Animals

Dogs
Do you have any pets?
If you don’t, it’s an easy answer. No.
If you do? A simple yes will never do.
The pet’s name, age, breed, colour, temperament, and a funny story or two is only the beginning.

My house has had quite a collection of pets over the past 20 years. Thanks to the kids and my inability to say no to anything furry that stares at me with big sad eyes begging to be taken to a good home and get spoiled until the day it dies, we’ve had quite a few hamsters, a very sweet rabbit (Nibbles) who was followed by Ruby and Maxine who turned out to be a “Max” and then we had 9 baby bunnies as well. Quite a few cats, dogs and at last count? 15 rats. They only live 2-3 years so we’ve had quite a few groups.
My children are now older. 2 have moved out on their own and my youngest is in her last year of high school so she will be gone soon as well. We’ve had a rule over the past 5 years that the pets can not have lifespans longer than the children will be at home because we didn’t want to be left with 40 pets when they were all gone.
So now we have one rat that is my youngest daughters pet and one dog who is the love of my life. I could backtrack here and say that I love my family more… and I suppose I do but lets face facts… my sweet beagle is my true love. Don’t tell my kids okay?
She is not a PTSD service dog yet since we first got her, she’s been quite aware of my stress and knows when I am triggered. She’s more aware than my own husband of when I am dissociated. She can sense the shift in energy. She wakes me up from nightmares risking her own safety as I lash out in my sleep. She’s my sweet girl and without her? I’d be lost. Some say we rescued her but that is only partially true. It is she who has helped to rescue me.
BabesHere is my “Beanie Baby”. A lemon beagle (no black) at 9 years old. This is her bear and she’s happily up on my nice warm bed. Spoiled rotten and that isn’t going to change! πŸ™‚

I hear over and over from my friends with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and dissociative disorders that their pets are a real lifeline for them. They have cats, dogs, snakes, rats, chinchillas and almost anything else you can imagine that can be safely kept in a home. They all say the same things…

  • I can talk to my animal when the words just can’t be said to anyone else.
  • My pet just gets me.
  • My pet doesn’t care if I am happy or sad, she just loves me.
  • My dog/cat has saved my life more than once. If not for that animal, I’d have no reason to stay alive.

For some very lucky people, they have service dogs trained just for them. The words are beautiful and almost always the same from one person to another.
“This dog changed my life. I could never do this before I got him.”

Now we’ve made a hard yet joyous decision that it is time to add another rescue dog to our family. Our sweet girl Molly passed away over a year ago after a blessed 14 years with us. It has taken this long to feel that room in our hearts open up again. Now we are ready and we know that Molly would have approved. We are going “all in” this time and getting a very large dog which something we’ve always wanted. Go big or go home??? Really large dogs are also harder to place from shelters as most people prefer or only have the lifestyle for the smaller dogs. We have a large home and a really big yard. Perfect for a giant oaf.
Here is our newest family member Piper at almost 6 weeks old. 12 pounds already and a lovely girl. πŸ™‚
Piper3

I’d love to see some of your pets and hear about what they mean to you if you are willing to share. ❀

8 responses to “Animals

  1. My life is dogs lol. I work with them and have two of my own. I couldn’t have better best friends.

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  2. Great post, Heather, and I agree with everything you say about pets. I wrote about the same subject quite a while back: http://ocdtalk.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/ocd-and-pets/
    And a big welcome to your newest family member…..she is beautiful!

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  3. In my humble opinion a life without animals simply wouldn’t be worth living! I grew up on a rather remote farm and had many, many pets; dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, a budgerigar, ponies, sheep, chickens and a psychotic goose called Charlie! Nowadays it’s just cats, and to me a home isn’t a home without an animal in it. Unable to have “real” children, being able to love and nurture my “fur-babies” has probably saved my sanity. Great blog Heather, and a big “welcome” to your new “fur-baby” Piper!xxx

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