This Article is About
therapy dogs
ear buds
border collie
single mom
sinking feeling
dog house
simple solution
good health
Want Good Therapy? Dogs
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Want Good Therapy? Dogs

Ever come home to an empty house and have a sinking feeling that something is missing in your life? You go through the same old routine day after day. You have a great job. Your bills are paid. You have a decent social life, but you just can't put your finger on it. You go for walks with your ear buds stuck in your ears listening to your favorite picks of music. Even the novelty wears of from your walks. You don't stop because your good health depends the benefits of cardio vascular exercise. Well you could spent $125.00 and hour for therapy to figure out how you can be happier. Or you could read on.


That's right FURAPY, don't bother looking it up in a Wikipedia, Dictionary or a Thesaurus. Because I made the word up and I'm owning it. The reason why is because I suffered those symptoms that I mentioned before. I had everything a non greedy person would expect from life. I had no complaints. I did feel that emptiness and all I wanted to do was feel better.

I didn't want to go to a therapist to discuss my childhood or if I was nurtured enough. As you grow older you realize your an adult a lot long then you are a child and you get to own that. That means if you had a bad child hood you learn from it and evolve or if you had a good child hood you learn from that and also evolve. I am not putting down therapy it just wasn't an option for me. Besides, I knew it had to be a simple solution.

My Discovery

Well one day a friend sent me an ad from Craigslist, of this black border collie mixed with long hair retriever. There was no picture but my heart just about broke when I learned he was with a family for 8 years and they were giving him up. Now I grew up with dogs my whole life until I just got really busy, moved a lot. Raising my son as a single mom.

My plate was full with work college etc. By having grown up with dogs it was a prerequisite that they became a family member. That means they live among us in the house (not in a dog house on a chain in all kinds of weather). We fed them we toke them for walks made sure they had there shots and occasionally feed them scraps from dinner under the table, until we got caught.

I remember how attached our animals were to us and we to them, We really do become part of there pack. Even though we have to remind ourselves its not the other way around. When one of dogs died we hurried to get another in less then a week not to replace, but because some other dog needed a home and we all needed unconditional love they shared.

How easy we forget

Well at least I did. I agreed to have the owners of this dog, bring him to my home and see what happens. Well since I live on the second floor, with steep outside steps. And (by now I know the dogs name is Gator, he looks like a Charlie to me so I named him Charlie Gator) Gator was just terrified so the owner picked up this 60 pound dog and brought him to my kitchen.

We all sat and talked about why they had to get rid of him.. It was nothing that I was concerned about. I had trained a dog that was raised to kill other dogs, to not do that anymore. took 4 months but I was proud of the dog when he changed and they decided not to Euthanize him. I'm not a dog trainer ,but after that I thought maybe I should be. Gator was so docile and scared.When I first laid eyes on him. He looked exactly like the first dog I had when I was five and I said I'll keep him if he wants to stay.

Life Changing Experience

I had an old over stuffed chair that no one liked. I through a sheet over it and showed Gator that was his chair. He was ok with it. The next day I took him to Dog super market and he helped me pick out food he liked. $73.00 Later on grooming supplies, treats and so on.

We went home only this time I had no one around to carry him up the stairs. It was an Oh something moment. Well I try to show him its was ok to climb the stairs going up and down them like a mamma bird teaching her bird to fly. Nothing worked. I kept saying its okay it good. I tugged with a motherly nudge, and he came right out of his collar and leash and ran through neighbors yards heading towards the busy street and all I could think of is this dog is going to get hit by a car.

Quick think Fast

I don't know what made me think of this but I said to myself what would the pack do. I saw he was scared of his new environment. I just said, in a calm voice," Gator, no this way" and I started to walk slow in the direction of home real slow, looking back and saw him walk towards me. I stopped knelt down and he came right to me and let me put his leash back on. Then I exhaled.

