What difference has your pet made to your life? — Scope | Disability forum
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What difference has your pet made to your life?

Cher_Inactive
Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

Scope community team

edited May 5 in Coffee lounge

National Pet Month has just come to a close, bringing an opportune moment for us to reflect on how pets benefit disabled people's wellbeing and independence.

A cat sitting bolt upright on a sofa looking shocked

Recent research conducted between Scope and the University of Sheffield's 'I-Human' team showed that one of the key things that made a difference to young disabled people's lives was animals.  From assistance dogs who help overcome external barriers to navigating our communities, to the furry (and not so furry) friends offering companionship through periods of isolation, animals better disabled lives in multiple ways.  

How has having a pet helped me?

Looking back I can see how having my cats helped me during periods of my impairment flaring.  During emotionally difficult times, just having them sat next to me was a comforting presence that reassured me I wasn't alone.  In-fact, it's often appeared that they have a sixth sense and know when I'm 'not quite right'.  Stroking them was a good way of helping me keep mindful and they encouraged me to go outside, albeit just to the garden to watch them play, when I didn't think I had the energy.  My cats are my non-human support network and I'm meowy thankful to have had them in my life.

Over to you:

  • Can you relate to the findings of the study?
  • How has having pet(s) improved your wellbeing and independence?
  • Do you have any pics of your pets to show us!  <3
Let us know in the comments below.  
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Comments

  • motherjac
    motherjac Member Posts: 5 Connected
    My 3 cats and 2 guinea pigs help immensely. They cheer me up when I’m feeling down and keep me motivated. I would be lost with out them.
  • motherjac
    motherjac Member Posts: 5 Connected
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    @motherjac A warm welcome to the community from me and oooh hello to your furry friends  <3  What gorgeous creatures they are!  What are there names?  It's lovely to hear how they make you happy and motivated - I totally get that too!
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  • motherjac
    motherjac Member Posts: 5 Connected
    Thank you, their names from the top are Tabbytha, Willow, Abraham and Parsnip and last but by no means least Monty my old boy who is 17 years young. 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,598 Disability Gamechanger
    Lovely pictures @motherjac thanks for sharing
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    @motherjac What beautiful names, particularly Parsnip  <3 And wow, Monty is a gorgeous boy.

    Here's a little photo of my two girls: Lavender is the white one and Trinity, her older sister, looking on disapprovingly  :D  



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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,598 Disability Gamechanger
    Great pictures @Cher_Scope

    I like cats and wouldn’t mind getting one when I am able to live by myself, for some company, but I’m not sure I could handle the responsibility of looking after another living thing - looking after myself is hard enough!! Are cats easy to look after?
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,598 Disability Gamechanger
    PS we currently have a family dog and he is great fun and a great companion. 

    I never thought I was an animal person but he is really nice to have around the house. :)
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    @66Mustang I find them really easy to look after (although disclaimer: this is my personal experience  :D ) They are super self-sufficient and only really meow when they want to go outside or when they are ready for food, loitering around their bowls.  It can be tricky if we plan time away for holidays to get a cat-sitter but my family members are normally happy to pick this up and make sure they're looked after.  Maybe it's something to think about for the future?  And ahhh, a dog!  Do you have a pic?   :)
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,598 Disability Gamechanger
    Here you go, he is a border collie :)



  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    @66Mustang D'awww and he has a Kevin the carrot  <3  How cute!! What's he called?
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,598 Disability Gamechanger
    Hehe :smiley: he’s called Jenson
  • BunnyBabs
    BunnyBabs Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Love your Pet family ,Normally Thats all I eva talk about...My Bunny Tina !
    We had a cat just like in your first picture,Very special, The neighbours
    used to hide in waiting ,just to watch him saunter down the garden path ,then stand up ;  rat-a-tat-tat on the door...with the knocker and he'd remain standing until the door was open..like a little gentleman..His name was Mr.Kitten...simply because he was the only kitten born .in a litter of 1 !!
    We had him until he was 17...
    I'm not very good at losing pets I'm afraid ..I was in deep mourning for at least 2yrs...
  • fluffycat
    fluffycat Member Posts: 215 Pioneering
    Cats make a house A HOME!,

    something to fuss over, get a response, (sometimes random) talk to puss rather than self, sense of purpose and a welcome home (well sometimes lol) 
     
    Choose cats as lower maintenance than dog.

    Had few cats over time, all individual characters. Tend to get young cat so get plenty of time with them.

    Shortest few years to nearly 2 decades !! 
  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Member Posts: 1,002 Pioneering
    My little dog is my world I believe he has saved my life many time’s by just being there xxx
  • ernie2009
    ernie2009 Member Posts: 147 Pioneering
    i have 3 little dogs which are 2 jack russels and 1 mini wire haired sausage dog. ellie and mollie are jacks and ernie the sausage dog. ellie is 13, mollie 4 and ernie is 12. they are like our kids and we even call them the kids and all spoilt rotten but have been part of our lives for some time. what would we do without them? we,d be lost. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 5,996

    Scope community team

    It's lovely reading all of your stories, and seeing the pictures! Keep them coming :)

    It's good to hear from you @cupcake88. How are you getting on? 
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  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 4,245 Disability Gamechanger
    We had a clever cat who used to climb up to a high tiled shelf outside the front door and lift the door knocker to come in. I was eight years old and quite surprised a cat could be so clever. 

