I’m super excited for this week’s Working On Us writing prompt from Beckie over at Beckie’s Mental Mess! It’s on emotional support animals, which means I get to talk about my beloved furbabies! Go check it out so you can join in!
Do you own a pet for emotional support and/or service/therapy?
My dogs and cats are great from emotional support. However, they aren’t technically therapy animals.
Is your pet a certified therapy animal?
What kind of pet do you own?
I have 3 dogs and 2 cats.
Our oldest dog is our tan/fawn pug, Champ. He was a good family friend’s dog but as his kids got older, Champ needed more attention than they could give him between all the extracurricular activities Champ is full of spunk and has a big personality for a little guy. He loves “butt scratches” & will literally go around the room to beg. He’s nine years old.
Our oldest female dog is a white pit bull, Princess. We saved her from a neglectful home. She loves her Ricky. She was suppose to be my dad’s dog but ended up bonding with my boyfriend, Ricky. She’s a sweetheart and so full of love. She was a great mama dog. Still is, since we have her baby, Fiona. We have to guess at her age but we think she’s around 5 years old because we’ve had her for almost 3 years.
And our youngest, the brindle female, is Fiona. She’ll be two years old in October. She’s one of Princess’ puppies. She is my baby girl. She loves to give kisses. You can read her mood by her facial expressions. She doesn’t like to stay still for photos. It’s like she can sense that I’m getting ready to take a photo.
We have a fuzzy Siamese cat, CoCo. He use to be a farm cat. When we got him, he was super sick. He has feline herpes and it was winter out. The people who had gotten hi, from a farm, left him outside during a brutal winter with a kitten. Super sick babies. We took them both and took them to the vet. We had to give them meds and force feed them. Unfortunately, the kitten died but CoCo thrived. He’s a lover too. He loves to just rub his head against your face for as long as you’ll let him. He even gives kisses but it, of course, feels like sandpaper. We have no idea how old he is but our guess is 7 or 8 years old.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is our tabby kitty, Kush. We’ve had him since he was a kitten. We got him from the same people who had CoCo. Their inside cat had had kittens. My dad got one for my mom for Christmas (she’s a crazy cat lady!). They had 2 kittens left and we were worried about what they were going to do with them since the incident with CoCo. We took them both and found a home for the orange kitten. Kush stayed with us. He’s a bathroom kitty. He lives to relax on a shelf in our bathroom most days. He’s lovely & he’ll grab your shirt with his claws to pull you closer to him. He’s a little guy but he’s got a big tummy coming in. He’ll be three in November.
Do you believe that support animals truly assist those in needs?
I do but I think some people take advantage of it. When they do this, it creates a stigma associated with needing a therapy pet.
Do you believe that any animal can be a therapy/support animal?
No. For instance, the lady who tried to bring a peacock onto an airplane as her therapy animal. Jeez, really?
Some animals shouldn’t be pets at all, let alone support animals. If an animal is hard to tame & should be in its’ natural element, don’t take it for a pet. Again, it’s people who take advantage of the situation.
Describe how your pet is of support to you?
First, taking care of my pets gives me a routine, between medication and potty time. If I keep to a routine, I’m less likely to fall into a depression or a hypomanic episode.
I can’t hide out all day long because I have furbabies to care for.
Cuddling with them boosts my mood every single time. And all my furbabies are cuddly.
My dog Champ jumps on me to cheer me up when I’m crying. When I quit my last retail job, I came home bawling. Out of nowhere, he barks at me and hops on my lap, being goofy and putting a smile on my face.
And Fiona knows I’m depressed before I do. I watched her be born and she’s been attached to my hip since.
When she was born, our bed was on the floor. So when she learned to walk, she’d pull herself up onto the mattress and wake us up with kisses at 5am. She still loves to give kisses.
But anyway, she lets me know when I’m depressed. She’ll notice my inactivity and lethargic state, and she’ll curl up next to me all day.
I feel bad because I think she copycats my behavior & emotions without realizing it.