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Pet Therapy

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

One of my two cats is lying here between my keyboard and the monitor, pawing at the mouse icon as it flies across the screen (she just fell asleep from exhaustion, lol) and it made me want to acknowledge her and my other cat for the great stress relievers that they truly are, and have been, all through my fight with cancer and it's after effects. Wow if we could bottle how much peace and unconditional love they give us, right there beside us when we are feeling our lowest and asking for pretty much nothing in return - a scratch behind the ears, a little treat, and a warm place to lie. Especially if one is living alone and fighting this monster we call cancer, pets truly sometimes seem to make us feel better than all our meds combined. I'm just sayin (to quote Rick). lol

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2049
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi Blueroses, Yet another GREAT posting!... I have a wonderful German shep called Riva, she loves to cuddle. THAT CAT..well he just keeps me on my toes NOT tripping over him. Peggy (Pet Hen) Is a survivor like us...but she regularly attacks the cat lol. and (Yeah give me sad person of the year award) I like my fish..no I do not have thick ankles and hairy nostrils LOL Great subject Blue.... Hugs Julia

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

I would love a big dog but living in an apt, just not fair to the dog. Also I can't predict any day how I will feel so I wouldn't be able to take him out so again can't have a dog unless I get a small one that I can paper/litter train. Cats are so much easier if you are unwell and I have grown to love and respect them more now that I have only them and no dog as well. I did have a Schipperke til 4 years ago, that's a Belgium breed of dog, loved him dearly but he had to be put down for several health reasons. I miss him but can't walk a dog anymore as I said.

Your cat sounds like he has to keep alert what with the dog and the hen after him, sounds like he is the survivor in the pet bunch at your house. lol. Nah, no sad person of the year award for you, plenty of pets will keep you smiling and healthier is my position on this subject. The hairy nostril picture did scare me a bit though. lol. Hugs, Blueroses

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2049
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi Blueroses, My pets are wonderful, dog..........riva, cat .....shnuggles' hen...peggy and all them fish... I love 'em all! Thamks for your understanding........J XXXXXXXX

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

My two cats, Sam and Charlie, are two of the joys of my life besides my 3 kids. I love to pet their furry soft bodies and when I get up in the morning I look forward to them walking out to the kitchen with me. When I came home from the hospital back in Jan. 2007, I could tell Sam really missed me (I didn't have Charlie then) and it made my heart glad. Yesterday Charlie was sitting in my daughter's puzzle box. He could barely fit! She called him "Fatty McButter Pants." He's not fat but I have to say he did look pudgey at that moment.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Your daughter seems to have quite an imagination to have come up with that name. She should write a kids book called Fatty McButter Pants. It sounds like a winner of a series.
I'm serious.

I hear you about your pets walking out to the kitchen with you in the morning, looking for breakie no doubt. I wake up to 4 eyes staring at me looking for their morning treats in bed yet, man have they got me trained. lol. If I pretend to still be asleep I feel one of them very gently lick my hand. It's too cute. Does the heart good for sure.

Ya you can tell when they miss you. I have had to be taken off in an ambulance quite often with heart problems and they always seem to know when the ambulance is on the way. I just hate having to leave them, they seem so worried before I leave, they just have this way of looking at me as if they are saying 'are you going to be okay?' They are so special.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

feels the way we all do about pets. And when you are ill you do tend to focus on the really important things in life and to me pets are way up there on my list.

