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    Do your pets help improve your health?
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
    WebMD has an active Pet Community and I just came across this slideshow:

    27 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health

    Wondered about pet-lovers in this community - share details of your furry (or feathered or fishy) friends!

    We have 2 dogs - a girl, Romy, was rescued from the streets of Hollywood. She's part Chow and a very loud barker. Ziggy is male from a local pet orphans non-profit, no-kill shelter. Part shelty and just a lover. They are both over 50 lbs and very hairy! There are days when I would say they ADD to my stress level, but more often than not, they are a positive force for my family.

    GGrandmaJan responded:
    Yes, I agree pets do keep you young and active. We have a little guy (Peek-a-poo) Part poddle and part Pekingense. He weighs about 11 lbs and goes everywhere with us. Has his own very plush carseat. He is 8 yrs old. He weighs just 2 lbs when we got him.

    Then we have an outside dog a Golden retriever. She is so mellow. The other night I had just washed my wigs and had them on the counter drying. All of a sudden Mini jumped up started moving towards me growling a few times then started barking. I guess she thought the head with the wig was going to attack me. It was so funny. My DH and I were laughing so hard. She was really scared.

    Then we have an orange cat my son rescued from the road. He was only about 6 weeks old. We call him C.C. for Crazy Cat. He doesn't walk but flies around the house. He has mellowed out tho since he has gotten older. 6 yrs ago when my hair started falling out--I was lying on the couch bawling my eyes out. C.C. came up and licked the tears from my face. He was so young at the time I didn't think he knew anything was going on.

    Animals keep you busy but they are so fun to have around the house. They are real sensitive to your moods also. Guess you can tell I love ours.

    Yesterday is History--Tomorrow is a Mystery--Today is a Gift that is why it's called---The Present!!!----Quoted from Eleanor Roosevelt.
    mhall6252 responded:
    We have a "grandpuppy" named Oreo and we always enjoy it when he and my daughter come to visit. He's a bundle of energy - a bichon/shih tzu blend that weighs about 15 pounds. We're leaving it at that. I love dogs and would have one in a heartbeat, except our lease prohibits it and we are constrantly on the go, so frequent kenneling would be required. So it's not yet time for us to have a dog. DH is allergic to cats, so they are out of the equation.

    judyfams replied to GGrandmaJan's response:
    I have always had dogs since I'm allergic to cats.
    I had 3 cocker spaniels - I got 2 of them when I was teaching so they could be friends with each other when I wasn't home. I rescued the third one when she was 2 yrs. old. They were wonderful companions and their antics did keep me laughing.
    Right after I was diagnosed last year in Feb. 2010, Cinnamon(tan colored) started failing and I had to put her to sleep one week before my lumpectomy and 2 weeks before her 15th birthday.
    Then right after I started chemo in May 2010, my other dog, Cappuccino (brown cocker) started to have kidney problems so I had to give her daily subcutaneous infusions - sometimes twice a day. That kept her alive until Nov. 2010 when I had to put her to sleep at the age of 14.
    My third dog then showed signs of depression so this past Feb. 2011 - one year after my diagnosis, I adopoted another cocker from the local shelter. She is one year old and has already had a liter of pups - her previous owner gave her to the shelter when thay found out she was pregnant! She is spayed and full of puppy energy which is good for my other cocker who is 7 yrs. old. There are some adjustment problems, but things are getting better every day!
    So last year while going through treatment for bc - I was busy taking care of sick dogs - which didn't allow me time to dwell on my cancer and that turned out to be a good thing. I put a lot of energy into caring for my dogs (and probably paying off the vet's mortgage on both their building and their home!) and it made me feel needed instead of needy and useful, instead of just going from one treatment appointment to another treatment appointment. I had to get up and get dressed as the dogs needed me to be attentive and vigilant.
    I absolutely miss Cinnamon and Cappuccinno, but they really helped me get through all my treatments last year as they needed me more than I needed to feel sorry for myself. Cinnamon was put to sleep a week before my lumpectomy, and Cappuccinno needed her infusions during my whole chemo regimen, and was finally put down 2 weeks before I finished radiation.
    My dogs really kept me going all through last year - and for that reason will be very special to me in more ways than pets are for most people.
    Obviously I can't say enough about ALL the benefits (tangible and intangible) our pets bring us!
    brcansur responded:
    I would have to say yes very much so, I feel my dog Dakota knew I was sick before anyone esle could figure out what was going on. He started following me around the house every place I went he was there. He would try and come into the bathroom with me when showering and sit next to tub he never did that. I was going to the doctor because I started just not feeling right losing weight and my hair I know losing hair before chemo is strange but I was losing handfulls. But I would get test after test and nothing. I would come home and there was my dog sitting at the door waiting for me and following around. The day I found the lump in the shower he was right there and when I said this isn't good he just look so sad at me then put his head down and just kept looking up at me like he was saying I have been trying to tell you but you wouldn't listen.
    Well I went to doctor had tests it was cancer had surgery and he was there every day by my side and doing some cute crazy things to make me laugh and feel better. I was in my over stuffed chase that reclines now mind you he is an american eskimo small not to tall and about 35 pounds and the chase is high and he is trying so hard to come up and sit with me. He keeps backing up and trying to jump but just couldn't do it and I can't lift him plus he wont let you even touch his back end to boost him. He finally made it up and lays with me for a while but then gets down and goes to the foot of it and stays there as if guarding me. I looked forward to coming home to him after each treatment because I knew he would watch out for me and comfort me he always has a way to calm the nerves except when anyone comes near me or the house he barks like crazy no one can come near me except the children and babies he knows they help me too so sweet and comforting he is gootta keep him. He is 12 now and still keeps me laughing and watches over me all day and night everyday they know then we think so watch out what you do around then there might be a dog whisperer around lol;) have a great day all enjoy your pets angel hugs Roberta
    rachael67 replied to brcansur's response:
    Awww, Guys! You really have made me think most seriously about finally giving in and searching for a new buddy! Just after Christmas this year we had to have our pet put down as she was very ill. It was most difficult! (We also had a cat but he had to be put down many, many years ago, and I've yet to be able to look for another cat...He took a big part of my heart with him.) I have had a hard time even thinking about a new dog since Haley (She was a border collie mix and perhapsthe sweetest, most loving animal we have ever had! Lord, but I miss her!!

