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Let's Discuss...our pets
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For some, just the sight of an adorable animal can brighten their day and lift their spirits. For others, interacting with a pet can offer comfort, relaxation, and rejuvenation. If you are going through a cancer experience, or supporting a loved one who is, you may find that you are comforted by a pet.

Do you have a story to share about your own pet, or maybe a friend's pet who became more attentive to you? Or maybe you found comfort in watching a funny animal video as you sat through treatments. Let's discuss the comfort a pet can bring during difficult times.

40 Replies

My dog is helping me slow down, he's always happy with a nap and is now used to me taking a break and gladly joins. He's also ready for a gentle walk anytime.

My oncologist advised me to not ride horses during chemo, which was wise as I was weak and dizzy, so I went to the stables and brushed them or took the little ponies for a walk when I could manage it. Now I'm back to riding and it centers me to be in the present. Taking it easy of course, but the therapeutic effect is fully there.

Animals are awesome 😍

Laia
35 Posts

Let’s talk about Pets

I have a Pet Therapy dog who, until a year and half , was visiting the university, college and high schools during exam times. She was able to bring a calmness to the students.
Now she is bringing that calmness to me. We are still not walking the 5k distance but she follows me around my house and garden.
She senses my anxiety on chemo days. And works on calming me down when I return.
We are looking forward to our outside visits when the students are vaccinated.

Lauren55
434 Posts
We got a goldendoodle shortly after I started my chemo. She has been a joy. She keeps me busy and loves to snuggle. I also had a very old cat that loved to sit with me when I was not very active.
Brighty
7363 Posts

@Lacey_Moderator great topic! My most favourite thing in the world is Vinnie, talking about Vinnie, and everything Vinnie. As everyone here knows, I have a beautiful tabby cat named……………..guess what? VINNIE! I adopted him at age 6, when my fiance Danny was losing his battle. I was extremely depressed and my brother thought a cat would be just what I needed to find purpose and meaning again. He was at Pet Smart one day and saw a bunch of kittens being adopted during adoption weekend. There was one older cat there named Vinnie. He felt an older cat was what I needed because I didn't have the head to train a kitten at that point. He told me to get over to Pet Smart before someone adopted him. But he put Vinnie on “hold” for me until I got there. I got to meet Vinnie in a little room to see if I bonded with him etc. I fell so in love with this cat and immediately took him home. That night, he jumped into bed with me and purred, and has been by my side every night since Dan passed, purring and comforting me. Don't get me wrong, he is a handful too, but that's what I love about him. his unique personality, his antics, the way he takes over my place and rules the roost. The way he tries to get food by meowing at knocking things off the shelf, his pitter pattering around, his little pawprints all over ………..his sand from the littler box all over my apartment, him drinking from the bathtub, him sitting on the balcony and refusing to come inside until 2 a.m. (whose the boss here???) Him busting into other's apartments when their doors are open. Every single thing about this cat fills my heart with so much love and joy. When I thought I was going to lose him in April, it nearly broke me. He has a huge piece of my heart. I couldn't love him any more ……………….And I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you Vinnie!

Cupcakes
57 Posts
Pets really are amazing. The biggest comfort for me personally on my journey. Funny you ask about them being more attentive to us Lacey_Moderator‍ because since my diagnosis my best friends dog and my brothers dog never leave my side. They are my shadows always. Im not sure if they can sense the cancer or that I need their love but either way pets are so intuitive and loving. And hahaha I will never hear the name Vinnie now and not think of you Brighty! (I tried to @ you but it didn’t work) I think a cat purring at night would be soooo relaxing to fall asleep to!

@Cupcakes I have a white noise app that I use when I have trouble sleeping and one of the sounds is a cat purr . Even better with the real thing though

Lianne

Cupcakes
57 Posts
Nooo way Lianne_Moderator‍ such a thing exists !?!? Checking the App Store now 😂
Roy L.
334 Posts

@Lacey_Moderator I think the picture below pretty much sums up my relationship with my pup Harley.

She has been a wonderful companion for me and has not left my side. It's a two way street with us as she has epilepsy and when she has seizures I comfort her.

