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Public Group active 4 years, 9 months ago ago

A group for survivors. Tell your stories and discuss your plans.

Pets and our journey (7 posts)

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 6 years ago:

    “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.”

    The healing relationship between a pet and his two footed friend cannot be overemphasized. I’ve seen patients languishing in the hospital until their pets are brought in to see them, and WOW instant recovery. So for allergic non petowners like me, please explain how pets can help in getting through the rough times.

  • Profile picture of Sean Marshall Sean Marshall said 6 years ago:

    Cancer can be a lonely experience as we all know so well with so much going through your head. You worry about the future, your family and where will it all end, will I ever actually get better?. Then however a certain canine friend walked into my life that has helped me in my own journey. Just after New Year in 2011, my daughter came home and said there was a stray dog outside the house. We walked outside and had a look at him and he was nearly dead. We decided to bring him into our shed and we gave him some food and water . He ate constantly for a week and while we did put up missing dog posters around the area it was obvious he was after being dumped by someone. I decided to name the dog ‘Bandit’ after a favourite motorbike of mine. A friend of mine took notice of our new arrival and thought he was the same dog who had been recently found down the drain and looked to be on his last few days he was so bad. Bandit went from strength to strength and thankfully I went from being lonely on the beach to have someone alongside me running up and down the beach and also swimming in the water with me!. There would be days that I would be at home not feeling so good and he would almost sense it and he would coax me into going out for a walk as if to say “come on Sean don’t be lounging around the house feeling sorry for yourself go out there and get a bit of fresh air!” So rather than me hanging around the house and spending my day watching TV or the Internet all I would want to do would be out walking with Bandit. We both got better as a result and I’ve learned of a certain healing quality about animals that I find it hard to explain,Bandit just senses when I’m in bad form or feeling down when no other person can.
    When I was in hospital recently for a long spell the girls used to send me photos of little things that Bandit was doing around the house,like getting my jacket and lying on it and ,it somehow gave me the strength to get out of the hospital way sooner than I thought. ,I just love my mut!!


  • Profile picture of val val said 6 years ago:

    Healing, both physically and mentally, especially with a cancer diagnosis, is no easy thing to do. I think some people can handle it better than others. In my case, it seemed like such a dark time in my life, except for family and friends who supported and cared for me. And then there’s “Bella”. Bella is our 7 yr. old English Springer Spaniel. Absolutely gorgeous and absolutely the best friend anyone could have, a great girlfriend. That’s what I call her – my girlfriend. She spent every day either at my side, laying at my feet, or just sitting next to me and being there. An animal is an extraordinary treasure. They somehow sense your feelings and thoughts. Bella seemed to know that I was home for some other reason than having the day off. From the moment I got up in the morning to the time when I went to bed, she was my ally. When I would walk in the house after chemo, she would welcome me with a wagging tail, a paw to be held, kisses, and such excitement that it makes you forget bad things, and makes you appreciate such greetings so unconditionally. She just made the day brighter. She made me think of happy things, she made me smile, and listened and was there throughout, in good times and in bad, stretching out her paw to me in a gesture of love and hope that just makes your heart jump. Anyone who has a pet will totally agree with me. I have been raised with dogs all my life. I believe I will always have a dog in my house, for without one, the house seems so still, so quiet, so empty. They are a therapy in and of themselves. Bella and I have come a long way, through happy times and sad. We’ve laid down together, walked together, sat together, talked together and have touched one another’s lives so much. Now Bella has a new job – you see my son is battling through cancer now and he spends a lot of time at my house since my husband is retired, and while his wife works. So now Bella sits at his feet, hands him her paw, and is just there with him laying at his feet. She helped me and is now helping him. What a great dog, so smart, so endearing, so loving, without limits. She’s my best girlfriend!

  • Profile picture of Lyn Smith Lyn Smith said 6 years ago:

    I have to be totally honest here and say that I have never really been an “animal” person, even though as a child we always had dogs, birds, a turtle, fish etc in our home. My role with cancer families has however shown me some amazing bonds that exist between humans and their animal companions. I had a special friend, a young man who was fighting a brain tumour. He wanted a dog which his parents were happy to get for him. There was an instant attraction that words cannot describe and it was almost as if this beautiful dog knew exactly that his purpose was to bring comfort to this young man in his last months. After the loss of this beautiful boy, the dog was inconsolable, would not eat, laid around in the same area where the young man had spent a lot of time, and finally one night, he just closed his eyes and went to join to his friend.
    I am sure we have all read stories about how animals have detected something wrong with their owners health before any other confirmation.
    Some time ago there was a story about a hospice that had a resident cat. The cat would sometimes lie outside the room of a resident. Staff then noticed that within a few days that resident had passed away.
    I think it is remarkable that animals can possess such a sense, and instincts, that humans will never understand.
    Take care everyone

  • Profile picture of rick rick said 5 years, 12 months ago:

    I’m afraid I’m with Lynn on this one. I’ve seen the power of the bond between man an beast, but for me, pets either stick their nose where it doesn’t belong or make me sneeze.
    BUt you cannot argue with success. Our hospital has a group of therapy dogs that does amazing work for folks that can’t bring their own pets in. But I’m convinced that nothing brings life back to someone stuck in the hospital like their pet! And forget about the person who brought the pet in, they are merely the transporter. It’s all about the dot or cat. Somehow the misery evaporate and it is the first topic of conversation for the next few days. I’d encourage anybody who is a pet lover, who is stuck in the hospital for a while (and it is safe to do so and the hospital allows), bring in your pet. It brightens everyone’s day. ( except of course me with the sniffing and the sneezing- but I’ll wave.)

  • Profile picture of ADELE FAGAN ADELE FAGAN said 5 years, 7 months ago:

    Hearing the word “cancer” brings fear, but our pets help us get past some of the challenges. Pets just want to be with their owners and they are highly sensitized to our feelings. Sometimes a pet can reduce the stress since they are not concerned by how we look, if we lost your hair, if we lost weight, they just want to be with us. The way a pet bonds with its owner can be indescribable. They make us smile, laugh, and forget about our challenges of the day.

    There have be many scientific studies that pet owners live longer. There are also many studies that show how animals provide people therapy. Therapy is often used with dogs and horses but extends to many other pets. Pets can help us with certain medical conditions for example, dogs can be trained to alert their owners to an upcoming seizure.

    So, in summary, people love their pets and they help us in so many ways. Our pets help us through the tough times and contribute to helping us heal.

  • Profile picture of lisa m lisa m said 5 years, 4 months ago:

    Love my pets. When i was one month done w/ chemo, i was feeling better but not ready get a job. I was sitting in my car after getiing some groceries thinking about what to do w/myself when my cell rang. It was the animal shelter calling about my volunteer app. that i had filled out sometime earlier. I was so surprised and happy.Gotta say, besides my family (including my pets) volunteering really helped me recover faster. I got exercise that i would have been to lazy to do on my own and the shelter dogs really enjoy walks and baths. Animal shelters are a great path to healing for you and the animals!