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

Blue, I loved your post! I have 3 children er, cats. They are super affectionate; they greet me at the door when I come home, sleep with me, basically never leave my side when I'm home. They always seem to give me extra love when I'm down or not feeling well. My husband and I love our cats dearly. I don't know what we would do without them. And I agree that cuddling with my kitties and having them to talk to when I was home alone during treatment was the best medicine:o) Eileen

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Eil, I wondered when your post would come about your kitties seeing that your picture had one of them in it. It's such a bummer when I hear people say that they can't stand cats, are only dog people, because truthfully I think it's mostly because they have never had cats or given them a real chance. I love the independent nature of cats although sometimes they get a little too independent - ruling the roost and all, they definitely have me trained and certainly not the other way but I don't mind - they give back more than I could ever give them. It's so true, what would we ever do without them? Glad to hear from you and hope you are doing well. You will probably call the 'wagon' to come and get me with restraints when you hear this but if you listen to your cats meows, and you may have already figured this out, they have definite different meows for different things - like when babies cry - a different cry for different things they want like a diaper change, food, pain etc. I listened carefully to their sound when they see a bird on my balcony or bug on the wall in the summer and I managed to imitate the sound. Whenever I saw a bird on the balcony I made the noise and pointed and danged if they didn't whip around and go to the window to see what I saw - they knew the sound and recognized what it meant. lol. It has become a really amazing interaction. Maybe I should change my name to Dr. Doolittle, lol or maybe just get that padded wagon. lol. When you have a lot of time on your hands with being ill and housebound and alone as I have been for so long you really get to study things like animal behaviour if you have them around. It has really been fascinating. Meowwwww. lol. Take care , Blueroses.

Folks24
Posts: 104
Joined: Feb 2007

I have cats myself and they all have different meows and personalities. One I have I swear has the most varied vocabulary of any cat I have ever known. I wish I could understand even a little bit of what he says as I get an earful. I have no family around here (closest kin are 1st cousins w/their own familiies) and after my last parent died (I was their caretaker.) it was just too hard coming home to an empty house and I recognized I was too depressed then. The cats have really helped me get through that time and when the lymphoma was diagnosed. I quite honestly don't know what I would have done without them.

As to pet therpay, I volunteer for a group here that helps elderly, disabled, low income folks keep their companion animal. We provide food once a month and vet stuff "spay/neuter, shots, etc. when we have the funds". This year we also "clubbed together" and got every pet a toy and every person a little present for Christmas. I was so saddened when I heard that for some of our clients, that was the only present they got for Christmas. :( It is amazing how many alone and lonely people are in this world. Studies have shown that people take better care of themselves and live longer when they have a pet dependent on them. I know it sure makes my day when I come home from work and get all the attention. So, pet therapy is a really good idea and it works.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Folks, I guess when I made up this discussion page I meant pet therapy as meaning our pets our therapy to us but I know there also exists actual Pet Therapy programs where animals are brought into seniors homes and hospitals to bring some cheer and fun to patients as well. Your program sounds wonderful and to add gifts to pet owners and their pets must be wonderful for those who have no one. Actually I nearly had an experience of no Christmas gift this year as my daughter didn't mail my gift ontime and thank goodness a cousin came through and is sending her gift to me special delivery so I can get it by Xmas. Also my son surprised me with a visit from out of town and will be with me on Christmas morning so that was indeed a Godsend but I know too well from this Christmas how I was starting to feel. It isn't about the gift itself, it's just the caring that you miss. I'm okay now but it was sad for awhile there. I am sure the people and their pets who receive those gifts are more grateful than you will ever know. I too had lymphoma and have side effects from the treatment so I am in alot and too don't know what I would have done without my two cats. You should try watching your cat closely and if it sees a bird or bug or something note the type of sound it makes and try to copy it and soon you will have a communication going with the cat. It's very cool. Or when it wants food there will be a type of sound that it will make that you can copy too. My cat actually has named it's treats. I got the name of the treat from my cat by coping a noise she made when I picked up the bag. It was sort of a 'kla' sound. So when I want to give them a treat I use their word for it and they come running. It's amazing really. Cats are very intelligent and can learn alot if we just take the time with them and start listening to what they say. Thanks for the posting, have a good Xmas. Blessings, Blueroses.

