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:
- 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.
- 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?!🤷🏻♀️
- 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.
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. 😬😁
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!
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!