Last reply 1 year ago
Pet therapy

Hi, I wanted to share something that makes me happy!

I have always found pets (dogs, mostly) to be immensely important figures in my childhood. I have two pet rabbits that I love to bits, I love even just watching them. They are house rabbits and I have trained them to come to call and use a litter tray, and they roam free about my house all day and night and bring me so much joy! They keep me company and they are so soft and cute and friendly and I think looking after them and playing with them gives me a lot of immeasurable benefits.

I got my first pair of rescue bunnies 10 years ago and when one (Pandi) sadly died after a full and happy life at about 9-10 years old, I got another young bun (Bumble) to make friends with the bereaved bun (Crumpet), a year later nearly to the day that bunny died, also probably about 9-10 and I got a second young bun (Pippin) to make a new pair, and they are amazing, so full of life, do happy, and so eager to learn! They inspire me to do the things that make me happy too 🙂

Do others have pets that bring them joy and generally just make them feel better on the rubbish days? I would love to hear about your pets too!

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potter
1 year ago

We have always had dogs, our current dog is definitely a mama’s dog. If he hears a strange noise he’ll wake me up to let me know something isn’t quite right. He seems to understand everything we ask him to do and he stays by my side most if the time. Doesn’t like to take walks but loves to run around the yard like a speed demon while I sit and watch from the patio. He doesn’t have any health problems and even trims his own toe nails and grooms himself constantly. He is almost a perfect dog but he has a fear of fireworks and thunderstorms. My husband and I have lost many nights sleep staying up with him during a storm. He is worth it, we have family (pack) snuggling time every evening. Bunnies sound like fun but they wouldn’t last very long around him he has a good hunting instinct. I highly recommend any kind of pet, even fish to connect with and get you out of your own head. Potter


Anonymous
1 year ago

I definitely agree with you @nicecupoftea. I had a gorgeous labradoodle who sadly passed away a year ago and although I’m not ready for another dog, I now have a cute gerbil. She’s my ‘fluffy fix’.

We release happy hormones when we love and cuddle pets.


merfield
1 year ago

I’ve been thinking about getting a rescue dog but friends worry it’ll trip me up. Too many nesting birds in our garden to have a cat. I really think it’s good to have a pet/pets -but what/ which?


kateybash
1 year ago

We have a 9 month old chocolate lab who eats everything and anything….pants, socks, you name it. Kids all love him and he is the softest, kindest big dafty. I walk him mostly and I am so grateful for it. Waiting to hear from my neurologist after having VPR and lumbar puncture last Friday. It’s a long wait and my walks with my dog really help me to stay positive. We wouldn’t be without him now.
Kate


tracyd
1 year ago

2 dogs, 2 cats and a 38 year old teenager for a husband ….. I love all my pets and they give great hugs


thequietlady
1 year ago

Your rabbits sound amazing @nicecupoftea! I have always loved animals but didn’t have pets until we moved to Essex in 2002, the house we were buying had 2 cats, LC and Hannah, that the owner said we could have! Then in 2009 we got a Husky/German Shepherd from friends and our family was complete 😀 Sadly we had to say goodbye to Baby Hannah last August and we took it very badly. We still have her sister LC and she will be 19 on Election Day, a few health problems but not too bad. Rusty is my unofficial hearing dog as I am deaf, she alerts me to the front door or when my husband is coming downstairs. I must go now, could go on and on! Pets are definitely a blessing. Sarah x


beccamc99
1 year ago

Yep I’ve got two dogs, one jack Russell and one one small cross breed which we took on when she was 18months old as her previous owners were moving and couldn’t take her. They’re called Ted and Coconut.
I love my dogs- they’re very high up on my priority list as they depend on me for everything- they’re the best!


nicecupoftea
1 year ago

Hi @potter, that’s so sweet, I love dogs! They’re such good companions and can help so much. He does sound like a perfect dog!! My dog was always scared with fireworks and things, she was a rescue dog and had a few fears but she was beautiful and was my best friend throughout my childhood. My rabbits sometimes need a bit of TLC, they’re so low on the food chain they are scared of pretty much everything and nothing! If you have young bunnies and young dogs or cats you can bond them so they grow up friends 🙂

I agree, any pet can be a wonderful companion and they do help get you out of your head! Thanks for sharing, it was lovely to hear about your pets!


nicecupoftea
1 year ago

Aw sorry to hear about your labradoodle @vickivictoria it took me a while after my childhood dog died when I was 13, and I still think of her very fondly, and similarly when the rabbits died.

