Does anyone else on HP have personal experience with sharing their life with an assistance dog or companion animal, if the animal was purchased to befriend a family member for therapeutic purposes?
How has it changed your life and that of your son or daughter?
We're actually in the process of looking for a puppy for my younger son (we're going to look at a Golden Retriever pup tonight). Definitely as a companion animal at this stage, since Nolan is only 3 years old. We do plan on training the dog to go and alert Nolan when we call his name. Nolan also tires easily, so we're hoping that having a dog to romp with will increase his endurance a little. This dog will be far more family pet than a working dog, though.
I hope that Nolan and your soon-to-be new pup are a great match.
I actually believe in seeing which animal/dog is drawn to 'you'. The most wonderful pets I have had have been ones who have chosen us.
Good luck and I'd love to 'hear' about the pup you choose. I'd also like to hear about what Nolan feels about he/she too.
A friend of mine bought a spaniel crossed with a poodle, and the dog has an exquisite nature. Maybe that was a lucky 'find' as I don't know much about these types of cross-breeds. Retrievers are beautiful dogs.
Casey (our new puppy) is simply brilliant. He knows that he can romp and be a little "wild" with our older son, but he is SO gentle with Nolan. The way he adapts to Nolan's needs is astounding. He's also (mostly) housebroken, can "sit," and play fetch - and he's only 9 weeks old. He's simply wonderful.
I have a companion animal to help relieve the symptoms of clinical depression -- and I must say that having her has completely changed my life. My last companion animal was my dog of 15 years, and when he was four years old he went through therapy training specifically to help me -- until he died I'd never been without a dog, so I didn't realize just how big of a difference he made. Now I have a mini schnauzer/min pin cross that we adopted at six months old, and who is two years old now and making a huge difference in the household all on her own. My son loves to play with her when he's here four days a month, but my daughter couldn't care less yet, she's only 3 1/2 months old . In the 24-unit housing complex where I'm living, about 1/3rd of all the people here have companion animals for one thing or another, and they really do make a huge difference, especially to those of my neighbors who are house-bound and have few opportunities for socializing with other humans.
That's a lovely story wychic Thanks for sharing it.
I am a great believer that animals (dogs, cats etc.) provide for us a relationship which is non-judgemental and genuinely soulful.
I have heard (and seen) so many stories of children and adults being relieved of many of the symptoms of depression, as you say, behavioural difficulties and so many other unsettling things.
Assistance/companion dogs (and other animals) have proven time and time again to be wonderfully therapeutic for many with differing abilities too (example, Autism, Cerebral Palsy etc).
Maybe your daughter is a cat person?
Maybe she would like that pet dinosaur I talked about at the end of one of my hubs, regarding companion and assistance animals Just joking.
Best wishes, Louise
Hehehe...I think if she got a pet dinosaur, her brother would be jealous . She is showing signs of being interested in the dog -- the dog is always sitting beside me on the couch or laying on my feet, and baby is starting to laugh at her and try to touch her, but she's only four months old right now so I'll give her some time to catch up .
I agree, I think the completely non-judgmental relationship is a huge thing, and for me it's also the only relationship I can trust in wholeheartedly -- dogs don't lie, they don't have ulterior motives, they're not intentionally mean, and they don't care how you stack up to the next person that comes along. I can not say the same thing about any of my relationships with humans.
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