    Thank heavens they dont have opposable thumbs or we might be in big trouble! 
  • fluffycat
    fluffycat Member Posts: 215 Pioneering
    @ernie2009

    Had quick look @ J. Russel’s recently and were going for over a grand !! SO

    Looked at cats and they were going at over £300 for a moggy! (Lots of ads users were ONLY one month registered on various platforms, so potentially iffy and stories of allergy etc. but still cashing in)

    Luckily found a kitty that didn’t cost a fortune and the  person had been on the platform for many years with genuine reason for rehoming. 
  • fluffycat
    fluffycat Member Posts: 215 Pioneering
    leeCal said:
    We had a clever cat who used to climb up to a high tiled shelf outside the front door and lift the door knocker to come in. I was eight years old and quite surprised a cat could be so clever. 

    Thank heavens they dont have opposable thumbs or we might be in big trouble! 
    My recent cat could open doors by swinging on the handle lol.

    Current cat can slide a treat down face and eat it or let water roll down face from tap, to drink. (Then shake it off like a duck lol) Also pats my hand or high-5 for a treat! 
  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 4,245 Disability Gamechanger
    Better keep the can opener under lock and key @fluffycat !
  • fluffycat
    fluffycat Member Posts: 215 Pioneering
    leeCal said:
    Better keep the can opener under lock and key @fluffycat !
    He’s clawed sack of biscuits and tried to knock smaller packs off shelf! Claws can tear paper!

    last cat would scratch the slops out of food pouches lol
  • BunnyBabs
    BunnyBabs Member Posts: 13 Connected
    That is so sweet..
    I've been forgetting how amazung puss-cats are...since my world was taken over By A Bunny !! She's as big as a cat & twice as Fluffy...
    After mr Kitten passed I never thought I would have another Pet...
    They say Bunnies find you !!
    This one certainly did...she's become my heartbeat...I 'll have to find a way to post a pic of her...I 've never been able to capture any of her awesome self in a pic...She's a divine Beauty glistening & Golden..Then I take a pic and its like "Oh where's her face ? She's just a little Fluff ball !!
    She's a Queen and rules in her own silent way. ..She's also disabled ,so truly one of us..I admire her so much..I'd love to share her with you and the world...Love to your Little friends xx
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    Ahh it's so lovely to see everyone's pet family  <3  Some proper cuties about!

    @BunnyBabs Let me know if you have any trouble posting a pic of your lovely bunny.  She sounds like a real character!
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  • motherjac
    motherjac Member Posts: 5 Connected
    @motherjac What beautiful names, particularly Parsnip  <3 And wow, Monty is a gorgeous boy.

    Here's a little photo of my two girls: Lavender is the white one and Trinity, her older sister, looking on disapprovingly  :D  



    Aww they’re so cute 😍
  • Caz_Alumni
    Caz_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 624 Pioneering
    edited May 6
    Some absolutely gorgeous pet photos an animal antics stories here! Such a lovely, feel-good thread too!

    Thank you for all your contributions so far. Do keep them coming. It's so nice to see and hear about the positive difference that all your pets have made. :)

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  • Charlieniblett
    Charlieniblett Member Posts: 54 Connected

    My best friend, he keeps me sane, gives me a purpose and gets me out of the house!! 
    My partner is at home all day on his own when I work and he said our dog Bandit stops him from getting lonely.
  • ernie2009
    ernie2009 Member Posts: 147 Pioneering

    My best friend, he keeps me sane, gives me a purpose and gets me out of the house!! 
    My partner is at home all day on his own when I work and he said our dog Bandit stops him from getting lonely.
    love him and very cool name.
  • BunnyBabs
    BunnyBabs Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Well  heres Tina Buns Fluffy Tail !
    As I sed I can never seem to get her wholeself in2 one frame..I cant seem to do her justice ! 
    For 8+ yrs...I  just follow   this this little tail ..
    Other pic is her napping like a true little fur baby, safe in my arms..xx
    Just visible her little fluffy front paws..She's so good, as day breaks she'll use those little paws, by licking them ,then cleaning her whole face and long ears...She also routinely cleans b4 b'byes and on waking up !!
    So good !
    She established these little beauty cleaning rituals from such a young age...I like to think her Mum showed her how,? Little fluff was sold at just six wks .old..to a young! couple ;
    They planned to take her and leave her in a rescue..!!after just a couple of mths. 
    She never fails to carry's out her cleaning rituals I
     While I'm bleary eyed in the morning, shuffling about.She will be clean and proper ,bright as a button and ready for breakfast...xx
  • WestHam06
    WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,380 Pioneering
    Love the pictures everyone :) Thanks for sharing. I was a little reserved when we got our dog, now I wouldn't be without him :) Thank you.
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    @WestHam06 Aww, what breed is your dog?  And, what's he called? :)

