Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How Pets can Help Mental Illness

by Carley CooperBFMC 2014 Photo Directory

Do you have pets? I do. I have two. One is a feisty little lovebird with a big attitude. His name is Chicklet. I got him when he was 8 weeks old.  My other pet is Maggie. She is my 1 yr & 10 months old doggie(a Shih-tzu). I got her when she was 14 weeks old.

I love both my pets.  They are wonderful, cute, the loves of my life, and a handful. I love it!  If I had a bigger apartment, I’d have even more pets.


‘No Pets Allowed’ Should be Illegal Everywhere!

I waited a long time to get Maggie. In my last apartment I wasn’t allowed to have pets. Which was a big disappointment after I found out, because it meant I had to get rid of the dog I had previously for 10 years. I found in the past that having a dog helps my bipolar disorder a great deal.


Pets are People Too!

Your family pet can be and should be more than just a pet. It is another member of your family. They feel unconditional love just as you do. They like to receive it as well as give it. They know when you’re down and they want to help you. They do that by staying close to you. Did you ever notice that?

Your pet can be a best friend, or even like a child. You can share secrets with them, and they will not judge you. They can help bring you lots of laughter and joy. They like to be touched just like you do too. Their personalities are as varied as they are for people. Some are stubborn, timid, mild mannered, mean, grumpy, shy, happy, sad, or any number of other things. But one this is common among them all... they love their master!

When you get a pet when it’s still a baby, you have to take care of it like a baby.  For example, a new puppy will get you up at night for pee-pee and food.  They need a vet when they are sick and at vaccination time.  They need to be potty-trained and taught new things and commands.  They need to be watched so they don’t get into too much trouble on their own.  It’s a big responsibility, though it will help you in ways you never dreamed of. 

When I’m down and don’t want to do anything other than stay in bed with the covers over my head, I realizeIMG_3225 that I can’t. Being a pet-parent means that they are depending on me to care for them. It forces me to be active and productive instead of hiding from the world. No matter how I feel, or what the weather is like, Maggie needs to be let out in the yard for pee-pee time, fed, played with, and loved. No matter what I feel like she is happy to see me when I get home. It’s wonderful having someone greet you at the door with so much love and a waggly tail.


You Need a Pet!

I highly recommend getting a pet if you don’t have one and you’re struggling. It doesn’t have to be a dog that needs to be walked daily, if you really don’t want to do that. Though, personally, I’m a huge doggie fan and I think everyone should have a one. Doggies are so awesome!  In the past I’ve also had hamsters and fish.  My brother had ferrets.  My nephew had a turtle and rats.  You could also get a cat, gerbil, rabbit, guinea pig, mice, or even a horse.  Anything that can help you to get your focus off of yourself and your struggles, and loves you back, is a joy every day. Trust me, it is so worth it.

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