How my dog comforts me in illness

How My Dog Comforts Me in Chronic Illness

This morning I sat outside for a few minutes, enjoying the gentle breeze and shade on the steps outside my back door. It’s been hot here the past few days and today we were granted a dip to more tolerable temperatures. Tooka was loving every minute, busily trying to breathe in all of the scents and sounds of the simple backyard world around us.

This pup has brought much sunshine to my life since we brought her home last November. We seemed meant to be – she had spent long days home alone after losing her original owner; I was home alone fighting illness and navigating my own loss of normalcy and health in life.  And now we spend our days together, often sharing the couch on the cooler days, of which summer provides…well, none. 😉 Fall is coming, though. I am willing it into existence…join me?

As we both sat outside enjoying a few minutes of fresh air and a bird singing nearby, I watched her simple contentedness. Sniffing the air and everything around the yard, prancing back and forth along the walkway, and then back to lie next to me on the steps and enjoy the soft wind. Oh to be a pup, where life is all about play, sleep and eat, amiright?!

Dog comfort in illness

Yet, in the midst of the simplicity I see in her life as a dog, she is unwavering in her role as my pet companion. It’s really not all about play, sleep and eat for her. If I’m having a worse-than-normal day with this disease, she can usually be found within a foot of me at all times. “Shadow” is one of her many nicknames, as is “nurse Tooka”. On my way to the bathroom? She’ll wait outside the door. Moving from couch to bed? She relocates, too. Filling my glass with water? She follows, though I think in this case she’s actually hoping for some food to fall from the refrigerator…minor details.

Then there are the moments when my emotions and the weight of living with Lyme disease become too much and a meltdown occurs. My voice cracks, tears begin to flow and within seconds she is up from her bed and right over to comfort…even if just to sit at my feet. or lick them. or lay her head in my lap. Anything that involves being close enough to be touching me so that I know: she’s here.

I know not everyone is a dog person, or an animal lover and that some might simply not get why I love this furry four-legged cutie so.dang.much. Or post as many pics of her on Instagram. Yet, next to Trevin, she’s become my “person” at home:

My snuggle buddy on the rough days + weeks when Lyme keeps me bedridden.

dog companionship in disease

My comforter when words won’t cut it.

Why my dog is a great companion in illness.

A source of humor. This dog’s personality is THE BEST.


Pet therapy in chronic illness

So here’s to Tooka and the many other pets who have stood patiently by their owners as they’ve fought disease and the weight of the hard in this life. The comfort, laughter, and joy they bring to our darkest days don’t go unnoticed.

Do you find pet companionship to have helped you through disease, sickness, sadness, or other struggles in life? I’d love to hear your story, too. comment below or shoot me an email as I’m always happy to make a new friend! <3

Sending love and grace to you today, readers.

XO
Kami

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8 comments

  1. stephieestie says:

    I agree that dogs can be so therapeutic! When I used to have mine, if they sensed I was sad, they’d come up and just sit by me. I remember one time for my birthday I greeted one of my dogs and jokingly I asked him what he got me for my birthday. Of course I didn’t expect any response but he actually went and got a stuffed animal and placed it in front of me. Mind you that stuffed animal had been mine and he had chewed his head off but the gesture made me smile and I was surprised. True to his character though, he later took it and ran off. Hope you are feeling better. 🙂

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  3. Chanelle Beecher says:

    I too had a wonderful partner the same breed as Nurse Tooka. Unfortunately my family didn’t care to help me care fly her and my stepdad abused her so I had to say goodbye to my nurse and my best friend who was more human than those I reside with because now she’s with normal women my age and I’m the only one in my family who laments the gaping void her absence created in my heart. 🙁

    • Kami says:

      Hi Chanelle. I’m so sorry to hear you had to say goodbye to such a faithful companion and fur-friend. That’s so painful. They really do become so much like family to us and I don’t look forward to the day my sweet girl passes on (She’s now over 12 years old). Sending you gentle hugs. Thank you so much for reading and sharing about your pup. <3

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