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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Man's Best Friend

A couple years ago when I was really trying to figure out how to handle my anxiety I looked into getting a therapy dog for anxiety.  Some sites made it sound like it was as easy as getting a doctors note and registering your dog on a website.   This would allow me to bring the dog into public places like a service dog in an effort to help with my social anxiety.  After doing more research I found out that there was a lot more involved.  I decided as much as I loved animals that this probably would not be the best avenue.

Well last year I fell in love with one of my mum's foster dogs.  He is by no means a therapy dog but has helped me tremendously.  Studies show that having a dog can be very beneficial for those that suffer with depression.  Some of the benefits listed on WebMD are uncomplicated love, responsibility, activity, companionship, routine, touch and social interaction.  We have lots of companionship here at my home.

As far back as I can remember we have always had many pets, one of the best parts of my childhood.  My dad traveled a lot for work so he had a hard time saying no to my mum and us kids who loved animals.  At any given time we had three to four dogs, a couple cats and other various critters.  Our pets have always been family and a huge part of my life.

We currently have a house full and some might shake their heads but its full of unconditional love.  First, there is my dog Cappy, aka Captain Wentworth.  He was brought into our home about a year ago from the rescue organization PNC Midwest Rescue.  My mum has been fostering with them for a couple of years now.  He was rescued from a shelter, where he was found as a runaway and would eventually be euthanized if not adopted. 

How could I not fall in love with those big eyes immediately. I was lucky that he also bonded with my dad, so I had an easy sell when I asked for permission to adopt him.  He is the biggest baby, I often have to carry him to bed because he is too lazy to get up.  When I am petting him if I stop he will hit you with his paw until you start again.  He loves going for walks as long as I carry him the majority of the way.  He would just prefer we drive around.

So the rest of our gang!  We first have Scarlet our only non-rescue and she is the poster dog for why you should adopt.  We love her but she is by far our most obnoxious dog.  My parent's got her while they were traveling in their semi truck.  We are not sure if this is why but she is afraid of almost every house hold appliance we have.  We can not even walk over to the cupboard where the mixer is stored without her barking. She is lucky that she is tiny and cute. 

Savannah is the first dog my mum adopted from PNC; she was a puppy mill rescue.  We frequently have to remind friends and family that she is not one of our fosters and they cannot adopt her.  She is the cutest thing ever.  She sadly has had a lot of health issues, mainly of the skin due to being born in a puppy mill.  My mum has done an amazing job of researching and trying a variety of things to get her healthy.  She currently is a little too healthy and maybe going to need a diet.

We then have our old ladies both are also rescues from PNC.  They were both surrendered because they were too old to have anymore puppies.  Sassy, as her name states is a sassy little redhead.  We normally change their names when we adopted them but this just fit.  She is like having a tiny old grandma living with you who gets burst of energy but for the most part wonders around in a daze.  Occasionally she manages to wonder back to my room and she will bark until I let her in and up on my bed.  She also likes stealing toys from Cappy, she is the only one he is afraid of taking toys from. 

Whoppie Pie (again we just left the name) is our other old lady and our first foster failure.  She is a lot like Sassy very vocal especially around meal time.  I tease my mum that she probably isn't saying very nice things to her.  She gets very vocal while my mum is making her meal.  The kids find her to be very entertaining especially given the fact she has only one eye.  (This is common of Pekingese that have not been well cared for given their face shape.}  They like to point out that she only has one eye but four legs, they come up with very silly things to say.

We currently only have one foster right now, Albert.  He has been with us for a long time now and is going to be hard to find a home for.  I don't know his entire background but he had to have been abused.  He is old and has a few medical issues and mainly is crabby.  He can be very sweet he just isn't good around other dogs or children.  He has gotten better with  our dogs as long as they stay out of his area and we keep him locked up whenever there are kids over.  I do really think it the right home he would make a good dog but it would be with someone really special.  It's sad because you can tell he really wants to be loved on.  He gets so excited when we pet him and even on occasion will join us on the couch with the other dogs. 

I cannot express enough how much I believe in adopting pets.  There are so many amazing animals out there that are just waiting for the chance to join a family.  I also want to stress how important it is to really think about the work that goes into having a pet.  It is so sad to see how many animals are just given up by people that changed there mind about having a pet.  Having a pet is super rewarding but is a lot of work.  It is one of those things that you really need to do your research, so you get the right pet for your life style.

If you get a chance please check out PNC on Facebook they are currently having an auction to support this amazing organization.