoping Puss Cat comes to visit today.😊

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      1. “First, thank you for your service and sacrifices you made for the country. ”

        Sorry to use your blog to express my very deep feelings about that statement. Let me tell you another story, not including a cat. In WW II we went to war because we were attacked by a huge navy and its air fleet in alliance with two other well armed nations. We went because we had to. We achieved a victory in three and a half years.
        We have now been at these wars of choice for over fifteen years and the result has been chaos, misery, and our country despoiled by them. We have been lied into these wars and they have cost us trillions of dollars and been used as an excuse to cut funding for those citizens who most need government help.The government has promoted the statement above as a way of seeding peoples minds to accept that the fifteen years of illegal wars is acceptable. It isn’t.
        Rather than spending 2 billion dollars on F-35 fighter planes half of that could give decent care to those afflicted with chronic debilitating illnesses. The other half could go towards research in DNA and stem cells to find a cure. We can do better.
        Let me finish this little sermon by thanking you for your thoughtfulness in your statement above but lets get our country back into the business of taking care of our people before making wars.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness your furry companions are absolutely beautiful!!! My husband and I have 2 amazing cats and they are my pride and joy. As you can probably tell we do not have children, our cats are our only children!! Our oldest cat is 13 years old and she is the “queen” of the house! Our second cat is the baby and only 6. They are the most loving creatures in this world. Thank you SO much for sharing pictures of your cats and dog! They are all adorable!!!

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  3. I’ve been so caught up with the drama in my own life, I missed the court thing…. I hope everything went well…well as good as can be expected at least…. TY for sharing pics of your fur babies… with 3 cats and 2 dogs, I couldn’t agree more that we should all have that kind of love

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    1. Thank you for stopping by😊 Hoping Boston was a great getaway!

      The hearing was more than my body had on reserve so I’m paying the price for something I shouldn’t have had to do in the first place. If that doesn’t ruffle my feathers I don’t know what does. I’ve managed to stay out of the ER so that’s something. Although I probably should have gone, my heartbeat was allll over the place with chest pain/pressure. Next time I’ll go😬

      Hoping Spring has sprung for you! What a long Winter this year! 🌸

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma (Not Just Tired)

    Aww your pets are gorgeous! I grew up with dogs and it was lovely! We don’t have any pets the minute, but we hope to in the future – think it will be a nice companion for my little boy, and me too! 😊

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  5. I see it this time!

    What a handsome devil, and so young too 😔😔😔 I didn’t realize. I’ve had many doggies throughout my life that meant so much to me and my family. They really become part of the energy flow of a house. There is always a shift and change that makes you realize their presence when they are no longer there. When I was in high school and our family dog passed, my mom said “I feel like I lost my purse”…😢 They had been side by side for 12 years. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, far too young. I still feel an emptiness in my arms I can’t explain. We are all still reeling. I spent nearly every moment with him and miss him fiercely. The energy shift is exactly right, something is missing. It’s difficult, no two ways about it. Thank you for your compassion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😢😢😢 Maybe a new friend, who’s small and fuzzy. It might be ShihTzu time. They love to be held and don’t need more than house exercise. I know that doesn’t fill a loss but they have a way of helping healing 😔

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