Have you ever felt overwhelmed by people and a sense that one more conversation will push you over the edge? If you have, you’re not alone. One of the most fatiguing and triggering tasks of a chronic condition is communicating with human beings. We are often so drained by a day full of physician notes and phone calls that we have very little left for our spouses, partners and children. For many of us, our furbabies are what help us make it through the day!
Ellie of the Silver Lakes
Our family rescued Ellie, pictured above, from the Carolinas Poodle Rescue in August of 2020. Our kids helped us fundraise for her $500 adoption fee, and this week we are celebrating her adoption day! Ellie has been such a beautiful gift to us. Dogs are work, but she gives us much more than we can give her. She helps my husband get outside to exercise, take walks, and breathe after a long day. She gives our children ease from anxiety, guarding them when they’re at home, saying goodnight every evening and snuggling in lighting storms or times of tears. For me she is both peace and project.
Ellie curls up behind my knees at night and along with my weighted blanket helps me sleep more peacefully. She naps with me in the long mornings on days I can’t get up fast, and checks on the kids for me. She also gives me something to do! “Hey play with me!” nosing my hands and bringing me a ball remind me to get up and get moving. Her grooming keeps me conscious of my joints, shoulders, elbows and wrists. It doubles as physical therapy, and can be so soothing for both of us to get a long brush or spend an hour quietly grooming her in the kitchen. Ellie is an interaction for me that calms me deeply, not only reducing pain but helping me feel connected to living things when my autie-brain can’t handle any more human contact.
The beautiful program at Dreamweaver Farms rescues purebred poodles who have been abused or abandoned by their owners, and some who just couldn’t care for a doggie anymore. They also take in many other breeds of dogs in needs, and even a few cats! People from all over the east and southern coasts drive to the Carolina’s Poodle Rescue Dreamweaver Farms to adopt a furbaby. Especially if you need a hypo-allergenic pooch for allergy and mast cell concerns, Donna is the woman for you. The process of adoption takes time, but Donna and her team are EXPERTS at matching pets with families, and they are dedicated to making every placement a permanent one. Even more amazing, is that they are so committed to the cause, that if anything happens in your life, a medical emergency or financial crisis, that makes it impossible to keep your furbaby, they will take the pooch and help him/her find another home.
Many EDS patients have benefitted from trained service animals who are able to provide real quality assistance in daily tasks, travel, comfort and support on physician visits and even hospital emergencies. For more information and experiences from patients with service animals, we invite you to explore the resources below!
Service Dogs Can’t Be Turned Away by Elia Madrid-Onofre
Ehlers-Danlos Society 2019 Conference “Service Dogs” pdf.
My Service Dog, My Lifeline – by Brittany App at Hypermobility Connect
For help finding a service dog for adult or child see The Coalition Against Pediatric Pain
Have a Wonderful Day!