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Pet Portraiture

Chloe Rhae, Patricia Rhae, COlette, Jennifer VanDyke

Chloe is a needed companion for Patricia Rhae.

Animals are needed by many people for therapy. Animals don’t judge. Animals provide companionship, acceptance,  unconditional love, emotional support and entertainment; yet, it’s more difficult than ever to find living quarters which will allow tenants to have an animal without a prescription outlining reasons as to why he or she may need a service animal. Some conditions, such as blindness, are quite obvious; however, what of mental or emotional conditions? What of the elderly people who are accustomed to having the ongoing companionship of their now deceased spouse? They too have emotional needs which must be met somehow because their lives are lacking that relationship. Elderly people often need various other prescriptions which may conflict with some anti-depressants or other psychiatric drugs meant to ease the pain of loss, not to mention the fact that the majority of elderly people are on fixed incomes and are forced to choose between buying food or medication.
It’s my belief that people who need service animals, especially elderly people, deserve a break. As a pet owner, I can personally attest  to the fact that I depend on my animals just as much as they depend on me. Additionally, provisioning for therapy animals such as veterinary expenses, leashes, treats, and food ought to be covered as a write-off  for people who are aged 60 or above. In the long run, the cost of  a therapy animal is considerably less than the cost of psychiatric care. Therapy animals have the potential to prolong independent living; thus, reducing the the problem of overcrowded nursing homes.
This could also increase the need for services of businesses designed to help with yard cleaning, pet grooming, and reduce the homeless animal population. It would also help reduce the homeless animal population. What do you think?

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It was early September 2007 when I drove to the bank while contemplating my divorce. My intent was  to open my own checking account in order to begin separating the funds so I could start saving money for a new place to live. My home of nine years was no longer my home anymore.

After parking, I exited my car and was ready to start my new life when I heard the most terrified, desperate cry. I looked down to see a skinny, little black kitten, whose pupils were so large that the color of his eyes couldn’t be determined. I bent down to pick him up; however, he was so scared that he ran and hid in a nearby bush. There was a very busy intersection uncomfortably close by,  and my main concern was that this kitten would be killed.

For that moment, my looming life changes meant nothing, even though for months my thoughts were overwhelmingly occupied with how disappointed and bitter I had felt over my failed marriage. Wearing my favorite dress, I got down on my hands and knees, crawled through spiderwebs to the kitten, then I scruffed the little guy. I carried him to my car, sat down, and closed the door. Realizing that I hadn’t accomplished what I had intended to, and utterly puzzled as to what had just happened, I scratched the kitten’s  chin and said to him, “Oh great, what am I going to do with you?”

I then moved through the drive up teller and while I was cashing my check, the kitten perched himself upon my shoulder, rubbed himself on my head  while purring loudly in my ear. I asked the teller,  “Would you like a kitten?”

But, the teller met me with an answer I neither expected nor understood; she simply stated,  “I hate cats.”

I drove the kitten home and have had him ever since. This kitten has grown to be a very important companion for me. I look forward to coming home after my long work days. No matter how my day has been he is always very warm, welcoming, and filled with love.  I must say I’m thankful that he came into my life and rescued me.

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