    However, I think now is the time to begin the search. Will be looking for a small to medium dog from a rescue group. Kinda open-ended about type... will know it when I see it??? Would love to find one who never, ever sheds!!! (I know that's impossible..It's just that I have gotten used to not chasing fur balls all around each day! But, truth be told, that's only a minor problem compared to finding a loving bundle of fur!!!)

    So, hopefully, I soon will join in and will happily introduce all of you to him/her!! Wish me luck!!

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to rachael67's response:
    A new story just published about this! (I must be able to see the future - too bad it's not lottery numbers)

    New Study Highlights Benefits of Pets

    In short:

    The series of three studies conducted by researchers at Miami University in Ohio and Saint Louis University concluded that:
    • Pet owners have greater self-esteem and are less lonely than non-pet owners.
    • Pet owners are more physically fit.
    • Pet owners are more conscientious and more outgoing.
    • Pet owners seem to be less fearful of the hurdles of ordinary life.
    brcansur replied to rachael67's response:
    I wish you all the best when looking for that cute little furry friend. It isn't going to be easy if you are anything like me because they are all so cute and of cource need a good home and someone to love them right and for them to love.
    Happy times and lots of fun are only a little furry friend away:).So yes Lots of luck to you and have a ball looking.
    Have a great day angel hugs Roberta.
    Janice_78 responded:
    I think there are studies that show animals improve people's quality of life. My dad lived with heart disease for over 20 years. I do believe that he lived that long because of their cats.

    When I was going through breast cancer treatments over 13 years ago, our wonderful pets got me through. Unfortunately, my beloved 18-year old part siamese succumbed to cancer while I was going through rads. Bless her heart, she hung on as long as she could.

    We now have a 2 1/2 year old cocker spaniel. We got her as a tiny puppy at Christmas and named her Noel. She is incredibly spoiled. Four years ago we also got a kitten from my girlfriend who does cat rescue. He's been my best buddy ever since. One evening, we came home from dinner to find a cat crying under our neighbor's car. It was so cold that night. We brought her into the house, fed her and kept her overnight. Overnight has now been over three years. She's actually bonded to my husband. It's so cute to see them together.

    Our son lives with us along with his 9 1/2 year old australian cattle dog, Blue. They are so sweet together. She and Noel are nearly inseparable, too.

    Neither my husband nor I chose early retirement, but spending so much time with our "babies" has proven to be the silver lining.
    0910faith responded:
    I have a puppy named Ziggy too. He is very special.
    I think he knows I have been under the weather.
    He is so smart. He is a Malti-Poo and weights about
    12 lbs. He's very smart. He understands everthing we
    say. I have to spell sometimes. When he wants a treat
    and he gets a lot of them he sits on his cookie carpet
    and uses his nose to point at the pantry. It's so funny.
    He is really good for me. I do more because of him.
    And he keeps me on my toes. He is a thief though.
    Yes he is my lifeline for sure
    sadblossom responded:
    What a delightful posting subject! I pick up my new puppy tomorrow.It has been years sense I had a pet but decided I had a lot of love to share and improvong my health would be even a grander plus! She is a 6 week old S-Zuh. Her name will be 'Tator-Tot'! I am hoping we will be good for each other.
    You guys wish me luck!
    I really enjoyed reading all these post. Positive, loving and warm! Just love it!
    rachael67 replied to sadblossom's response:
    Ah, Pat!!! How wonderful!! And what a cute name! Give "Tater" a few pets from all of us! I hope to find a new pup in the near future as well!

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    sadblossom replied to rachael67's response:
    Howdyyyy Rachael!!!
    I have been playing with her all evening. I have laughed so hard. She is barely 2 lbs and she runs and plays so very hard.
    I have not laughed so much at things like this in such a long time.It feels SO GOOD!!!
    When you get your new little one make sure you post.
    rachael67 replied to sadblossom's response:

    Enjoy, my Friend!!!!!!

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    cindy12345678 responded:
    Hi ,
    I deffinitely think pets improve our health. They give us as much care and comfort as we give them. I have four cats. Two are seniors (14yrs old) and two are younger (4and . I went back to work this week and things have been hectic. I had thomas at the vet for his ear. He was scratching, he has allergies. So they gave him a shot. Now my other senior is in the animal hospital. We came hom,e from work and she can't control her bowel. They think it might be her kidneys.I will find out today. My other two are fine. They were all strays that we took in. Sometimes thay are a hanfull!

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