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: Apr 2003

Somehow our pets know when we are not feeling well. Everytime I've been in radiation treatment my cats and dog have been with me. When I came home after treatment, I usually laid down on my bed on top of the covers and I covered myself with a small blanket. When I woke up, the bed was full... of dog and cats. Sometimes I couldn't move because they were laying down on my blanket and I was trapped. They all wanted to be as close to me as possible. The dog was not allowed to be on our bed and Charlie, the leader of the cats, knew it. He never let the dog on the bed except when I was in radiation treatment.

Charlie died at the end of Oct. of this year. Sam, the dog, and Smoky, the oldest cat, died a few years back and I still miss them. We have three cats now but somehow it is not the same as the ones that are gone and that were so close to me.

I think pets are great, not only do they help their human moms and dads feel better when ill, they are also great company. They are also great in hospital and rest homes even if they do not know the people there.

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

There are so many great things about our furry friends that are a balm to the soul!

I have Shih Tzu named Rudy who is the essence of calm and devotion; then, there's my cat West- maniac deluxe!!

When our last cat, Charlie, died I felt so sorry for my son that I let him pick another cat from the no-kill shelter in our area. He chose a rather ordinary-looking gray and white cat and he came with the name "west". Hint- never pick an animal that is named after a direction! He must have been stray for quite a while as, when we got him home, he would run full-bore through any door trying to escape! I'm sure his head is now disformed from hitting the back of the closet walls and banging in to the bathroom cabinets. He was a challenge; it took many months to get him used to being an inside cat and,in the process, our peace-loving Rudy suffered at his paws.I finally asked my son why he chose this cat, and typical boy, he said the cat was smacking another cat in the face and it made him laugh!Shoulda known-lol.

West sized the dog up and decided he would be a great sparring partner; only thing is, Rudy, like his Tibetan forebears, is a pacifist at heart and did not have it in him to go round and round with the goofball. The cat finally figured that out and I thought we would now have peace at home once more. Wrong!! He was determined to find trouble everywhere- from destroying window treatments to full out ninja attacks on our legs! He did eventually settle down some, but, it was at least a year before we could feel safe turning any corner in our home.

When I got sick, though, he was at my side day and night. He slept with me, he followed me everywhere and jumped on my lap whenever I sat down. What a cool cat!! He became my constant companion through recovery from surgeries to days in bed after Interferon and chemo regimens.

You take a chance on pets and they never stop paying you back for taking that leap of faith in making them a part of your family! What a gift to be loved by Gods' little creatures.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

It is a true gift to be loved Gods' furry little creatures. When I hear people talk about not liking dogs or cats I just feel so sad at all they are missing out on by not getting to know our 4 footed friends. I wouldn't have been able to get through my treatements and diagnosis, divorce and all the rest without my two puddy tats.

Olee's picture
Olee
Posts: 97
Joined: Nov 2008

Well my pet is not a cat, but he loves to make friends with cats. He's my Angus and he's a 140 pound rottweiler. He's always been there for me and seems to always break out with some goofy act the minute I start to dwell on my cancer. Either that or he smothers me in kisses. He never wants to be 5 feet from his mother or father so he's always at our feet and thinks he's a lap dog. He was a birthday gift from my wife and he is the gift that keeps on giving. I had always wanted a rottie and she wanted a large dog so she found this little puppy at a shelter. He was four months old and we were told he had been found wandering in the desert. He had his issues due to being a stray and abused but has turned out to be such a loving and comforting dog. He's so big yet so loving and gentle, he volunteers to give his bones to us, straight from his mouth. He has never met a cat he never liked, although they are usually terrified of him. I keep telling him I will keep it a secret from the other dogs that he is friendly with cats, I know he has a reputation to keep up. I never knew his loving and comforting would come into play as much as it does now. Those times when my wife is away at work and I have a moment, I just grab Big Boy and wrap my arms around him and hug him tightly, let out a few tears to which he responds with a huge sloppy kiss across the face.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Oh Olee you are so lucky to have that dog. Sounds like you both are helping each other out in so many ways, especially with the love that you two obviously share. I had a dog too, a Schipperke, and he was just like your dog - so devoted and understood when I needed a big sloppy kiss, always right beside me when I found myself alone. When I hear of animals who have been abused it sickens me, sounds like you saved your dogs life and for that he is showing great love and gratitude. Like I said before, we would all be very wealthy if we could bottle that kind of unconditional love we get from out pets - so healing - better than all my medicines combined I think sometimes. Take care. Blueroses. P.S. My cat is looking at the screen as I type this and she promised not to let it be known that your Rottie likes cats. She is very reliable that way - won't rat him out. lol.

