Furbabies Make the World Go Round

One night at 3:30 am, my husband who was a police officer, brought home a puppy that seemed to be a stray. Oh the ticks on that poor puppy. We pulled ticks for quite a while and gave him a bath. I told my hubby that the puppy would stay at our house until the owner showed up or I’d keep him if they didn’t. They didn’t. After 2 weeks, we called Gizmo ours.

He needed vet care, which we provided. I was relieved that I didn’t have a reaction to the pooch.

One allergist said I’m allergic to dogs, another said no.

I have found that I do have reactions with some breeds, but not others. We named this little Shih Tzu Gizmo.

He was crazy in the car, but enjoyed walks. Right away, my exercise increased. Somedays I only made 3 blocks, and some 9, before I had to call hubby for a ride home. I couldn’t walk back up the big hill. But I was walking! He was added company as well.

We still have Gizmo, he is getting older, and have added Abby, Badger and Ted-e.

They do so much and make my day so much better.

Gizmo, Abby and Badger are all Shih Tzu’s. Ted-e is a Bichipoo.

I have been known too often to fall. My local doctor thinks it’s when my oxygen drops. I get dizzy and I’m down. Abby, who I’ve called my nurse, will come and lick me and push under my head to get me up and moving. Did I say, that she is a Shih Tzu too? Badger, who is actually Abby’s son, will climb on my chest and sit there. One time I couldn’t get up and said “go get Dad” and Abby ran downstairs and brought my hubby upstairs to help me.

With my arthritic hands and sometimes poor circulation, my hands hurt and just don’t function right, but Badger loves me to pet him and rub him. I’m not going to ruin it for him though and tell him I’m rubbing him for myself, too.

One night Badger was up on the bed and then down. He’d go into the hall and then was up and down again. I finally got up and followed him. I forgot to turn my oxygen on. Thank you Baby! (Badger’s nickname).

Sometimes they catch my SOB (shortness of breath) before I do and they try to lure me into the bedroom. It’s taken a bit to figure this out, but I believe this is their pattern. When they want food, they drag me to the kitchen, so it’s a big difference.

Ted-e was my birthday present this year. Whew, talk about active. Even though we have a fenced yard, it seemed I was up and down, up and down. When Ted-e has caught me falling, she licks and licks and licks. Then I laugh and cough and giggle and get SOB. How fun and funny she is. They all are!

I have a fenced yard, but they encourage exercise. We walk the inside of the house. If I sit too long, they will bother me, wanting something. I even caught myself doing a half a skip one day! These pups are wonderful company for me.

Yes, sometimes they do answer.

I swear they know what I’m talking about and they do seem to understand the tone of my voice. I can tell them anything and that does help me to relax and feel better. They do help me find peace. As the saying goes, “Dogs are much cheaper than therapy”.

I don’t know if I would do a puppy again, because they do take a lot more energy, but I’m so glad we have had the experience of puppies such as Badger and Ted-e. Gizmo and Abby were both 6 months old when we got them.

We do have the dogs groomed every 4-6 weeks. Their short hair is easier on my health. We regularly brush and bathe them at home at least once a week, more as needed. Sometimes the brushing will bother me.

Never groom in your bedroom. Pets shouldn’t sleep in your bed either.

I learned quickly that some shampoos with take my breath away. Even asking the groomer to use only unscented, they have used the highly scented shampoos. I found an oatmeal shampoo at a department store and it’s great. The groomer has been using it. She keeps plenty of the oatmeal shampoo in stock and uses it for our pups. I have no problems breathing that in.

The melting snow and rain can make mud and wet dog, so I keep a towel handy to dry them off.

Short haired breeds seem to shed more than longer hair. If I don’t pet these dogs, I’m ok. If I do pet them, I have to make sure that my fingers stay away from my face and I wash my hands as soon as possible. Bulldogs have a musky smell and I have reactions to them, just breathing in their scent. Different dogs have different dander, and that can affect COPD. The dogs licking you can trigger a reaction as well.

So if you’re considering a dog, try to find one that doesn’t shed.

Then see if you can be around him/her for a time to see how you physically handle being around the dog that you are wanting. Talk to your doctor too.

I know so many that aren’t able to have a pet and it’s sad, but understandable.

Always remember, your health comes first.

I know for a fact, that if it wasn’t for my husband’s help with bathing, vacuuming, wiping up paw prints and picking up toys, as well as doing outdoor scooping, I wouldn’t be able to have all of my fur babies. I might be able to handle one by myself. It is a blessing that my husband helps like he does.

Here, these fur babies make the world go round. They are a blessing and I’m grateful to have them.

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

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