Thank you for asking. Cheers.

Roy

#peacelovecure

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Lala74
32 Posts
A month after my diagnosis i suddenly wanted a puppy. We already had an older dog who the family adored but I just needed more love in my life. Enter Lexi, a Springer Beagle mix. She is definitely a handful but I can't help but light up when I see her. She's a dog who doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. Even when she's very naughty, which is very often, I can't get mad. She's just so cute. People ask me if she's a Covid pup and I answer no she's a cancer pup
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Steven (Nudge) and Sadie. I surprised him with her and they immediately bonded. He’s really missing her this week while he’s in hospital ❤️
robegree71
68 Posts

Great subject and I have 2 EnglishBulldogs and a cat that is now 13 years old. Daffodil !

robegree71
68 Posts

robegree71:

Great subject and I have 2 EnglishBulldogs and a cat that is now 13 years old. Daffodil ! Pushed the wrong button! Anyway I started doing meditation as part of my regimen to battle my cancer. It helps but the best is my cat who will stretch out full length on me and sleep. Can be at 2 am and I will feel her jump on the bed and lay on me . Totally calming and relaxing and some times I will call her to come up so I can drift off to sleep.

My dogs sense when I am stressed and will snuggle up against me. It amazes me how they know when to do that and again very stress relieving.

I will miss them.

Marsh
110 Posts

I was diagnosed with IDC in Feb. of 2019 when our dog, a Cockapoo named Jaggs was 17½ years old. He had slowed down quite a bit and his hearing was not good, but he was the best! Simply the best dog ever! In April we lost him. I was shattered! And then I found out I was soon to start chemo in June. Nothing seemed to be right then. But one morning I was looking at available puppies for adoption and I found a litter of Cockapoos only an hour away. The next day my husband and I brought home a Cockapoo pup we named Sully. The most incredible thing was that this new lovable bundle of fur was born the day that our beloved Jaggs passed. There aren't enough words to express what this pup did for me. He gave me purpose, energy and put a smile on my face every minute of every day. Whenever those dark thoughts and fears crept into my mind, all I had do was look at that little guy and they just went away. I had worried in the beginning that maybe it wasn't the best time to adopt a dog, but I was so wrong. There could not have been a better time. He is the best dog ever! Below Jaggs and then Sully and I.

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law1
567 Posts

Oh My Gawsh…..@Lala74-----your pup Lexi is a cutie pie.

My wacky sassy cat, Gem, is a trouble maker too. She was by my side when I was so drugged up in blistery tongue pain I could hardly speak to her. She actually massaged my shoulders and neck---where the pain was the worst! Mind-reader.

She would race up and down the hall…. and I found that so entertaining….While I was in bed, she made me smile even tho' that hurt my mouth, too. Gem has the softest fur a cat can have so touching her tail was all I could do without her hissing at me!! She only likes tail strokes and 3 brushes of her back fur….

tenplay
11 Posts

We have a large aquarium tank with 5 fish - one large combo black koi-goldfish named Bear, 3 regular goldfish named Sun (gold color), Kakki (persimmon orange) and Bo (multi-color) and one pleco (Jenny). They are always active and glad to see us. 😍 I feed them pellets and oatmeal every morning. And we change their water once a week. No vet bills and no rainy day walks. They are supposed to live around 20 years. Hope I can last as long.

Ten_minutes
86 Posts

Lets talk about pets!

6 weeks after my double mastectomy surgery my family decided I needed some company while everyone was at work or at school. Molly has given me hope, comfort and lots of laughs. We all love her so much.

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Lauren55
434 Posts
How do you attach a photo into the dialogue box?
Max2014
5 Posts

I have 2 small dogs. A crossed chihuahua with a quarter boston terrier mix and a full boston terrier. They're more my kids dogs but keep me company when the kids are out and busy. They're truly intuitive! They can comfort you with those adorable expressive eyes, kisses and snuggles. As mentioned they are always happy to see you, what can beat that! They accept you unconditionally which lifts ones spirit at the most needed times 😊 my doctor asked me how I've been coping and my answer was our 2 happy dogs bring sunshine to our family everyday ❤

Kate49
1 Posts
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My post chemo buddy. Always by my side since the start of this journey. He isn’t typically a snuggly cat but throughout my illness, surgeries and chemo days he just seems to know when I need him.
SarahDawn
42 Posts

We have a beautiful cat named Molly and a Weimardoodle named Darby. Molly loves to snuggle and Darby wants to play, chase squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits all day long. Thankfully they are too fast for her.