bsiems
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2006

I haven't been to this site for a long time and am spending time reading some posts when I came across this one about pets.
Going through chemo in the winter of 2005-2006 my golden retriever Lucy saved me. She was the only one who saw me with my bald head, and because of her I walked everyday. I couldn't see her stay home inside all day when she so loves her walks. She kept me moving and I truly believe that she made my treatments and side effects bearable. I won't ever see my pets as burdens with all they give me. Lucy is still with me and I got her a miniature daschund last summer to keep her young! It's working so far, she's 11 but plays like a youngster, I hope she's around for a long time yet, we went through a lot together.
Bless our furry friends.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Bsiems, I don't know what I would have done without my two cats either, throughout my treatments and ongoing problems with after effects. When I have a tough time, like now, I enjoy coming home to them and having a nap after all the stress of the days appointments/interventions. The cancer is long gone but it's the after effects that keep plaguing me. One of my cats loves to sleep right at my left side with her head on my shoulder all covered up with my arms around her. How she survives the heat I have no idea. The other one is a Himmy and very hairy but she tries to jump up first on the left to grab the spot just to tick off the other one who is a tortoiseshell - too funny, just like kids wanting what the other one has. They have such individual personalities - most of the time they are enduring, lol. Yup they are medicine for me and as I said before - if we could only bottle the positive things they do for us when we are ill it would probably put some pharmaceutical companies out of business. Blessings, Blueroses.

Pnktopaz10
Posts: 56
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi Everyone!
What a great topic! I too have a pet that has been at my side through my cancer journey. Her name is Emma and she is 15. She is a Bicon Frise and so loving and devoted. She is elderly, almost blind but she knows exactly where I am. Once during a particularly bad time she was outside and knew I was in trouble and raced in the house. Remarkable as she can't really see and her hind legs are not working very well any more. As I write this she is at my feet. She lets me know~in no uncertain terms~when it is time to go to bed or to eat or get a treat. She is my constant companion and I love her dearly. Pets are so wonderful to have~unconditional love every day~who could ask for more! Great topic blueroses. Hope that you and everyone else is having a good day today! Pnktopaz10

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Pink, Today is Valentine's Day and on special occasions and for those of us on our own with no one around they are almost life savers - emotional savers for sure. Special dates like this one can be very lonely and sad times and I think that Dreamdove said it all quite nicely under the thread here called 'confused and upset', on behalf of all who don't have that someone special on days like this and have been pretty much abandoned by others who they thought would be there. In some ways I am in that position too but when I awoke this morning I awoke to purring and a kiss on the forhead from my Himalayan cat. My tortoiseshell cat lay at my side both starring intensely at me as if to say 'good morning and Happy Valentine's Day - now give us our treats!!' lol. Hey whatever makes your day huh? lol. Anywho my point is that I truly can't say enough about how my two have kept me going through all the tough times, including the one I am going through now - nothing too serious but it has all piled up - many procedures waiting in the wings to be done - I'm numb. But with these two fuzzy friends their purring to me is like a mantra in meditation - calming me down and taking away the 'lonely' on special occasions such as this. They are a true gift from God with the job of helping us mere mortals through the tough times. My Himmy I named Angel for that exact reason and she has proven to be one in spades. They are so linked to my emotions it's unbelievable. My tortoiseshell knows if I am crying (even just a little) because when I sniff and take that breath in that you do when you cry she immediately stops what she is doing and comes over and meows and looks straight into my eyes as if to say 'I'm here'. The cutest is when she is laying by my side when I am lieing down, with her head on my shoulder facing away from me and if I start to cry a little she does her meow and bends her head totally backwards and up to look into my eyes - it's amazing - truly warms my heart. Okay I will shut up now, I could go on and on about how special they are - oops I think I already did, lol, sorry about that. Blessings, Blueroses.

