Rhett Butler, our 7.4-pound apricot mini poodle came into our family’s life in August of 2009. That year I was struggling with chronic leg pain and spasms that were so severe, that I was tested for every neurological disorder imaginable, with the conclusion being that although my EMG was abnormal, the doctors had no understanding as to why, so they sent me home to “live my life” medicated day in and day out with painkillers.
To say that the leg pain I experienced 24/7 was worse than all three of my childbirth experiences would not be an understatement. I recall several times asking my husband to drive me to the hospital so that the doctors could amputate them, to no avail.
Then I got the call. A little apricot poodle who could no longer be used as a stud dog, needed a home. His name was Rhett Butler, and as it turns out, he was the only medicine that actually relieved my pain. I couldn’t explain it at the time, and didn’t know anything about studies revealing the benefits of pet ownership, but now I do. If you’re unfamiliar with the benefits of pet ownership and are in need of healing in body and soul, you may want to look into pet ownership.
According to “Pet Therapy: How Animals & Humans Heal Each Other,” pets can raise a person’s oxytocin level, which improves healing, lowers blood pressure, and helps one lose weight. While I can’t speak to whether having to get up each and every day and walk Rhett no matter how painful my legs were and no matter what the weather was outside was truly what brought about the healing, I can say without question that those walks with Rhett Butler healed me in a way that I could never have anticipated.
So, “Thank You, Rhett,” for everything!