Coping with Parkinson’s With Help From My Pets

Coping with Parkinson’s With Help From My Pets

We have had a pet companion in our lives since we moved to our home 20 years ago. Our beloved Golden Retriever, Sam, was our first “furry family” member. We adopted him at the animal shelter at the age of 6. He made us laugh, was the best shedder of all-time, would nap anywhere, and filled our hearts with joy.

Next was Shadow, our British Shorthair street cat, who came into our home because of her love for Sam. She had no time for us until Sam passed away from cancer six months after Shadow came into our home. Shadow went from not wanting to be petted to taking all the space (bed hog) in our bed. We had to upgrade our bed size from queen to king to accommodate her!! She was in our lives for 14 years. This cat surrounded us with unconditional love, eased the pain of grief from Sam’s death, distracted us from challenges of living with Parkinson’s, and acted like a queen! She also trained our dog, Lily on the ways of the household.

The comfort of pets

Lily is our fun loving, goofy, sporty, chocolate Labrador Retriever. Even at 10 years old, Lily has the energy of a three-year-old dog! Always greeting everyone with a bark, big tail wag, and a smile! And yes, Lily does smile. She is constantly acting like a clown; smiling, carrying a toy, and just waiting to dribble water on your lap! We can’t help but smile every morning that Lily sticks that big, dark snout in our faces and gives her morning smile and snort. She keeps us laughing and constantly on our toes. As sweet as she is, she thinks stealing shoes and clothing is hilarious — maybe it is, but we won’t admit it to her.

The most important thing all these creatures have in common is unconditional understanding and love for us both! They comfort us when we have a bad day, they always listen to us in good times and not so good times, and they constantly show us their love. All of this makes every day brighter!

Karl Robb also made a significant contribution to this article. Read more of his articles here.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ParkinsonsDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (8)
  • Marcia
    4 months ago

    Beautifully writte

  • quincy1445
    4 months ago

    There is nothing better than a pet for a Parkinson Household. My Newfies got Brig and I through all those years, and they continue to get me through being alone and only having the memories. They were always there for him, and even in the last months, he had a stuffed Newfie with him all the time. If it is possible, have a pet, they help you get through this life.

  • Jessica.Hall moderator
    4 months ago

    That is such a lovely testament to how having a pet in the family can help in so many ways. Newfoundland dogs are so beautiful, my uncle had one, so they hold a special place in my heart. 🙂 How many Newfies do you have? Thank you so much for sharing a little piece of your and Brig’s story with us, and being here in our community @quincy1445. Wishing you well, Jessica-Parkinsonsdisease.net team member

  • quincy1445
    4 months ago

    We always had two, and I still have two. I wouldn’t be without one, Newfies do have a special way about them. They knew when he needed them, and they never got in his way. I love them with all my heart and he did too.

  • Michael Church
    5 months ago

    Our fur babies are gifts from God. Something to distract us from our problems even if just temporary. We just lost our own dog to cancer and this article made me smile. Thank you for sharing.

  • angela.robb moderator author
    5 months ago

    Michael, you are so right!! They are gifts from God and we feel so blessed to have them in our lives 🙂

  • KellyW moderator
    5 months ago

    Great article! My Golden Retriever, Cooper, has seen me through the best & the worst. His smile just warms my heart.

  • angela.robb moderator author
    5 months ago

    Thanks Kelly! Cooper is a true angel!! 🙂

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