    @BunnyBabs @Charlieniblett Your furry friends are totally adorable  <3  It's really clear that our pets make such a positive difference to all our lives.  They are an extended part of the community!
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  • motherjac
    motherjac Member Posts: 5 Connected
    66Mustang said:
    Lovely pictures @motherjac thanks for sharing
    Thank you 😀
  • Caz_Alumni
    Caz_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 624 Pioneering
    @BunnyBabs You've got a proper gorgeous little fur baby there. I love the photo of her napping in your arms and it was so nice reading about her morning ritual :)
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  • WestHam06
    WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,380 Pioneering
    Hi @Cher_Scope
                                  Thanks for asking, his name is Sam. He is a Patterdale Terrier. Thanks.
  • Ayoung1979
    Ayoung1979 Member Posts: 44 Courageous

    Here's two of my babys Angelina the dog & Rex the cat.  I have an African Grey parrot too that I'll show you.  They are my everythings. Don't know what I'd do without them! When I get home from a hard day at work they cheer me up.  They are there for me too when I'm feeling alone and down.
  • mariequirk
    mariequirk Member Posts: 35 Connected
    Hi everyone, my eldest son bought me a dog for my 50th birthday last year whilst we were all in lock down. He brought the dog(my meila) to see me almost every day, he bought me everything I needed for her and he house trained her to a good level and she has been a life saver for me, kept me company when I was lonely, listened to me moaning, crying and never ever judged me, she is an amazing little lady I love her so much, she brings me joy. My son calls and walks her twice a day as I can’t. I would never be with out her. 
  • mariequirk
    mariequirk Member Posts: 35 Connected
    I don’t know how to post a photo of my meila. 
  • mariequirk
    mariequirk Member Posts: 35 Connected
    Oh I think I have done it. X
  • BunnyBabs
    BunnyBabs Member Posts: 13 Connected
    It's funny how animals possess such amazing qualities...sort of what we look for in other humans but dont always find....Although they cant speak we gain a rapport wiv them.They still use thier tounges to communicate...but thier toungues do not lie or say hurtful things, they're niether contentious or beligerent and they dont hold grudges...Just amazing..little friends ,who keep our hearts warm and happy..
    Your little friend looks playful..and cosy..Your son knew just what you needed. Happy to hear and see the pics.
  • mariequirk
    mariequirk Member Posts: 35 Connected
    Awww thank you. 
  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Our toy poodle Sophie is a HUGE part of our life. We never leave her in the house alone. There's always one of us with her, if the other has to go out and she frets and sits watching out of the window, waiting for our return. Sophie is our little star! I have out pictures of her on here before. But I have forgotten how to do it.

    Sophie is small, white with the prettiest little face!
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 5,996

    Scope community team

    Sophie sounds lovely @pollyanna1052 :love: 

    If you want to upload a photo to a comment, you can do so by clicking the 'attach image' icon along the bar at the top of the comment box. It's the one that looks like a mini picture of mountains and the sun. You can then upload a file. Here's a picture, if that helps:


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  • mariequirk
    mariequirk Member Posts: 35 Connected
    Thanks, your little Sophie sounds amazing. 
  • Jean Eveleigh
    Jean Eveleigh Member Posts: 156 Pioneering
    These are all my babies who have gained their angel wings over the years.

    Ringo 


    Poppy

    Delilah

    Bobbie


    I have also lost another cat Soloman that I still hold out hope (thanks to microchipping) I may be reunited with but as each year passes that becomes less and less likely as she has been missing since 2006 - I know she has a boys name but it was the name she had when I rescued her (the family thought she was male; they were moving overseas and not taking her with them).

    I currently have one dog remaining with me - I have had animals all my life others include birds, fish, frogspawn, and a rabbit - I cannot imagine my life without an animal in it, as a person who is unable to have children (bar the one I lost in 2005) they give me the only outlet to be a mother avalible.

    They provide unconditional love, support, comfort, trust, privacy (they cannot repeat what you tell them, apart from the birds lol) - but most importantly they are a reason to live, no matter what I am feeling they need looking after I have to walk up to feed and interact with them - I made a commitment and promised each of them the day I brought them home to look after them, love them and provide them a safe, happy, healthy home until the day they pass away and I do my very best to keep that promise.
  • mariequirk
    mariequirk Member Posts: 35 Connected
    What a lovely person you are. X
  • BunnyBabs
    BunnyBabs Member Posts: 13 Connected
    A little Pic of Tina Bunny  awake,and her little front paws...Now all you havn't seen are her big Thumpy floofers !!




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