Do your pets help you cope?

Animals can be such a comfort when times are tough. Having a pet is a big responsibility, too, but if you can look after them properly and give them a good home, they can bring a lot of love and happiness into your home.

I have a little black-and-white rescue cat and it is lovely to see her when I get home every day and have her jump up on the bed to sleep.

Do your pets keep you company and keep you going? Tell us about them here.

Hi, I have a new puppy 11weeks old today. I got her 4 weeks after my mum died ( still can’t believe I am writing that it just doesn’t add up or seem real ) I got pup as I am a big animal dog lover and my gp who was also my mums thought it would be a good thing for me to do to give me routine and a reason and unconditional love. I named her after my mum ( Susan) so I called her Susie Hope. As some sort of hope is what I needed and still do . Me and my mum lived together so it was horrible and really lonely and quite scarey being on my own and the silence . When you on your own all the time and at night your mind can go into overdrive. Susie Hope being a pup is stressful as she is learning and into everything !! So when I first got her I did worry I had took on too much too soon when I am exhausted with grief and pain but now I wouldn’t want to be without her she provides love .comfort and she looks to me to keep her safe loved and feed and looked after. She can be a handfull but that’s not her fault as she is just a pup and learning. I know my mum would love her and be glad I’m not alone. I do struggle with being without mum everyday is a battle and in constant grief pain I just want my mum back I miss her so so much words don’t convey the loss and pain. I tell Susie hope all about my mum and how she is honoured to be named after such a special beautiful mum and human being. I’m sure she is watching over us with May our dog we lost in February this year and that was gutting and still is but I think of may our dog and mum together. This is making me cry and very upset. But fur animals are a great comfort. I just painfully miss my mum and would love to hug her so much. Life can be so very cruel. Sorry have rambled on didn’t mean to. Love sent to all those that are grieving it’s awful so painful. With love . Trayxx

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It sounds as though you are doing a wonderful job of looking after Susie Hope, even though she is a handful. I am glad to hear that she is bringing you comfort.

Thank you. … She is a handful !!! … I’m hoping or wanting to train her to be a pets as therapy dog. When my mum was in the hospice every tuesday a pets as therapy dog would vist patients my mum being one of them ( and I loved seeing her as well) and I saw first hand the diffence of even just a few mins with the. Dog made to the patients and the relatives and even the staff. It was a really lovely thing to see the power of fur so to speak and just the comfort they provide. Even before my mum was I’ll I always said it would be something I would like to do if ever got another dog. My mum said I would be good at it and our gp so I have my mums blessing which is nice as I would like to make her proud and provide comfort to others as I have seen it first hand so it’s very close to my heart. … So Susie Hope will be a dog with a job. She is very bright and can sit and shake a paw already but she can’t go out until next week as she only had her last injection yesterday.she has a lot to learn but that gives me something to focus on I suppose and I feel my mum is close watching as she loved dogs.i just hope Susie Hope will be a good dog for it. With love. Tray xx

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What a lovely idea. It will give you a goal to focus on and bring comfort to others in the future. Good luck with her first outings and I hope the training continues to go well.

I have a horse which is a big responsibility but provides me with so much reflection time, early mornings at the yard with no one else around is my main thinking time and is the opportunity I take to get my head straight before the day begins. My horse isn’t just my pet and my friend she is also my team mate as we are training to compete at dressage. When I lost my dad I also briefly lost my interest in competing, training and enjoying my hobby. It took me a few weeks to get back into my routine but I believe that having the stability of my passion in life has helped me channel my emotions back into something positive. My dad bought me my first horse, him and my mum made many sacrifices to let me pursue my hobby and it is one of the memories of growing up that make me eternally grateful for having such a supportive family.

When my dad was ill, I bought my parents two kittens. They were really angry with me but inevitably ended up keeping them. I think at the back of my mind I wanted dad to have some companionship during the day when he was at home and mum was at work but also knowing that the company of a pet makes the house feel less lonely when the household goes from two to one. Sadly a week after my dad died one of the cats was hit by a car and killed on Father’s Day of all days - life has a very odd way of working sometimes.

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I got a rescue cat 10 months after my darling husband passed-on and she is a great comfort to me. Ok she had health problems at the beginning but she came though (I did not need to nurse someone again! ) I know she loves me and it’s not all about food. The nice thing, you never come home to an empty house, she is always waiting for me. She’s called Susie but at one time Boots, yes she is Bossy Boots but she’s with me and that’s what counts.