A cute gerbil sounds like a good option! Do you have little habitrails and that kind of thing for the gerbil to play in? I used to have pet mice and used to love watching them run through the little tunnels and in the exercise balls and things around the room!! So cute!


nicecupoftea
1 year ago

Hi @merfield

My grandad has a dog and sometimes I think she is the only reason he is alive, she makes him feel like he has a purpose and she is affectionate and dogs also attract people to chat to the owner. He has had her for a long time and she was trained as a working dog for the deaf – he is not deaf but he took her on as a volunteer to look after her while she had litters to breed more hearing dogs and then he has been able to keep her on as a pet. Anyway, it means she is incredibly well trained. He is in his 80s and although he is, on the whole and all things considered, fit and well he has occasionally fallen over when walking her which is obviously quite worrying when it happens. If tripping and so on is a concern it is worth thinking about carefully and a rescue centre should help to consider all those things with you. I’ve generally found shelters to be very much about making sure it will work and be good for both the adopter and the animal.

I’ve never had a cat. I believe you can have house cats where they have an illness that means you’re not supposed to let them out? Maybe I’m wrong though!!

I have had mice and hamsters as well as dogs and rabbits, and they’ve all been great. I know people with pet rats, might not be everyone’s first choice but they really are great pets, very clever, furry and cute!

What is your lifestyle like? Do you want a furry or would you be happy with a bird, tortoise or fish? If you think about what you want to do with your pet each day you will be able to find the right animal for you!


nicecupoftea
1 year ago

Awwww your puppy sounds so sweet @kateybash chocolate labs are so lovely! Walking the dog is such a feel-good activity! Do you also find that people come and chat to you? Whenever I walked my dog (and when I walk other people’s dogs!) people come over and say hi and stroke them and it’s a really nice addition to the day, especially when all this other really worrying and just plain rubbish stuff is happening in the real world, you can just have a nice time with your pet!


nicecupoftea
1 year ago

That sounds like a busy and happy home @tracyd it’s so good to have those connections with animals! Pippin is happy for me to pick her up for a cuddle and she is super soft, Bumble doesn’t like being picked up but he will sit with me for ages for a big long stroke which is just as good!! Thanks for sharing and keep getting those hugs!! 🙂


nicecupoftea
1 year ago

Thanks @thequietlady I definitely think my rabbits are amazing!! I think people often underestimate what rabbits can do, I did before I got my first pair and found out all the things I could teach them and they were both adult at that point, I got these two young and they’re even more confident and trainable!

You got 2 cats with your house! That’s amazing! And wow, a husky/German shepherd must be a little fluff bomb! Sorry to hear about Hannah, it is so awful when a pet dies, it is like losing a family member and a lot of people don’t understand how sad it is. 19 is a good age, I hope she lives happily for as long as possible!

Aww three cheers for Rusty! So happy for you to have her in your life, and to see how important she is to you, thanks for sharing 🙂


nicecupoftea
1 year ago

Ted and Coconut are excellent names @beccamc99 I love it! They must have been sad to leave her but it’s good she could come to you 🙂

There is something special about pets, they are so innocent and sweet, and uncomplicated by all the rubbish things that go on in life, and it is nice to feel needed and useful, they really are the best! 🙂 Just talking about pets makes me happy!!


merfield
1 year ago

Hi @nicecupoftea how nice of you to post. Its encouraging that your grandad has a dog at 80!!
You probably know I’m 77 with very late onset PPMS. I’m very limited re: walking but a guy near here takes his dog on his scooter, then lets her run. Poo collecting would have to be done with one of those long handled tong things. I had 2 fish in a small pond outside but the heron got them. Shame as they were fun and had different characters. A tortoise is a thought. Not sure about a rat – we had one lodging in the space above the kitchen which we had to get shot of. I thought about an African Grey but it might crap everywhere as I’d wouldn’t want to cage it and someone said it’s now illegal. Your suggestion to go to the rescue centre is the way to go….see what they say. They may disapprove.
We had 3 dogs when I was young and I adored mine – a ridgeback bullterrier cross and gentle as a rabbit. I’m planning to visit the rescue centre next week, but a tortoise???? Or a hedgehog that lived wild? I’ll post what I decide, but thanks for your encouragement. Very helpful. Xx


nicecupoftea
1 year ago

Hi @merfield a really well trained dog might be a good option and it is definitely possible, there are ways – as you’ve said – of making the practical things work. I knew someone with a tortoise and I was surprised at how sweet it was, I loved to watch it eat! Similarly I have known people who kept African snails! Watching animals being animals is therapeutic in itself. A lot of the things I enjoy about my rabbits is watching them be rabbits – nibbling on a leaf, hopping about, grooming themselves or each other. Good luck, I hope the rescue centre is helpful and you find a little friend 🙂

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