Monday, May 3, 2010

Pet Therapy

My CFS/ME specialist has a dog in his office (have I mentioned how absolutely cool he is?) - her job is to greet all his patients and hang out with them in the waiting area until appointment time. Studies show that pets lower blood pressure, reduce stress and can even help one deal with pain a bit better.

I am a strong believer in this. I've always been an animal lover and even before my CFS diagnosis - had a small zoo at home. We have 2 dogs, 4 cats, and 3 fish tanks.

The puppy is wonderful for snuggling when you don't feel well (although she's a bed hog - LOl). My oldest dog is great at reminding you that limitations and disabilities can be a way of life but the grass still smells the same (he's been handicapped since 18 months old - is now close to 8 yrs old). My cats remind me that it's ok to just lay around and watch nature from the inside out and are great snugglers as well. The fish are far more relaxing than I thought they would be. I have one tank that I can see perfectly from the couch I normally claim when out of the bed at home.

On bad days, when you don't want to speak to others, answer their questions regarding how you are doing, or just simply have that NEED to just be alone - my animals are never in that category. They love me the same as always, they love my sick days because it gives them someone to lay around with, they are grateful for whatever little attention you can muster to give them.

People often ask me if the animals are too much for me now. First, I'm lucky to have 3 other adults at home that can do walks, help feed etc. Second, I can't imagine not having them around - especially now.

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