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    • #17786

      I have believed that disabled or not, people deserve to experience having a pet if they so choose. There is something special about having a dog or cat, or whatever animal speaks to you. I believe healing properties have a creature that relies on you and emotionally can support you if needed. We need that unconditional love at times, and it feels good to have something that requires you as much as them.

      One of the most challenging things I found about having my pet cat Brittana was cleaning her litter box. It took me almost five years to finally figure it out, and it was with the help of a physical and occupational therapist! I have my cats’ litter box elevated off the ground, and I keep a cat litter mat underneath the box for any litter that falls. I keep the extra litter in a bucket next to the box to dump it when needed. I also have a long handles sand sifter to clean her box. The only things I need help with are moving the litter boxes into the bucket and disposing of the containers after, and emptying the litter box every 2 to 3 weeks to keep it nice and clean for her.

      What are some tips, tricks, or advice you have for people with MD who want to have pets?

    • #17807
      Kimberly Reynolds

      I wanted a dog again. Our new puppy hated going outside and I would sit outside with her for hours and she would only relieve herself when we would go inside and she had her training pad to go potty on! She was highly resistant to changing this routine, so she is still, 3 years later, a pad trained dog. This is much easier for me. I can use a long handled pincher to fold and lift the dirty pads and unfold and lay down a fresh training pad. We also have gated our new dog to the great room. That way I only have to worry about tripping on a dashing dog when fully awake and in the living area, not in my bedroom or in the hallway or bathroom! I have fallen and broke some toes due to the puppy. She went behind a large plant and hid for an hour when I fell and couldn’t get up when she was little. She quickly learned “no jump” and stays down around me. She had pounced on the back of my knees, causing my knees to buckle under me and I was soon lying on my back on the floor hitting my head, and my full weight on my feet wedged beneath me.  I knew it would be a danger to have a dog, but she is easy to care for now, and a big comfort when I am home alone. Her favorite spot is to lay on my legs on the recliner. I love her hot fur on my always cold legs!

      • #17825
        Leah Leilani

        I think, just like anything in life, having a pet means finding ways that work for us and adapting. Life was a lot different with my last dog because my mom wasn’t affected by MD yet. There have been certain things that have had to have been adjusted and sacrificed because my mom isn’t as active anymore. Such as, my recent dog isn’t very social because we don’t go out as often with him. He also get matts on his face because my mom doesn’t have the energy to brush him out but we do bring him to the groomer.

    • #17837

      I have three dogs and their unconditional love, tail wagging brings me great joy.They are for me a piece of Nature TG which brings wellness and fullfilment to my life I can’t take them walking anymore so my wife does that while I prepare their food and water.They say that people who have animals as pets can live up to 5 years longer, so thats a plus too.

      • #17860
        Leah Leilani

        I can believe that about dogs. They’re the best companions! I don’t want to imagine what my life would be like without my dog. I like that you and your wife split up the responsibilities like that.

    • #17839
      Tracy Myall

      I have 7 pets that I had before I was diagnosed with MD. 2 dogs, 3 cats and 2 parrots! Since my diagnosis, my experience with neuromuscular scoliosis 75° and my spinal surgery to insert rods from T10 to S1, I find that I don’t have the stamina or strength to keep up with all of them. I’ve had to get help, and in my case I have a roommate that gets free room and board in exchange for helping take care of the animals. It’s a big job with that many animals and they need extra lovin’ too since mom just doesn’t have as much energy as she used to. Still even with help it is a lot to deal with. If I could find a good home together for my birds I would probably rehome them because I just don’t seem to have the time or the patience for them anymore during my shorter feel good time. And that’s very hard because I have had them for 17 and 9 years. I just try to think of what would be fair to them. The dogs and cats seem to sleep a lot anyways so they are fine with mama! I have a little dogs so they’re not like big allergenic dogs that I have typically had in the past!

      • #17859
        Leah Leilani

        Wow, that is quite a few pets and I can see how that would take some work especially since it’s a full time job having MD. What I like about dogs is that they do acclimate to our lifestyles. I don’t know a lot about cats or parrots since I’ve never had one. I do that parrots are very social though. I’m currently looking to re-home my big African tortoise whom my family and I have had for about 16 years. She’s very temperamental and getting to be too much for my family to care for.

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