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Pets and their therapeutic properties

My husband and I got a dog a little over a week ago. We are already owners of two cats who choose on a daily basis, it seems, whether or not they want to be lap kitties. Their affection comes and goes, ebbs and flows like a river. This dog, though, he is thoroughly faithful, and if I feel like laying in bed all day with back spasms, he lays next to me.

I've never been a dog person. They smelled and needed constant walking and I couldn't be bothered to scrape together an extra ten minutes in my day which is filled with toddlers and school age problems like packing lunches, folding clothes, managing to have a clean work suit for my corporate job and just managing all the ongoings of a *very* busy household.

But this little dog is just a god send. He's smart and sweet and so far, has only toyed with the idea of chasing the aforementioned cats. He cuddles right up to me and seems to know when I'm not feeling well.

He's not a big dog. My back cannot handle a large animal. But he fits on my lap and makes me smile. I've already taught him to sit. I'm happy with this little mongrel. ;)
2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    edited 05/26/2015 - 2:17 PM
    I am a dog person. Love them. They always display an unconditional love.
    They are smart and can sense so much. Our last dog died about 4 years ago. She was my friend. When I was doing ok she would just go about her business. But when I had a flare up or something she stayed byy side all day long. If I got up , she would get up

    Animal are very smart. Many are used in helping patients recover
    I am happy that you have that wonderful dog in your life
    Sarah enjoy her every dsy
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    Have fun with your new dog! They are such loyal pets. I have a 14 year old golden retriever. She had knee surgery about a year ago. Now she has arthritis in her hips. She used to be my walking partner after my surgeries. Now, she can only make it a couple houses away, and she wants to turn back.
  • I'm glad the puppy is working out for you! They can be a handful. We have a 9 yr old Lab and a 3 yr old Lab/Pit bull mix. The 9 yr old blew out her MCL a little over a month ago where she had to get surgery to repair it. Nothing like a pet patient!

    They really do become family members. The best part, they don't talk back like teenagers ;)

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • He's five months old so most of the work with kennel training is hopefully behind us, but yes, they are a handful. The hardest part for me is going to be getting my butt out of bed earlier to walk him before work. I have been used to sleeping until the buzzer.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 916
    edited 05/28/2015 - 9:15 AM
    My morning starts with getting the dogs out; one to the backyard the other to the front. Then getting them fed and the older one medicated. At least with dogs, they are happy to see me first thing in the morning!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I have an older Corgi, Sallie and a rescue "longhairpeekpoowhatever" mix, Buddy. Got Buddy when my Dixie, a "longhairgermanschitzoodle" finally died of old age. Sallie is my hub's love but Buddy is my constant side kick. When I was going through my heart scare and would have panicky dreams at night, if I put Buddy in bed I could stroke his back and my blood pressure would decrease remarkably.

    Dogs listen without complaining about our complaints, love us when we wonder why anyone would love us because we are in tears with pain, encourage us with wags and dog kisses just when we need it, do silly things like find paper in trash cans to shred and laugh (yes my Corgi can laugh) when we find the "treasure" they left, keep us from thinking too much about ourselves because they make us think of them, require little else besides food and maybe a "greenie" and occasional clean up, praise us with their eyes and seem to know when we are really sick or hurting without words and are unconditionally loving. I can't imagine my life without a dog. Sallie and Buddy can't imagine their life without me or my hub, Dale.

    As my world gets more and more defined by what I "can't" do, loving my dogs loving me reminds me what I can do. And it is with GREAT relief that this post is about such a sweet, wonderful topic as "dogs" instead of pain or meds or surgery or anything unhappy. Dogs are more than therapy. They help fill my heart in a special way.
  • Growing up my parents bred & trained German Shepherd Dogs. I was always surrounded by dogs. Love them they're great.

    Usually in very understanding when I read these forums but occasionally I find myself a little offended & just have to speak out!! A couple of summers ago I adopted 2 little kittens. Runts of the litter that no-one wanted. They are the greatest pets I've ever known!! On a bad day they are Velcro kitties. They're warm & fluffy & loving & loyal. They could give any dog & run for their money!! Hahaha ;-)

