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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not quite sure if I have this in the right place so moderators please feel free to move this.

I have been thinking for years that I would love to have a dog and train it to be a pat (pets at therapy) dog. The only problem was I worked too many hours and didn't really have time. I have now been forced to reduce my hours due to this wonderful Lupus thing and have been thinking about it again.

What has got me thinking was (as I am a vet nurse) I was taking to a client who has a guide dog a real inspirational lady, she has also now been diagnosed with Lupus and said that the best thing is her dog as it motivates her to get out and about.

I was just wondering what other peoples experiences are / have been. I have my cats and as wonderful and cuddly as they are (well one of them is cuddly) I don't think they would appreciate a lead and collar (or harness).

I would be grateful of everyone's input / experience.

Claire
 

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Hi Claire:)

I made a slight change to your post title to reflect the subject matter of your post.

I dont have any personal experience but I would definitely say go for it. If its something you have wanted to do for a long time and you know have the possibility of doing it, then I wouldnt wait around:) Do you mean training a dog and giving it as a gift to someone?

If so then thats an incredible thing to do and you would be making someone extremely happy by your actions. Having a dog to look after sounds like a great motivator. I guess it all depends on your general health and well being at the moment but if things are relatively stable then I dont see why you shouldnt do something you have wanted to do for so long.

Best of luck in your decision!
Joan:rose:
 

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Hi Claire,

I absolutely think it is a great idea for any body, especially if your sick or deal with a chronic illness to own a dog. My dog Buzz weighs almost 100 lbs and he is really my best friend. He is my companion here at home and helps occupy my time now that I do not work. Animals do motivate us and make us get up and get it done.

I also have 3 birds that I share my home with. Birds are my passion and have been for years. 2 of my birds are African Grey parrots and let me tell you the joy they bring me on a daily basis.

African Greys are great talkers. My oldest Grey, Sedrick, really is the great entertainer and he curses better then all of us put together. On rainy days or days when it is so cold I cant bear to go outside.......my dog and my birds are like a ray of sunshine in my life.

I would NEVER be without a pet in my home. They have brought a smile to my face so many times when I really was down. I just love my animals!!!!!
 

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granny get a dog

granny i saw your post and just had to reply.I am 47 female and i have lupus fibromyalgia aps and anxiety,ect. I think therapy dogs and service dogs are wonderful. I rtained my first one nine years ago she is a german shepherd and is a retired assistance dog.her name is atrice>atreese.Atrice has been wonderful in helping me. She does balance work to help me walk and retrieves dropped items or go gets certain items.As i said she is retired and i have a new pup.Her name is Pascha and she is 7 months old.Shes comimg along fine.She is also a German shepherd.If you decide to get a dog to train I can help you with getting the equiptment you need such as harnesses ID cards and so much more.Even books to help you train for your needs.You can post me anytime private or otherwise. I would love to help you.Have a great day and God bless!GSD77>Laurie :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all for your advice

GSD77 thanks for your offer of help as a vet nurse I have access to a vet who is a behaviour specialist and a couple of trainers so should get plenty of help, although it is good to get help from those who have "been there" so if you have no objections I will PM when I finally get myself sorted.

Thanks Claire
 

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I think pets are brilliant, I have a always had a hamster since dx-(I am not phyiscally able to keep up with a dog)-they may only be small but having a little companion who is always there for you and needs you there for them makes such a difference, some days it's what gets me out of bed!!

Love Rachel

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Hello granny w!

Pets as therapy ... there is a lot of research on using pets for therapy in lots of different ways. I have not read this reasearch, sad to say, but remember (back in the days) a fellow student nurse doing her viva voce and extended project on using pets for therapy.

She was intersted in animals helping to reduce blood pressure, ease anxiety disorders and just helping people 'come out of themselves' in a therapeutic environment.

Now then, many years later, the staff working at a nursing home i briefly worked in used to tke turns at bringing their pets in to see the residenets as a cheap form of 'activity' day. Whilst it was a unit for young diabled people, there were all ages of residents and staff. It went down a bomb. Got people talking about their old pets, and their lives at the time they owned them, asking questions on how you might care for them, and lots of laughs at the animals antics.

The important thing was that they were able to hold and feel and smell the animals (some were blind).

One day a lass whose parents ran a farm brought in a lamb and let people feed it with its bottle. I nearly cried watching even the most bad-tempered residents (and staff) cooing and stroking the little thing. It was lovely to see. And a young blind girl was giggling so much to feel its wool on her face and feel its face (with gentle guidance).

Very tame small animals like rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs or kittens and puppies were great because they were quite controllable, but the manager used to bring her aged dog in too. He just sat there putting up with strokes, pats and prods.

You could get a whole small animal menagerie and go round homes and schools / colleges, I am sure. What would be nicer on a sunny day than to visit the local hospice for an outside activity of patients spending time with animals and socialising with a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the same time? If animal meal times were made a bit later than usual, people could give them their food too.

Perhaps a new career Granny w???
 

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Hi Claire,

It sounds like a great idea if you are going to continue on with your lighter work regime.

I don't really need an assistance dog at all but Glen would very much like to become one. He's one of those hyper intelligent border collies who needs "brain food".

The great thing is, that even at my worst last year, when I couldn't really walk - just hobble - I had to take the dog out and he got a short walk in the morning and then a longer one (where I can let him run free) every afternoon.

He is also a wonderful companion who is generally well trained and vey calm in the house. We do obedience and agility together (for fun not competition) and between classes it always gives us a little something to work on during our walks which stops any kind of lassitude setting in and keeps us both motivated.

Katharine
 

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granny weatherwax;526761 said:
Thanks all for your advice

GSD77 thanks for your offer of help as a vet nurse I have access to a vet who is a behaviour specialist and a couple of trainers so should get plenty of help, although it is good to get help from those who have "been there" so if you have no objections I will PM when I finally get myself sorted.

Thanks Claire
Granny, you may message me anytime for any questions or help getting asst. dog supplies. I'll help anyway i can. GSD77>Laurie :)
 

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I have a little chihihuahua named Jack and he is my baby (being i cant actually have one righ tnow) He is so sweet and smart he makes me so happy. He is increddibly spoiled though. I think pets do help you feel batter. They are always so forgiving and playful. If i'm unable to have children i'm going to fill my life with animals :)
 

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Dogs are great motivators to get out and about. Mine really does get me out taking my daily walks with her as I know she would be very disappointed if she didn't get that walk and she looks at me when it's time to go! For me, a little exercise in the form of a brisk walk is also part of doctor's orders so it helps to have that extra motivation to get the job done.

If you can train the dog to do extra helpful tasks for you for when you need the help then that's all the better.

My only caution is to carefully consider your ability to care for the dog during your worst flares, and if you have people to help you during those times to take care of the things that must be done (walks/exercise/picking up doo-doo!). If you're confident that you have the help you will need for those times, then I say go for it. It will be a great way to fill up your time, motivate you to exercise and get out and socialize/meet people too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your comments Maia

Very valid, but I feel rather lucky that my husband is very supportive and will help me out on the really bad days, and thy girls at work are pretty good to and as the majority have dogs themselves (being vets and vet nurses) would be happy to give me support too.

Claire
 
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