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I love cats, they are independent and so if they want to spend time with you it’s because they like you!!! They are also very intuitive. One of my parents cats was really attached to dad. When he died the cat was looking for him and started sleeping on his side of the bed.

Hi , I lost my mum who I lived with to cancer in may this year and I’m beyond heartbroken every day is a struggle. I got a puppy 4 or 5 weeks after my mum passed. I named her Susie Hope(noticed your cat was called Susie as well! ) I named pup Susie after my mum as she was called Susan and the Hope part as that what I really need at the momment some hope and comfort. Being a pup she is hardworking and keeps me busy and gives me a reason to live and like you say not being or coming home to a empty house. The love they provide is like therapy . Xx

To give my rescue cat Sue her breakfast is my reason for getting out of bed every morning after my husband passed away. She has been such a comfort. I wouldn’t be without her and she needs me so she keeps me going. Her name at the rescue centre was Sue and I didn’t change it. My late sister was called Sue. It felt like it was meant to be. Pets are a blessing.

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We have a cat who is 14 and was with us when my husband died. Each time I cry he appears from anywhere else in the house to sit with me. He has been my mainstay and I need and love him. Now he is poorly with diabetis and I am controlling his condition with injections each day. I end each day saying that if Seth is all right then I am all right. I have so many problems with my father’s abysmal elderly care in a home and so very many worries of my own, that my world is the world of my cat and I now, from which I find comfort and love.

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Thank you all for sharing these stories of your pets - I have really enjoyed reading them. And what a funny coincidence that several of them are named Sue or Susie!

Hi, I thought the same that many of them are called Sue or Susie! Quite weird isn’t it . Susie Hope went out for the first time on Wed she loved it . She can’t go very far or long walks as she is only 11weeks old and with her being a large breed puppy her bones are still developing until around 14months and too much exercise too early can do damage my vet told me. My mum would love her I like to think she is watching over us. I was feeling so low today and was glad had. Susie Hope to give me a reason as I am really struggling. Miss mum painfully it’s the most crushing pain. I get horrible distressing images as well from when mum was really poorly and lost so much weight and things she had to go through and these thoughts break my heart . I find them hard to cope with. Does anyone have any advice for this or is anyone else going through this? As I feel so alone with it not sure if it’s common or just because my mental health so low? Any advice help would be of comfort. With love. Tray xx

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I couldn’t agree more Laura - my user name Blythe Spirit is my horses registered name. I have two horses and they both have helped me cope after the death of my father. You speak of early mornings at the stables and I know where your coming from - its a favourite time of day for me too. And like you training my younger horse for dressage has helped me have a focus. My older horse was actually my father’s horse whom I inherited and that connection to him also helps me cope - sometimes if he shies at nothing whilst out riding I Joke to him that the ghost of my father is riding out with us.

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I lost my wife of 39 years to pancreatic cancer 2 weeks ago. It is all too raw and sometimes I think that I am going mad. The house is much too large for me but everything here is Liz and I need that however painful. We have 3 dogs and 2 cats and I think it is mainly for them that I am able to hold it all together. The family are all working and much too far away to visit me very often. I live in SW France and they are all in England. She would be very cross with me but they are all allowed on the furniture and on my bed. I can not cuddle her any more but I can cuddle her dogs.

Hi Harry
I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife and 39 years that’s such a long time and only 2weeks since you lost her so things are very raw and all over I know that’s how I felt when I lost my mum in may this year we were peas in a pod and lived together so although a different relashionship I know the feeling of being alone in the home. I got a puppy and you say in your post you have 3 dogs and 2 cats so they must be of great comfort and distraction that’s what I find anyway although the pain of grief is gutting and you can feel like you are going mad and my mind gets so overwhelmed it can feel all too much.
I’m sure the dogs and cats are missing her aswell so I think you are providing comfort to them also. My thoughts are with you .
Please excuse grammar and spelling I’m dsylexic and also a low tired grief mind!!
From tray x

we have a family cat called Marmite, and because I’m home a lot in between Uni, it’s. generally just me & Marmite at home. he’s a great source of company. when I’m upset he just sits next to me and wants all my attention.

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