We went for a nice long walk and when we got back to the stairs. we took one step at a time. He gradually walked up the stairs and we sat at the top. I said its okay, its good. Then he licked my face and I knew we had trust. In a month or so I added the words stay close and now I can walk him without a leash and he listens.

My life has changed from that day on. 3 years later everyday of my life is shared with a friend. Who always makes me chuckle by the way he is so excited when I came home (and I just went out to get the mail) I walk more sometimes I let him lead the way. Those symptoms I described in the beginning. . . .there all gone.

I may have rescued Gator from what ever his demise was, but to tell you the truth he really rescued me. You see, living alone you tend to get self centered simply because there is no one else to think of on the day to day. We all need to care and love and I could never be swayed to think differently. You only need to teach a few words, for there safety like stop, sit, its okay its good. They figure out the rest because they trust us.

So I highly recommend anyone to Adopt a dog. If you can't then there are so many alternatives, for instance Fostering pets are popular and its so good for the dogs to be in a home instead of a shelter. There are ancient records that theses animals just love to enlist us in there pact. If you do Adopt or Foster you will know the true meaning of Furapy.

Street Talk

Sherry B.  

Hi Joan, Great article! I really enjoyed reading it! I know how you must have felt when Charlie Gator got away from you and ran towards the street. Even though our street here isn't too busy, I get the same reaction myself if one of our dogs sneaks out of the fence or out our front door. Usually though they're pretty good about staying in the yard and coming back when they're called. Although sometimes the Husky mix of ours, Pepper, likes to tease though. She'll sneak out the front door and get just far enough away such as in the next door neighbor's yard and look back at us, like she's saying "well, you wanna play? " then runs around a bit, stops and looks again, and keeps doing it for a few minutes all the while stopping to give us that look, lol. Only when she decides she's had enough of her teasing game does she come trotting back up to the door. About the only thing that cuts it short is if we open the truck door for her to get in so she can go for a ride, which she loves doing! I totally agree that dogs can be so beneficial in our lives. They do fill that emptiness with all their unconditional love and antics! I've always had dogs and I wouldn't know what I'd do without them. I don't live alone, since I do have two kids and a hubby, but it still wouldn't be the same. As for going for walks, I don't think I'd even go for a walk without a dog at my side if I could help it. It just wouldn't seem right!

  about 9 years ago

Thank you so much for your comment . I get so over joyed when some one reads my articles. I'm like a little kid. Even better it helps me to read other articles that i may not have found . So thank so much

  about 9 years ago

Hi Joan - what a lovely article! I also have dogs, and could really connect with your feelings - both before Charlie Gator came to live with you, and after. I found myself holding my breath while you were trying to rescue Charlie from the busy street - and how ingenious of you to think "what would the pack do?" I smiled as you described how happy he is to see you when you return home - even if you just walked to the mailbox! I experience the same thing with my Jack and Becca. Looking forward to reading more of your stories. Thank you!

  about 9 years ago

Thank you so much for commenting on my article. It means alot when you pour your heart into something to share with another person and someone enjoys it. Although I grew up in New Jersey I can understand you southern values. I thought when I moved to Florida those values I hold close and dear would be different here.. Un like what you may have heard we do have those values in the north. Unfortunately some people misrepresent the north and make us sound cold and heartless. When I made friends down here in the south I was glad to see how truly alike we all were (well except this jersey accent i can't seem to shake) i was a truck driver in all 48 states and Canada and the most beautiful lesson I learned from the thousands of people I met. We are all so similar. and that was a lesson well learned. What a beautiful country we live in. So worth fighting for our freedom. I understand your strong political belief I wish I could had mine. But the last few elections seemed so rigged and when i watch documentaries on the behind the scenes goings on. I am so scared of the direction this country is going in. .When I say I love my country it is really the people like us who work hard to make other people rich. when there is plenty for everyone as long as you work and earn it. As long as we don't get laid off like us (feel your pain there). Well looking forward to more of your articles. Take care

  about 9 years ago
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