Cat with yarn ball and dog with bone in mouth cuddle in nested hearts

Possible Pain Pal Challenges

One of my greatest assets for dealing with chronic migraine and other chronic illnesses, has been being accompanied by a furry pain pal. There is something about the endless love they have for their human that means so much when an awful migraine occurs. When it can seem like not a soul cares about what is happening to you, they are there to show you, unconditional love.

I have had my current dog for 10 years. I originally had him, and a boxer named Cassius until Cassius passed away. I have always lived in a small house with plenty of room outside. My neighbors even all know and love Sumo. My situation made living with my pain pals simple.

Poll

Does your pet comfort you when you are not feeling well?

Challenges?

I have written other articles on furry pain pals. I occasionally received feedback about how there are too many complications with chronic migraine to have a furry pain pal. For a while, I did struggle to understand this point of view. Part of that struggle was because I could not imagine my life without a dog, especially when I am heavily depressed.

The apartment difference

As I mentioned, I have always lived in a house. I started dating someone who is living in an apartment for now. We are not living together but I do spend a couple of nights a week at his house. I do believe this came as an adjustment for both Sumo and me.

Obviously, it meant a change of routine and scenery, but the challenge for me became making sure Sumo had enough outside time. This did become difficult when I had a bad migraine. It did not matter how I felt, Sumo still needed his walks. It did not matter how I felt, how the weather was at that moment, or how late it was. It simply needed to be done and the love I had for my pain pal made sure that I handled the situation.

Some solutions

I do make it a point to take Sumo for car rides with me as much as possible. He also loves the balcony that is attached to my boyfriend’s apartment. Sumo is very fond of some long-lasting chews, like rawhides. These chews will entertain him for a while if he gets bored sleeping with me. He has grown too old to care much about squeaky toys. When he lays with me, I made sure to pet him; it helps him as well as me. I make sure to put out a large amount of food and water when I feel well. He can self-regulate his intake and I am able to be sure he has enough when I am feeling bad.

Benefits

I find so many benefits in having a pain pal. When I feel alone in the world, my dog is there to cuddle with me. The moment I breakdown and need to cry, I can hug him close and cry to him, without any judgment. When my depression is bad, it helps to have my dog cuddled close to me and petting him repeatedly. The responsibility of having to take him outside helps me get out of the house/apartment and get some natural vitamin D.

Hopefully, some of the concerns about getting a furry pain pal have been addressed. I would love to hear feedback from everybody, pro-pain pal or against having a pain pal.

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