    Whatever the pet they have a way of warming our hearts & souls. If you think you can cope with caring for a pet please adopt! There are so many dogs & cats out there with endless love & snugs to give. They desperately need a forever person to love. It could be just what the doctor ordered. :-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I did not know if I was capable of fostering a dog but spoke with the organization and explained my health issues. I was given easy dogs from there forward. Matter of fact I now own my first foster. I along with you only will foster small dogs but the unconditional love you love is so rewarding. They can bring so much joy and comfort
  • That's great Susan! I didn't know about fostering until my friend started fostering for a lady who rescues cats. Kittens/puppies cats/dogs that have been around people, families & other pets are far more likely to get adopted than those that spend their time in a cage waiting for adoption. Anyone who's not sure they're ready for the permanent commitment or has the space & time to care for animals have so many options to help....help the animals & themselves!!
    I always say that distraction is the greatest pain management tool. I've found that adopting pets has make a huge difference in my life. I have a less time to focus on my pain & feel sorry for myself. Sometimes not working & all the chronic pain 'stuff' makes me feel as if I'm not contributing enough. It's also very isolating.....Can you tell that pet fostering/adoption is a bit of a soapbox subject for me? Just do it!! HaHaHa ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • pcase0620ppcase0620 Posts: 12
    edited 05/30/2015 - 10:19 PM
    Im so happy you have him to help emotionally support you. People come with expectations and judgements, dogs just pure unconditional love. My Mastiff passed away this last year but he stuck by me through a couple back surgeries including a fusion L5-S1 and he never complained once. Always right next to my bed ready to offer kisses when needed.
    Thank goodness I got a little Shih-Tzu 2yrs ago cause she is the only thing that got me through his passing and she is the only comfort I can count on (and you guys of course) right now during this time of spine hell.
    Id like to tell you whats wrong now but ill have to update that part when I know. Neck/Mid/Low spine pain. And all the stuff that goes along with it. :)

    Give your puppy lots of love & praise for being there for you. So sweet ☺
  • I have two Poms and they are the ones getting me through my pain and I know they will help me get through my recovery. Dogs just know when you are sore or sad or hurting. My little guy never leaves my side. He knows when I am super sore and he just stays on my lap and gives me little licks. Sarah you are blessed to have a little one that will help you through your journey.
  • William GarzaWilliam Garza TexasPosts: 2,365
    edited 05/31/2015 - 4:15 AM
    I lost my last dog decades ago,a lil German Shepard mix around a foot tall
    She was a good dog.but ever since she was taken from me,well.
    Which brings me to cats..,
    How may i count the ways a kitty makes the pain stand off forba while.
    Laid out..a cat with a rusty purr on my chest ,looking at me
    Or stropping the tail round and round my legs
    Lap kittehs...warm furry crampy leg warmers

    But alas they are gone too soon
    But i have a sighn round my neck..written in kittin...
    It says that i can coax a purr and a head rub out of the most aloof of kittys..
    I am friend to all cats
    Dogs are alright..i guess ;)
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • William GarzaWilliam Garza TexasPosts: 2,365
    edited 05/31/2015 - 7:01 PM
    There is no greater giggle..
    Than having your doggie play with you,and nuzzle the back of your neck when you play i see you on the ground!

    a german shepard raised me..well sorta
    She followed her two legged pup wherever he went,and kept him oit of trouble.

    8 love too hard for,my own good,a pet is an awsome distraction, and sitting with a dogs head in my lap as i fight my body is always a good thiing...
    Someday maybe...
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Rachel,
    Yes, I am very happy to have my little doggie. We have named him Bear. He is seven pounds and will max out at 10, so he is named with a bit of irony. He's so calm with my children too and he has brought us closer as a family.

    Ranch, I had to laugh at your cactus comment. I'm sorry you lost your dog, but cats are also a close second and can love you amazingly well.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • I have a tri-color corgi named Wally. We have raised him from a puppy and he's now 5 years old. He's a little pistol and is so danged cute! We love him to pieces.

    Before we got Wally, we had an English Setter (my avatar) named Merc and a bluetick coonhound named Maggie. We adopted both of them when they were five years old.

    I can tell you from experience that having adopted dogs is much different from having a dog you've raised from puppydom.

    Merc and Maggie constantly wanted to cuddle, knew when I was hurting, slept with us in bed and were the greatest dogs I'd ever known. I believe that they were grateful every day that we would come home to them and love them. They knew what it was like to be neglected, hungry and hurt, and knew that they didn't have to worry about that any more.

    Wally, on the other hand, is so much different - he acts entitled. The thing is, he has never known what it's like to do without, to hurt or to be around people that don't show love. Please understand that I love Wally with all of my heart, it's just that he's different.

    In the future, we will always adopt dogs. I'm glad we raised one from a puppy (and glad he survived it), but we'll never do it again.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    edited 06/19/2015 - 2:15 AM
    My other dog I bought from a pet store ( this being before I found out were puppy mill dogs ) Know just what you are saying. A puppy is alot of work and this one gave me a run for my money. He was so bad that at times I wanted to give him away but I knew who ever took him would either dump him or take him to the shelter. Yes he was that bad. We were kicked out of dog training and told he needed one on one. We tried one on one that didnt work , I gave up and thought ok we are in this together. It took 2 years before he had acceptable behavior. No more puppies for me!
  • Hi Susan.

    After raising Wally, I tell people that that's why God made puppies so cute - because you wouldn't kill them. Wally has turned out really well and he may have been such a pistol because he's so smart.

    I'm glad you didn't give up on your puppy. All pups, big and small, need love and a good home.
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