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Pets & PTSD

Cant live without them.
I've always had dogs because they give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and no matter how bitchy I am they always love me. They don't care about my past, they don't care about my ptsd, they don't care about my trauma. They only care that I love them and they return that love way more than I could explain.

Having a service dog is an entirely different thing - but it's still amazing. He keeps me grounded, gets me into public, helps me deal with pain, the list goes on and on.

Then I discovered horses and that's a new kind of wonderful!
Then I discovered horses and that's a new kind of wonderful!
I can attest to that. Growing up there was a farmer who lived near me who had these absolutely gorgeous Belgian (I thought they were Clydesdales for years because of their hairy hooves) draft horses. Beautiful light brown and almost white manes/tails, and ‘furry‘ hooves. I had forgotten about them. Used to go out in the winter while he used them to drop salt licks for the cows and feed them sugar cubes and they always made me giggle when snuffing my hair. They can also give their own brand of hug.🥰
Yikes! My friends have been an amazing comfort, and I love taking care of all my animals. I love the dynamics and the different relationships. Believe it or not, I had a fish that loved to be pet. They all have their own personalities.

My best friend right now is a four-and-a-half-pound Yorkie who would do anything I ask of her. She is amazingly intelligent and willing. She knows agility, tracking, ratting, diving, etc. Stupid clever. Yet, none of it matters. The only reason she cares to know those things is because she trusts me completely. The amount of attention (eye contact specifically) she gives me is unreal. I love all of the other animals I have now and appreciate their personalities, but this one takes the cake. I can't stay angry with her, and she doesn't stay angry with me. She comforts me; I comfort her. She talks to me, and I talk to her. I can live without her, but I dread the day I have to. She is the only comfort I have with those dreams where I lose all those I love over and over and over again. She is forgiving and kind. She is far more than I deserve.

All that said, I don't want anymore. I am spent, and I don't think I need to take care of others when I cannot take care of myself with the same respect. I am not sure if that is what you are looking for @Friday.
Curious what your experience has been?
I have a cat named Bubby. She is such a sweetheart. I've had since she was a baby. So naturally she is very attached to me. I am her person 🙂
Since I've been recently diagnosed, at first I didn't know what was going on with me. Bubby was by my side through it all. I honestly think she could tell I was "sick" for a lack of better terms. In a way, she has been like an emotional support animal for me. She always seems to know when I need her. I love her so much. She is like an angel 🥰
Couldn't make it without them.

There is something in the fact they know about stuff thats going on. Although Missy has never known me when I was asymptomatic, she sure as heck knew when I had a nightmare starting. I was amazed she was pouncing in my chest to wake me.
And my Squishy - all the nights I could hardly sleep - right there with me.

I think some of it is that there is something in caring for others - and pet care is simple. All they want is food water and a place to do their business.

Plus they break up rumination. When you spend time with them or doing stuff for them you focus on them. Plus they make me laugh - watching them play especially.
Plus they make me laugh
and the longer you know them the more you respond to their senses of humor and find things they do to laugh at. My dogs were cute when they were pups, but when I can detect cynicism or catch a side eye glance or I know they are thinking "stupid human doesn't remember what happened last time we tried this" is when the laughter really starts for me. They make me laugh every day.