After surviving a rare coronary artery dissection and massive heart attack while nine months pregnant, Nefertari has devoted her life to uplifting other heart patients and promoting heart health awareness.See all posts »
Man (and Wo-Man's) Best Friend
Before my diagnosis of heart disease, I told my five children "No!" whenever they asked for a pet—especially a puppy. There seemed to be a pet shop near every store we went to with the world’s cutest pups staring at us from the windows with those puppy dog eyes!
I thought the extra burden of having someone (or something) else to take care of another mouth to feed would be too much to handle. After reading that it’s recommended that people with chronic illness adopt a pet into their families, I took a chance. I’m so glad that I changed my mind.
My Romeo is my best buddy. Adequately named, he’s a charmer in every sense of the word. I can't imagine my life without his daily kisses and snuggles. After coming in from a doctor appointment, I’m guaranteed to be greeted with smooches and a wagging tail.
He knows when something is wrong. When I'm in bed because my symptoms of congestive heart failure are flaring, my Romeo seems to understand my mood or tone and offers his friendly furry comfort as a calming gesture. He’s only an eight pound schnauzerdoodle (a schnauzer and poodle mix), but he somehow makes his way onto my bed. He cuddles near my feet and doesn't leave my side until I feel better. He somehow knows the difference between the days when I just need a nap and when I’m truly feeling down.
Although you’re taking on more responsibility when you accept a pet into your home, the rewards greatly outweigh the work. I wouldn't trade my Romeo for the world!
You should talk to your health care provider before making any lifestyle changes, but I highly recommend a pet for anyone with a heart condition. They can know your needs without you saying a word and they offer unconditional love like no other.
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