Expanding our fur family has brought happiness into our home

Pet ownership is challenging, but it enriches our lives so much

Alliah Czarielle avatar

by Alliah Czarielle |

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My husband, Jared, and I have been fur parents for a while. In 2020, we welcomed our first family pet, a golden retriever named Lucky, followed by a delightful Himalayan cat we named Billy. Our home has been lively with the presence of animals for the past three years.

Sadly, we lost Lucky this year. Still, we decided not to lose hope and ended up adopting two more fur babies: Kiki, a sleek black Persian cat, and Penny, an adorable dog known locally as an aspin.

Living with chronic illness means our days are full of responsibilities. We manage our family’s unique needs from dawn to dusk. Caring for pets can feel overwhelming, especially when they get sick. I often hope Jared, who has hemophilia, won’t have a bleed when our pets need attention, adding to our worries and straining our budget with veterinary bills.

Yet each new pet brightens our home with playful antics, infusing joy into our daily lives.

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Accepting limitations is a difficult part of living with chronic illness

As pet lovers, our home needs furry friends

Jared and I share a deep love for animals. He grew up with dogs; his family bred them, sometimes for companionship and sometimes for sale. Having a dog in our home was a blessing.

Lucky was a spirited golden retriever with a habit of chewing through shoes, rugs, and other items in our home. But her innocence and joy made it next to impossible to stay mad at her. Her unwavering tail wags and smiling countenance softened even our sternest scolds.

Her size posed challenges during Jared’s bleeding episodes, however. As a petite person, I wasn’t able to walk her. On those days, our furry friend had to stay home, straining our resources.

Her sudden passing in the middle of this year shocked us, but we felt we were partly responsible for it. We decided large pets weren’t the right fit for our family.

In the months after Lucky died, Billy was a solace. His loyalty and comfort eased our grief.

Over time, we felt Billy’s loneliness and decided to get him a companion. That’s when, after careful consideration, we added Kiki and fell in love with her.

A visit to the mall then led us to an adoption event, where we welcomed Penny. “This is what happens when you simply say ‘yes’ to things,” Jared mused. I knew he’d missed a dog’s spirit and infectious energy.

Chronic illness and responsible pet ownership

In our journey as a family living with hemophilia and other chronic illness, embracing pet responsibilities adds to our challenges, but our cats and dog fill our home with love and joy. They’ve become integral family members, enriching our lives in unexpected ways. It warms my heart when Jared sends me pictures of the cats keeping him company while he works or nurses a bleed in bed. Having an appropriately sized dog like Penny, whom we can easily take on walks, encourages us to be more active.

To care for our fur buddies, we know we must budget our energy and resources by staying healthy and managing our finances. Before choosing a pet, we must consider our capabilities and lifestyle, ensuring that they match our new baby’s needs. When we’re indisposed, we need a strong support system to back us up.

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s website provides guidelines for responsible pet ownership, including food, vaccinations, socialization, training, waste management, exercise, and more.

In the face of chronic illness, being a pet owner is not only possible, but also incredibly rewarding. Our furry companions bring love and joy into our lives. With careful planning and support, we can meet their needs while enriching our lives.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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