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Animals in Recovery

Old 07-08-2010, 10:40 PM
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Smile Animals in Recovery

After reading the thread started by Least, I started thinking about how my cats have been such a huge part of my recovery process. I also noticed that a lot of people have pictures of their animals on here. Aren't they what we all need? Something that loves us unconditionally, doesn't judge, and gives us strength? I know not everyone is an animal person but I sure am.

The morning I had my moment of clairty my little cat woke me up after a night of heavy drinking and xanax taking. She wouldn't stop clawing me and head butting me. I turned my head and bam! Projectile vomiting. I think she might of saved my life. I am still working on my amends to my other cat for the night I threw the remote control at her and shouted: "Not even YOU love me." They are my little unsung heros.

Just interested to hear how other people's animals have played a role in the early recovery process and thought it might make for an inspirational thread.

Peace,
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:54 PM
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OMG...I couldn't agree more. My Cat and Dog play a HUGE part in my recovery. Although, I am sure my Dog wishes I was still a drunk because I would forget that I fed her and I would feed her again and again. I am not sure how many times, but she was well fed! Or I would leave a full plate of food on the coffee table and forget to eat it (because I was passing out). I would wake up and she had cleaned the plate

Animals are true healers though. As I speak my dog and cat are snuggling with me on my lap. AHHHH!!!
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:00 PM
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When I first started going to meetings I used my Chocolate Lab as my 'Higher power'!

I love all animals
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:13 PM
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I look at my dog, whom I love more than (maybe too much information alert.....lol) just about any person I know as a living representation of unconditional love - the way God loves us.

He's also capable of near instantaneous forgiveness - a lesson I'm trying to learn from him.

He's allllllllllways living in the moment. No regrets about the past and no fear of the future.

He knows little to nothing of the hideous four horsemen: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair

He IS occasionally irritable, restless and/or discontent but hey.... I'd swap with him in a second!

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Old 07-08-2010, 11:41 PM
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((Daytrader)) - great thread!

My furbabies have been a huge part of my recovery. In fact, Elvis (the black one) actually helped keep me from relapsing once. I'd gotten in a huge fight with my dad (I live with him/stepmom thanks to the financial ruin my addiction put me in) and was going to leave and go to a motel. I had $$ in the bank, meant to get my car fixed the next day, but it was a good sum.

I knew any motel I'd stay at, there'd be somewhere there selling crack, and the idea didn't exactly repel me but as I reached for my purse, I saw Elvis looking at me like "mom, PLEASE don't leave me!!" I put down my purse, got on SR and a dear friend talked me down, until I could fall asleep, snuggled up with Elvis.

I will probably be one of those old "cat ladies", but I'll be clean and able to appreciate them....and spoil them rotten

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:42 AM
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I was a bit bewildered when I saw the title of this thread.
Animals in recovery!!!!
Fortunately you're not telling me that animals too can get addicted and need treatment and I think your stories are wonderful.
I think tho like happy camper that my rabbit probably liked me better as a drunk as when under the influence i could just sit there for hours with a glass, just stroking her whereas now i get bored after a few minutes and want to be doing something.
I obviously need to learn patience!
Thankyou for reminding me and I'll make sure I make a real fuss of her today!
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:56 AM
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My bunny Ewok (in the picture) is the best! He always wants to play and loves cuddles, it's so comforting.

Animals never judge us, and caring for them takes our mind off of ourselves. They are great therapists.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:35 AM
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Your bunny looks really cute . My bunnies are cute too but they don't like playing or being cuddled. One of them just likes basking in the sun and being stroked and fed. The other one just likes running around and taunting the dog who lives on the other side of the fence.He knows there is a fence there so the dog can't get him but really he could go somewhere else in the garden.! The dog then gets told off by her owner for barking at him.
Cheeky little scamp!
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:57 AM
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Thanks JJB- rabbits are great aren't they! So cheeky and each with their own personality. Your bunny taunting the dog made me laugh! My boyfriend's rabbit is the same he is beautiful but doens't like being picked up but when let you let him run around he'll come up to you and say hello. Ewok is so tame he's like a puppie it's mad! Never seen a bunny like it, he lets me cradle him upside down and tickle his tummy!! xx
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:27 AM
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One of the reasons I decided to quit was my new English Mastiff puppy. She was so vulnerable, & expected such good things from me. She needed her walks several times a day, and I wasn't "present", just went through the motions as I walked along drinking booze from a coffee cup. I did the basics, but my heart wasn't in it - and she deserved better. I added her to my list of reasons why I had to stop poisoning myself, and it helped so much.
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:36 AM
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Aww hevyn that's really cute! How old is your mastiff puppy now? Im not sure what a mastiff looks like, could you send us a piccy?

I love dogs but of course they are incompatible with rabbits so I don't have one!
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:29 AM
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JJB - I had trouble posting a picture - but that's her in my avatar, along with our rescued Lab.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:10 AM
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Oh wow! I love this thread! My dogs are one of my biggest reasons to stay sober cause two of them are special needs: the beagirl is quite old and the shiba is diabetic and blind. (the other shiba just finished heartworm treatment and am praying he tests negative later this month)

When I was drinking I wasn't very careful about when they were fed and when diabetic boy got his insulin. They survived my carelessness but I always felt guilty cause they weren't getting the best care that they deserved.