Pnktopaz10
Posts: 56
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi blueroses
I understand completely what you are saying. What would we do without our pets! I am so sorry that you are facing more procedures. I am sure that you are frustrated and anxious. I know I am when I am facing anything medical. I go for my PET scan next month and I am already anxious. If I lose a pound I think the cancer is back. But I have Emma at my side or snuggling my feet which helps so very much!
I am sorry that this is not much of a valentine's dy for you but know that we all love you and care! Unconditionally~just like our pets. I will say a special prayer for you to get you through the next procedures. Hugs, Pnktopaz10

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Thanks for your supportive words, I truly appreciate them. I have put one of the surgeries on hold right now til I get my mind around all the procedures stacking up and may try to get the docs to do a couple of procedures while I am out but getting 2 specialists in one operating room on the same date will be tricky, we'll see. As I said none of the procedures are life threatening but anaestesia is not to be taken lightly so trying to get as many done as possible in one go. I am a big baby now so I always have to be knocked out so with so many coming up it's pretty confusing. I'm a wuss, I admit it. lol. Anywho thanks for your support. Take care and I hope your PET scan results come out far better than you hope. Blessings, Blueroses.

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi Everyone,
I have been talking on the ovarian discussion board and decided to visit here. I too have two labs that keep my spirits up. What a blessing. I lost my husband over 3 years ago and have been fighting cancer 7 years. My wonderful dogs have helped me soooo much. I love all animals and am happy we have them for support. They seem to understand more then some people.
I hope you all have a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY and your pets will be with you a long time.
Prayers and hugs
Sandy

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Welcome to our threads here on Emotional Support and this one on Pets. I just wanted to wish you all the best in your battle with ovarian cancer. I am a 20 year survivor of NHL and the docs consider mine a cure so I am here to tell you that cancer can indeed be cured. Keep the faith, hold on to those pups and keep up the good fight. Blessings, Blueroses.

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

Thanks Blue Rose and I am so happy your a 20 year survivor. I believe I had pre-existing conditions since 98 but the dr. in Florida disagreed with the pathologist when he did an untra sound. I am now in Indiana. But life goes on and I am doing fine. I have tiredness fatigue with the chemo but try to find things to do in chair or go thru pictures or talk to my dogs. I have had a count as high as 14000 but my tumors have been small. They have grown some but back on chemo Wed. I had wrote in the other site I will TRY and take 3 day mini vacations. I have the faith and maybe we will all be around when we are 90 or 100. Hee hee
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

With all the new research and new treatments coming forward so frequently we both can certainly be optimistically hopeful that we both will be around til we are 90 or 100. My Grandmother had the same NHL as I did but she had it when I was only 17 which was 22 years before my cancer hit. At that time there was little they could do for her NHL but 22 years later we had bone marrow transplants and stem cells and a lot inbetween. I'm glad you have your faith, that will keep you strong. All best in your treatments and you have the right idea, keep those mini vacations going - we all need little breaks like that no matter what the situation we are in with our cancer - they help to re energize us so that we can continue the fight. Fatigue is a common side effect of treatment as you probably well know, all this time later I still suffer from it in a big way, they feel it is chronic fatigue syndrome in my case but with so many other after effects of everything they can't ever know for sure. All the best Sandy. Blessings, Blueroses.

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

Yes, Lets make our goal 100 years old. I stay tired too. But when I do get a break its not as bad. My chemo lowers my blood pressure so I don't have to take high blood pressure medicine more then half the time. I have to take pressure to know whether to take meds or not. I am 51 and most of the time my parents of 80 do more have more energy then me. But I plug along. Pray for our victory dance of a cure and ENERGY.
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

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