I feel that I have addressed the topic of family in my Valentine's day post, but what isn't usually talked about within the cancer community is how much of an impact our pets can have on us. A little over a year into my treatment my parents decided to allow me to get a dog. I have always wanted my own little dog, especially a chihuahua, and since I was home laying around very often, it increased my desire for one that much more. My mom took me to the Lied Animal Shelter in Las Vegas and we began our search. Unfortunately, the shelter was very big, it was sad to see how many precious dogs and cats needed loving homes, but I knew that there was one there that I could rescue and would soon be mine. We took our search one aisle at a time since I needed to rest in between each due to all the walking and my hemoglobin being low. We arrived at a room and there he was, a little, black chihuahua mix whipping his tail back and forth, faster than I had ever seen a tail wag before. His stood up on his hind legs and greeted us so enthusiastically that I knew that he was a worthy candidate, but I reminded myself that I needed to look at all the dogs before I decided. There was another little girl dog that was very cute and sniffed around the glass when we walked by. I eventually took both of those dogs out to play and get an idea of their temperament. The girl dog was very hyper. She was small but was pulling my weakened self every which way around the caged in area. Next was the boy dog. He gently sniffed around the area, exploring every facet and smell that it had to offer. He was perfect and we decided to sign the paperwork to make him my new pup. He patiently, and lovingly sat in my lap while the paperwork was being finished and he needed to get down. I put him down and he marked me as his owner right back by peeing on my purse! Ever since then he was my angel of a pup, dubbed Romeo, and I am so incredibly grateful for him. Romeo helped me through a lot of tough times that the cancer and life in general threw my way. When I was in the hospital he was who I missed the most, since everyone else could visit me except him. I was always excited to get back home to see his tail wagging excitedly like it did the first time I saw him. One time we were able to work a plan out with a nurse to sneak him into the hospital. He was put in my mother's purse and I met up with him in the play room. Pets have been proven to improve quality of life and to reduce stress levels, well my baby Romeo has gone above and beyond that and has turned out to be the best dog that could have ever been placed in my life, especially at the time that it happened. I always call my little Romez my angel, and I have no doubt in my mind that his unconditional love and snuggles have helped to recover and heal me, to bring me to where I am today.
(Pictures posted on my page :)
Has your furry family played a role in your journey? Tell me about it! :)