They know when I'm lonely or sad and will come to me and comfort me. When I'm sick and sleeping a lot they will spend a lot of time in the bed snuggled up to me.

I too used to use my dogs as my higher power as their love is unconditional, as God's love is supposed to be. I am so glad to be sober now and able to give them the care they need and deserve.

Great thread! Thanks for starting it.

I have three cats too!
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:14 AM
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when I have bad days my pets are my salvation. i've always had cats (Slim the Maine Coon is 14), Fandy who is my Avatar is 3 and Pookie is about 1 year 3 mos....they are always with me when i'm home.

i stopped drionking in Februry but still struggle at times,( i have a lot on my plate with the end of a long relationship and my mother suffers from advancing dementia).

In May I decided to adopt a dog through Petfinder and a local rescue group....someone small and energetic who needs attention, affection and walks....the little Pom is a great addition to my recovery. Most days we are out the door for a walk early in the morning, we watch TV together and it's hard to resist his happy personality. He is high energy and if I was drinking I certainly couldn't walk him properly, he would trip me....This dog deserves a sober owner and a decent level of care.

I am glad I can say that due to increased sobriety and the dog, my depression (which triggers more drinking) is markedly less....even the silly act of putting a fresh bright bandanna on the dog (Sammy) every day is a small, simple pleasure.

it sure beats sitting around on my butt with a bottle and wine glass.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:57 AM
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Every day my cat Syli teaches me a lesson in determination. No matter how much I tell him he cannot go outside, he tries anyway. He senses where I am going to sit in the living room, and decides to take the spot before I can get to it.

The windows in my bedroom are quite high off the floor, and one morning I noticed him sitting in front of the window staring at it. I picked him up and put him on the ledge so that he could look out the window. Of course, he decided that this was the new routine in the morning and expected me to put him on the ledge. One morning he jumped down from the window. I was getting ready for work, heard a thump, followed by the scratching of nails down my freshly painted wall as he tried to get up onto the ledge by himself. I knew that he would keep trying, I didn't want him to get hurt, and I didn't want to have to repaint my wall, so I had to rearrange some furniture so that he can sit and stare out the window.

Every night after a hard day at the office, he calms me down by expecting me to brush him.

He also teaches me to laugh, since some of his antics with his favourite toy are just downright hilarious, and gets me to focus on someone other than myself.

Thanks for this thread! Some of the stories everyone has told have given me a big smile to start my day!
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:07 AM
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Oh Omega that's sure a cat with personality!
I don't particularly like cats but he sounds great.
I like the way he can always guess where you want to sit so he can get there first!! :rotfxko
This is a great thread , it makes me laugh and goes to show what softies we all are!

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Old 07-09-2010, 06:18 AM
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Syli is quite a handful! He actually had to learn the hard way not to sleep by my feet when I am in bed. There were a few nights where I launched him off the bed when I stretched out. I wasn't conscious enough to realize that it was the cat that was preventing me from stretching. It was only when I heard the telltale thump of him hitting the floor that I woke up and realized what I had done. I felt really bad, and had I actually been awake I certainly wouldn't have done it!
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:36 AM
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Omega;

if needed I have seen cat perches that are adjustable to any width window sill, covered in fake sherpa they make a nice spot for viewing "outside action"....(petsmart)

I had to do a massive grooming and clipping on the Maine Coon last night, he doesn't do it himself as often since he is getting old....this involved locking us in the bathroom with a razor-rake, scissors..I removed about 8 huge handfuls of hair from him, cut out some knots and got clawed a bit....this is NOT something I could have done if i wasn't sober.

I think he has forgiven me, but we will have another session later this evening.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:48 AM
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My boys are SO important to me.

However, it was their predecessor, Kimmie, who stuck with me as I drank away three years of my life. If she hadn't been there for me, I don't think I would have made it.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:03 AM
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Nice thread.

I just brought my Delilah (10 year old lab) to the vet yesterday. After the vet listened to her chest she told me that it didn't sound good and that what she was hearing usually indicated a mass. Delilah has been with me through everything - my babies, my divorce, my engagement and break up, my drinking, my new quest for sobriety (22 days today)..

The wait for the xrays was horrible - during that time I convinced myself that I needed to drink if the news turned out to be bad. This is the first time in my 21 days so far that I had become determined to drink.. I just couldn't handle the idea of dealing with this sober. Luckily there was no mass and she is doing very well overall for her age!!

My sponsor had 19 years (!) of sobriety and then when she had to put her dog down she drank the morning of and then for the next 5 years. I absolutely LOVE my girl and am so blessed to haver her in my life - I just hate knowing that at some point probably not too far off I will lose her. It worries me greatly - I just hope I am stronger in my sobriety by the time it happens so that I can handle it soberly.

We are all so lucky to have the unconditional love our animals give us - even if it is for a relatively short amount of time. I am sorry if I am a downer on this thread - yesterday just scared me horribly! I am pampering my girl today.
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