— by Alexis P. Markowitz, Lupus LA member
Not many people understand lupus or how one’s life changes with a chronic illness. But animals, with their mysterious sixth sense, can affect even more than the most sensitive humans. Scruffy, for example.
This little canine was rescued from Los Angeles streets by a dog shelter, which then put him up for adoption. Although Scruffy himself was rescued, a more profound save was still to come. He happens to live in my building and was only too pleased to participate when I asked his owner, Caran, if I could indulge in some “pet therapy” after my lupus diagnosis.
No matter how bad I feel, Scruffy’s greeting always renews my spirit. It seems to be the only thing I can expect to stay the same in a new reality of constant change and the unknown.
On the really bad days, Scruffy laps at my tears and lets me hug him a little tighter than usual. He seems to know when I require extra kisses and cuddles. Scruffy may have been rescued himself, but I feel in the end that he has rescued me.
If you are struggling with your symptoms and seek relief or distraction, please consider spending time with an animal. It just may be the best medicine you could ever hope for, and the rescue you dearly need.
To learn more about pet therapy services in Southern California, visit http://www.therapypets.com/animal-assisted-therapy-jackies-list-aaa-aat-practitioners-california.html.