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Doggone It! Can Pets Improve Your Health?


Lindsay

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my companion animals at this time are two dsh cats and a mixed breed dog. louie the wonder dog was a bait dog from southern ky and was in terrible shape when i first saw him. it took about 5 weeks to get him ready for the adoption area at our shelter and he spent 3 months looking for a new home. no one asked about him. this was an open admission shelter so 3 months was a long time. when it came to be his last day i knew i could not let him die. so, i took him home with me even though i was hurt and it would be very difficult to take care of him.

that was 10 years ago and louie is now 14 or 15. he has been the best thing that has happened to me. he's certainly part bassett with many other breeds tossed in.

to say louie has helped me would be the world's greatest understatement. we have been through some very tough times together.

five weeks ago louie had a stroke and it was the scariest moment i've had. and i've had some incredibly scary moments. he has slowly improved and with the assistance of his dedicated veterinarian, he is about 80% or so recovered.

can companion animals improve your health? yes, yes they can.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have 3 dogs and 2 cats. They are so comforting, because they will never judge you, get mad at you (at least for longer than a couple of minutes, hehe) and are always excited to see you.

My pets have saved my life at times. In the past when I have been suicidal, I could not go through with it just thinking about how much I loved my animals.

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I have wanted a dog for sooo long. Since I was about 12 (I'm now nearly 24). I finally got my own place when I started law school, but did not have time to care for one. Now I'm no longer in law school, and am at home searching for a job, and think this would be the perfect time to get one so I can train it, etc. My parents are still opposed, but I truly believe the companionship would make a difference.

I think I've settled on a Westie if and when I decide to take one home.

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I dont really know if pets can improve your health, but my pets improve my disposition. my pets, cat and dog,

are both male. I love it when they seek my company for no reason, even if they are not hungry. Both of them are really sweet.

my dog is smart but really mischievous! he makes me ROFL with his antics! fortunately, he mellowed down recently. i have more

pics of my cat than me on my phone! he really knows how to work it happy.gif. they dont look much but they can certainly make me

happy laugh.gif

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  • 10 months later...
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  • 9 months later...

I have a cat we took in shortly after we moved here and she's wonderful - a big, fat, lazy house cat.

I have two dogs - a 10 year old retriever that we brought over with us from the UK, and in February went to an animal shelter and adopted a little mongrel (he's now 1).

They are truly wonderful - my little dog has given my older dog a new lease of life and they're often outside wrestling and playfighting and I love to watch them. My little one is such a mummy's boy and always joins me for a cuddle and a nap when I go for a rest.

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I have a bearded dragon, adorable little mite, simply sits there and lets me pet her. Two cats, one snuggly, other playful. A dog, highly hyperactive, requires a lot of walking which is very good for me. Snake, kingsnake, not so snuggly as the lizard, but lovely all the same. Guinea pig that just sits there and squeaks. I've had more / less than these at different points in time, but I generally have around six pets, all the way up to twelve, at any given time.

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When I got hurt my dog never left my side. He would get really upset if I went to a Dr's appt and the second I got home he would start sniffing every part of me to make sure I was okay then just lay at my feet. When I'm really down he will go out of his way to be goofy and as soon as I smile he stops and just sits there wagging his tail looking at me. He has become my best friend. He's also very protective of my child, it anyone he doesn't know gets close to my kid he goes insane, he'll watch my kid even outside. He'll just sit there, no leash, and watch my kid for the entire day.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I feel completely open when I interact with my dog.

In this clickable thumbnail she is sleeping on my blanket-covered legs on the couch while I read.

'Please PM Member for picture'

The animal shelter caught her as a stray; she's much healthier, less fearful, and has put on weight. She's a little damaged, behaviorally, but that probably makes me identify with her more. We got her a year ago, which is about the time I decided I needed to get help for my own stuff. Coincidence?

Edited by Trace
Picture Removed as per TOS
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I certainly think pets can help with depression.

Whenever I babysat my brother's s***sou I really found myself smiling more than any other time.

Maybe it's because he's just so cuddly and cute!

My siblings and I once bought my mother a s***sou for Christmas and she has never been happier. She loves that little thing to bits and I definately noticed her smiling more generally.

So yea, if you're depressed. Get a pet!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes I believe that a pet does improve one's health to a certain degree. From personal experience I adopted a puppy four years ago and it was the best thing I've ever done for myself.

Mind at first it wasn't easy with training,etc. But at that particular time of my life i guess i was ready to take the responsibility to be a 'parent', I only say this because I've never had children. I must admit that being a real parent takes a lot of love, hard work and patience - Bravo! to all the parents in the world.

My lil girl gives me unconditional love :hearts: and she is always there for me when I'm feeling down :inlove:

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We got a dog shortly after my depression hit hard. She was an abused puppy, and we gave her a good home with all our other animals. I think she knew I was hurting, and we became instant pals. And now we got two new puppies, and they are such a joy!

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  • 5 months later...

I wondered for a long time what it feels like to be a superstar. I feel like one everyday now that I have a dog.He follows me everywhere, licks my feet, jumps with joy when I come home. It's my first dog and now I understand what everyone says about dogs being man's best friend.

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I wondered for a long time what it feels like to be a superstar. I feel like one everyday now that I have a dog.He follows me everywhere, licks my feet, jumps with joy when I come home. It's my first dog and now I understand what everyone says about dogs being man's best friend.

FEELS LIKE TO BE A SUPERSTAR!! :) sounds good to me. Agree.

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I have had the BPD disorder since a kid. I am now 56 years old, it is easier now. I have had many friends who are like minded, mentally left of center, like attracts like, after all!

One of the BIGGEST problems with any diagnosable mental disorder is the very severe concentration on one self. The thing about animals being good for us is not only and just about how good they make us feel with love, devotion and warmth, is also about us putting how we feel SECOND, in order to care for our animal companions. How we “feel” is not the end all to the world at large. It is just too bad we feel depressed sometimes, but the dog has to be fed, so we get up and feed it, or walk it and in doing so, this helps us cope better with NOT being enslaved to our s***ty feelings every single second of the day.

Animals can be a way to exercise some self discipline in our everyday lives. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to function, and the love of a pet, our love for the animal, can motivate us to go beyond how we often feel, to see to it another living being is cared for, and it means leaving your depression at the back door.

I love my animals, so they are not going to go hungry, because I do not feel well today, they are not going to live in their own bodily waste, I will clean up after them, they will NOT be tied out in the hot sun or extreme cold, they are not going to be ignored…because I love them. They are sentient beings; they have feelings, just like I do. They are NOT going to be treated shabbily, like I was and ignored, left to fend on my own. This is another value of an animal companion; they help you heal, to learn what real love is all about. It is a two way street!

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  • 1 month later...

I have two cats. I originally got them with an ex but he's gone now (good riddance). They were feral cats up until they were a few months old. They were really scared of all people, didn't like being petted, etc. Only through my care did they start to trust us. They are 100% friendly with me and have been for a long time and are even pretty good with strangers, depending on the person. One of them loves to sleep with me and curls up right by my face as close as he physically can. :)

I've always been a cat person. I talked about it with my therapist and it seems like I am so attached to cats because they were my only source of unconditional love as a kid. :( It makes me feel kind of pathetic but I guess it isn't my fault . . . Seeing how they have grown up into very happy healthy social cats that love me makes me feel good though. I just hope some of my ability to love and nuture extends to people too! We'll see . . .

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