here is an old joke that I once heard. I can’t remember the exact wording but I’ll give you the gist of it. Lock your spouse in the trunk of your car for 30 minutes and lock your dog in the trunk for the same amount of time. Open the trunk and spouse will be very angry with you and your dog will still be ecstatic to see you. Dogs love unconditionally, and only want a few things in return: food, water, shelter, and plenty of cookies (dog treats) and kisses.
My black cocker spaniel, Champion, has been with me through thick and thin. I got him a few years after I was diagnosed with lupus while I was on an upswing. I had even returned to work and attended college at night. Six months later, I was hit with a huge lupus flare and had to quit both work and school. Though I could barely take care of myself, I had a half-grown pup on my hands and he wasn’t going to take care of himself. Looking back, I don’t know what I would have done without him. He gave me a reason to force myself out of bed and off the couch. But I found that every ounce of energy I put in taking care of him, I got back ten-fold in love and companionship.
It’s been almost 12 years since that time and he is still my constant companion. It just takes a wiggle from his stump of a tail to put a smile on my face. I love him so much.
People say that owning a pet is good for your mental and physical health. First, they help to reduce stress. Stress can cause lots of problems for people with lupus so reducing it is essential. Our animal friends can also reduce your cholesterol and help you recover faster from an injury or heart attack.
My dog is an essential part of my mental and physical wellbeing. He does so much more for me; I could never repay him. So, I guess I’ll try my hardest to let him know he is loved and keep those cookies and kisses coming.
Mission Accomplished: Unconditional love from pets can make life better