September 20


Dog Blog

By Sue Ingebretson

September 20, 2010

birds, cats, dogs, sharing

If you know me at all, you know about my dog. She does actually have a name (Foxy) although we most often call her Pup. She is a writer’s best companion, at least this writer’s best companion.

As I write this post, she’s curled up under my desk patiently waiting for me to shut down the laptop and go to bed. Every once in a while, I hear a sigh reminding me she’s still waiting.

When I talk about Pup on Facebook or Twitter, I can expect many responses. Everyone chimes in to ask about her latest antics or to tell tales of their own pet’s idiosyncrasies. So why am I discussing pets when this blog is supposed to be about health and healing?

Our pets can (and do!) help us heal.

Sharing stories of our pets is great for several reasons. First, we’re sharing fun and friendly stories – no angst, drama, or woe. Second, we’re getting to know each other. How we interact with our pets says a lot about us. Lastly, we’re sharing parts of our lives that do not include the daily struggles of living with chronic illness. Isn’t it nice to talk about something else now and then?

On social media platforms, I mention Pup almost every day. She helps me write, or gets me outside to walk. She paws my laptop telling me to get up and move. She uses very unsubtle cues telling me it’s mealtime. She runs with me into my exercise room eager for adventure, wagging her tail until I climb on my elliptical machine. Then she throws all 9.5 pounds of herself onto the floor as if she’s saying, “Not this again … how boring!”

If you haven’t read my book, FibroWHYalgia yet, then you don’t know that she’s in there, too ( I tell several stories of her adventures. What you won’t find in my book is her story of healing — I’ll leave that for another day. As important as she is, I did make sure that she graces the back cover (you can see that photo here from my Amazon author page:

Do you have pets that have pulled you through the tough times? Dogs, cats, birds, fishes who share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you? I’d love to hear about them. Sharing about our pets, after all, is a bonding experience – and a healthy one at that.

Right now, another soft sigh has drifted out from the darkness near my feet. She’s reminding me to wrap-up this post, so I’d better listen. I’m calling it a day — Pup’s orders.

  1. I have a cat, Squeaky, now but had a dog growing up. What I love about them is that they love to hang around, providing me with company. It is hard to ever feel completely alone when you have a pet! They reassure you the’re happy and know they are loved by playing, purring/wagging their tail, smiling, running around, and enjoying all the petting they receive. They’re always there to keep you warm while enjoying some cuddling. Pets also remind you that it is important to exercise/play, sleep, groom ourselves, drink water and eat! We all know science has shown that pets reduce stress and I’m sure every pet owner agrees – I know I do!

    1. Thanks for bringing up such great thoughts and ideas about our beloved pets! You’re so right about them making sure we never have to feel alone. That’s a key factor when dealing with isolating health issues as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, RA, Lupus, MS, Lyme conditions, etc. Give Squeaky a hug for me. I had cats growing up, and now have dogs!

  2. The furkid I had (Misty, a Lhassa Apso) never left my side during the darkest days of my journey with Lupus . Sadly she has gone on to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

    Now have two chihuahuas Petey and Penny and a kitty, Pounder. I could not imagine my life without furkids.

  3. I love this post. In 1996 my husband was scheduled for his first open heart quadruple bypass surgery. On that very day, our 16 year old poodle Ginger refused to take her meds for congestive heart failure. It was a most disturbing time. Since it would be just 72 hours for my husband’s surgery, I tried all I could but Ginger refused all tries and in 48 hours got worst. I took her to the vet who said she was getting worst. It was one of the most heart wrenching decisions I hope I ever have to make. I think she knew something, like there was going to be much to bear coming up. I made the decision to say good-bye with her in my arms. (Dang, I’m welling up with tears now.) I love that dog to this day. She was a beautiful friend. Today we are blessed with Chanel, now 13. Another delight. Animals of all sorts are healers and I am glad that I love them as I do.

    1. Patricia — thanks for such a lovely comment. All of us who have shared our homes with these beloved pets can relate. I had an amazing lab in my past that I still think of to this day. Even at her sickest moments, when she could barely lift her head, she wanted to protect me from a stranger who knocked at the door. She was a loving companion to the very end. I’m so glad you share your home with Chanel — or she shares her home with you!

  4. Our family had dogs while growing up; I could sit and talk with them about anything. They could be trusted to keep my secrets to themselves. My husband and I have had 3 dogs since we have been married. I would take “Buck” for walks and sometimes he would turn around and look at me; I think he had a smile on his face as if to say he enjoyed walking too. Our dog “Sparky” would bark whenever he saw me come out of the house; because he knew we were going for a walk or he was going to get a bone!

  5. Sue,

    My dog, Lilly, is my best companion. She is always by my side. She is often not given near as much attention as she deserves since this mommy is taking care of little ones and working, etc. But she is indeed a most special presence in my life. She lays by me… she sticks by me…she loves me. At night, or when I’m feeling unwell, she curls up to me and will even get nose to nose with me, as if to say, “I’m here, it’s going to be okay.”

    As I am beginning to embark on a more active approach to life, Lilly will be by my side for that, too. She will get a lot more walking and have more adventures. It’s going to be great, for the both of us!

    I’m happy reading this post, and I love it when you mention Pup in your updates. Foxy is an appropriate name for her, too. =)

    Amy Kiel

    1. Amy — I love hearing about others’ pets as much as I love talking about mine. They add such a healthy, lovely layer to our lives. I’m so glad Lilly has you!

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