Pet Therapy

How do pets factor into your lifestyle management?

  • My pet(s) have been helpful.

    Votes: 18 69.2%
  • My pet(s) have been unhelpful.

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • My pet(s) dont influence me much.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I dont have any pets but Im interested in how they might help.

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • No pets for me.

    Votes: 4 15.4%

  • Total voters


All shall be well . . .
Santa Rosa, CA
My used-to-be-neighbor got himself a black lab puppy. The cute little puppy would be excited to see me when I came down my driveway and would run over to me, run circles around me and jump up on me with uncontainable excitement. It was very sweet. I loved it.

Then this puppy grew and became a beautiful large dog who still could not contain his excitement at my arrival. He would still run circles around me and jump up on me, his whole body trembling with joy. (I know, I am THAT special!) I still thought it was sweet. I still loved it even as I struggled to maintain my balance. The dog's owner tried to train his precious doggy not to jump up on me, but I never minded. I've never been so well greeted by man or beast as I was by that gorgeous black lab.

Sadly, the dog and his human moved away. Even more sadly, my beautiful welcome doggy did such a number on the floor in my neighbor's house (also owned by my landlord), that I am not allowed to have a dog of any size or shape or obedience level in my home ever.

I miss my beautiful welcome doggie.


Senior Member

If you are not sure, try fostering a pet from a no kill shelter first. That will give you a good idea if you are able to keep
up with taking care of it. It also gives you the possibility to see what pet you might like best. If you get an older
pet they are easier to keep up with unlike younger ones that tend to be too perky at times.
As stated earlier in this thread, a shelter is, unfortunately, not an option for me. There are two main reasons for this.

The first reason is that I cannot visit a shelter--literally incapable of it. The noise alone would result in uncontrollable screaming from the pain.

The second reason is that I have extremely severe MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) and any soap or shampoo used on the animal within the past several weeks would cause reactions for me, possibly very severe ones, as well as any cleaning supplies used in its environment. One reason I have my heart set on the Xolo breed is that the breed tends to be very sensitive to environmental toxins and thus any Xolo breeder worth his or her salt would be very cautious in the chemicals they expose their dogs to. I need that--it's a health requirement for me and non-negotiable.

Another reason I feel that I personally cannot take a pet from a shelter is because I know that I need an adult dog who is basically a "couch potato" type, and is already well-trained--basically I can't take any surprises. A breeder knows their dogs well, knows their personalities, and knows which one will be the best match for me. Shelter workers only see the dogs for a shrot time in a high-stress situation so they could not give me the same quality recommendation.

To sum it up, chances of me sucessfully pairing with a shelter dog are extremely slim (plus I couldn't even own the dog because I couldn't go in), whereas chances of me sucessfully pairing with a dog from a breeder are pretty good. I would otherwise be all for getting a dog from a shelter, in fact, that's where our family dog came from. But in my situation it just isn't smart. I have to put my health first.


My used-to-be-neighbor got himself a black lab puppy...
That is the sweetest story! Aw, I bet you miss that cutie.

When I relapsed, my parents fixed up their in-law apartment for me. I had to research dog-proof flooring!! They do a number on hardwoods. Forget bamboo. I ended up with laminate.

ETA: Dainty, I'm so sorry to hear how severe your MCS is. You'll have to keep us posted about your new little dog!

I thought I'd add this, not for you because your special needs prevent shelter adoption, but for others who may be reading this. Many shelters do a lot of history at intake so they can learn as much as then can about the relinquished animal, and they also do a what is called a temperament test. A dog is taken into a quiet room and introduced to a series of situations and scenarios: from petting and playing, to being startled, to being introduced to other dogs. How the dog responds is noted, and adoption restrictions may be applied if the dog shows aggression at various points. A dog that is food aggressive, for example, will not be adopted out to a home with children. Also, these tests give the shelter an opportunity to work with the dogs if they need help. If a dog is shy or timid, a shelter might opt to foster that dog so s/he can gain social skills.

My dog Beau did very well on his temperament test and was suitable for any home: he could live with cats, other dogs, children. At our adoption interview I learned that Beau knew all of his basic commands, and read the questionnaire given to his previous owner. Because he was an older dog I knew he wouldn't have the exercise needs a younger dog required. So even though a shelter is an artificial environment, I knew quite a bit about him before he came home with me!

I just read about this new feline personality assessment that some shelters are starting too. Read about it here and here it's pretty cool!


Plays With Voodoo Dollies
Dainty, sorry to hear that you have severe MCS. Hope you find the perfect doggy that works for you.