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Happy 3rd Birthday Darby!
SarahDawn
42 Posts
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Miss Molly

@Lauren55

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Click the circled symbol above to upload a photo :)

Runner Girl
2044 Posts

My kitties are brother and sister. They will be 14 years old on September 1st. Both are having their own health issues related to aging. My girl, Cali, is my heart kitty. We have an incredible connection. She stuck by my side from lumpectomy thru chemo and radiation, purring to soothe and heal me. Diego, my stripey man, isn't quite as loving, has his own anxiety issues and is a general pain in the butt, however he serves as my exercise coach, when I break out the yoga mat he's on it and ready to go.

Diego


Cali

Runner Girl

Mammabear
188 Posts

Feline and canine therapy is amazing. When I was re-diagnosed and it was clear I was going to be home for a while we rescued Jax. I wanted a 60ish lb female older dog and for some reason came home with a 2 year old 100 lb shepherd in need of a home. He is a ton of work. Super smart and super stubborn. He forces me to get out and walk - even if it is slow and short. And when I need a rest - he is game for snuggles.

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100 lb lap dog
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post chemo snuggles
Trillium
1485 Posts
I don’t have house pets but really enjoy the birds including hummingbirds in my garden!🕊🦩🦜🐓🦃🦢🦤🕸🐞🐌
Beespecial
225 Posts

Awesome subject. Did you all know that I'm the Executive Director at Toronto Cat Rescue? We save over 2,500 cats each year, from shelters in Quebec and Ontario. We have over 1,000 volunteers who make it all happen. Throughout COVID we stayed open because we're not a shelter but rather a virtual network of over 500 foster homes. Toronto Cat Rescue has saved me in so many ways. I started in the role after my treatment in 2017. It has given me purpose and a very interesting job which keeps me focused on something other than my cancer. There are so many stories of people being helped with their isolation during covid and beyond. Caring for pets and having a loving being at home helps in the best of times, and in the worst of times. I'm grateful for my two foster fail kitties, Edna and Katie. They lie with me when I don't feel well. Since my recurrence they are with me most of the time. I love them :)

law1
567 Posts
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Well---- here's Gem (law1's cat) I forgot to mention she thinks she is engaged to Vinnie, and hopes that Diego will be her Best Cat…they are 2 wankers in a pod!!
Nicky01
253 Posts

@Lacey_Moderator I no longer have a pet but one of the neighbour has a dog Jesse who somehow got very attach to me and she drops in from time to time to play ball and she simply loves going for a swim in our pond, she has a way of making a day much brighter when she’s around, she was a great help for my moral last year. If it was not for the travelling we are planning to do I would get another dog….for now we are still waiting.

Nicky

Nan1
59 Posts

I went to stay with my daughter after my Cancer Surgery. She has 2 dogs, one who I have quite a bond with. His name is Mocha. It was like he knew that there was something going on when I went to my daughter's house after my surgery. If I sat on the couch, he was right there. He slept with me and never once did he lie down on my chest like he used to. My grandson could not even come near me because the dog was just right there and would bark at him. It was rather amazing really and it gave me comfort that this family pet was so loyal to me during such a rough time in my life. Mocha and I shared lots of snuggles during that week. I was actually really sad when itvwas time to go home.

PeggyNL
17 Posts

thank you for doing that! I have 3 rescue kitties myself, and when I was diagnosed with mets, my coworkers collected a donation for a charity of my choice and I chose my favourite kitty rescue. On the sadder side of this, I had always planned to get a Maine c*** kitten when I retired, but I was diagnosed with mets at around the same time as retirement, so not sure what to do now. If you know what I mean. Hugs anyway for saving all those and for being on this ILC mets journey same as me. 💘

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