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Dog therapy. Tuesday August 23, 2016

Last year I shared that I had taken on a rescue dog, a lurcher.

It didn't work out. A lovely dog, but used to racing not walking, and too strong for me to handle he went back to the home, much to my children's horror.

In May we adopted a stray from the Dogs Home, Ruby Skittles (kids' choice of name). A Jack Russell cross, she went on holiday to Dorset with us and is now a firm part of the family.

I am writing about her for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have learnt resilience. The old me would have taken the need to return a dog as a complete personal failure, never to be repeated. The new me recognised I had chosen the wrong dog and that a different breed was required more suitable for my needs.

Secondly, I learned to face the fear. My friends over 30 years expressed delight and surprise that their dog phobic friend now owned a dog. After all, my friend reminded me of the days I walked round the edge of the park rather than come across anything vaguely canine.

Thirdly, dog ownership is therapeutic. Whether I will be saying this midwinter but owning Ruby Skittles gets me out of bed, makes me exercise (currently doing over 10,000 steps a day) and has introduced me to a new social life, chatting with other dog owners.

Dog ownership is a huge responsibility and not a magic placebo. I have not been ill lately, apart from a nasty bout of whooping cough which has lasted all summer. What can you do to face a fear, build resilience or just be therapy? Knitting or windsurfing... there's something out there for you.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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g Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 1:01am

Thanks for this blog . I too have a dog now again after many dogless years....

LillyPet Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 4:16am

Wide awake at 4am!
Facing a fear for me would be standing up to a bully.
I'm better at it than I used to be, but wouldn't take one home! :)
Thanks for an inspiring blog BM. LP x

Orangeblossom Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 6:31am

Hi BrumMum thanks for the blog which I enjoyed reading immensely. Hope that you all continue to enjoy Ruby Skittles.

the room above the garage Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 7:11am

I love her name :-) And it's really interesting to read, from one dog phobic to another! Always wondered if I could come to love a dog...Thank you x.

Brum Mum Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 1:26pm

RATG, Ruby because my daughter wanted a sister of that name but got a brother. Skittles, well they're pretty good sweets!! To be cliched, feel the fear and do it anyway! X

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 7:45am

Hi BrumMum- thanks for highlighting the effects of pet ownership on us and the positive effect they have when we make contact with them. Indeed I gather that there are volunteers who take their pets to residential homes and the effect they have in lifting the mood of the residents has to be seen to be believed.You are absolutely right there is something out there for each of us that will have those positive effects on us, banish our fears and lift our mood. I seem to vary enormously... some days its a walk( my vitamin N ,N for Nature),some days its reading,or practising my guitar, some days making a meal for the one I love..I keep them all in my toolbox. Not bold enough to own a pet I am afraid.

Here are further gems from the NBC commentators at the recent Rio games.

3. Paul Hamm, Gymnast: "I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father."

4. Boxing Analyst: "Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious."

g Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 8:31am

Because you do not know what you are missing HO. I do not think that there are possible ways of explaining it all . Of course it is a big responsibility but if a dog is too much you could start with a cat - completely different cattle of fish - yes fish too , mice, rats - delight to watch how clever they are . Remember pet rock ? the guy with this crazy idea made millions ....

g Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 8:34am

reading gems from Rio I do start regretting not watching The Games but as Jamie Catto says it is our life so we should go for it and not w.. watching others enjoy themselves so lets go out and smell the roses today and tomorrow..

Dympna Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 8:07am

A dog brings so much, the close bond, the social side. I got a puppy during a fragile time in my life and whilst it was not easy as he was a very naughty puppy it was the best thing to do. I cherished time spent alone with him when he was older and more calm. Stroking a dog is such therapy. Sadly, he developed a tumour earlier this year and we had to say goodbye in May.

It is not the right time to get another. Some day the time will be right. In the meantime, I feel enormously grateful for all he brought us. And as for the early morning January walks? I was always out for 6.30am and never minded.


Lex Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 8:57am

What a great call to action based on great examples. Thanks for sharing, BrumMum... I decided this weekend that I'd like a French Bulldog

Brum Mum Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 1:28pm

Mine is a cross between a jack Russell and English bulldog. French bulldog sounds very classy!

Tutti Frutti Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 10:40am

Sorry to hijack this blog but I just wanted to thank those who responded to me on Friday's blog, particularly Wyvern. I had a very busy day immediately after submitting my original comment/question put some very late replies on that blog on Saturday morning.

Burn Mum Well done for finding the right dog. I will come back to this blog and comment properly later.
Love TF x

The Gardener Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 11:33am

I wrote a book for a grand-son about the awfulness of all our cats and dogs - much enjoyed by other children. They were thieves, vandals, escapists - each one, canine and feline, one idea, put one over the humans. My father was a recipient of unwanted dogs - could not cope - handed on to us. We had a Jack Russel, Racky, with very short legs. He loathed all other dogs, and anything in uniform - he'd start with what he could reach, the ankles, and work his way up. He was also a great escapist - after the third return in the company of a policeman he had to go. Don't know how police still had their hands and feet. I like dogs, IN THEIR PLACE, not jumping up, stinking the furniture, having to be admired and loved. Had lots of dogs - big farmhouse, big garden, small children, and in an area rife with vandalism and burglaries we had to have them. Mr G hates all dogs. When a beloved German Shepherd (gold medal for thieving) had to be put down we went to the RSPCA for a replacement. I fell, I know not why, for a pointer. It did £100 damage in the first week, and climbed on the barn roof - built a stack of straw bales to get it down. They do not, of course, bark. Our fourth child can still be reduced to uncontrollable mirth at the memory 'Mum, is it going to point at the burglars?' He had to go - with his name - Patch the Potty Pointer. He was replaced by another dog - a golden labrador - much loved - we have a picture of him gambolling in the snow - I swear he was laughing. He had one hang-up - he thought he was a lap-dog - at 8 stone not really on. Brum Mum mentions therapy - at the moment gardening and knitting. Mr G deterioration awful - winter looms - set targets - knitting fine, also re-start research, idea for writing, and walk, somehow. The wheel-chair, I thought, was the answer to that - proving a back breaker. Mr G at respite - going to be really delinquent - mid-day Kir, an old Arthur Hailey and crash out on sunny terrace - as house is tidy and I've painted the boiler room I'm feeling disgustingly smug. Joke from my 1929 book - political correctness? Didn't exist. Two black men are roasting the missionary over a spit. One black man 'aren't you going to add any seasoning'. Other, 'no, he's got pepper and salt hair'.

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 @ 6:24pm

Hi Gardner- you seem to have caught the bug. Two cannibal clowns are walking towards their meal when one says to the other'' Does it smell funny to you?'

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