FIBRODOG INTERVIEW #1: LILY THE SUPPORT CORGI
FibroDog: Please tell us what type of animal you are, your age, and where you live.
My name is Lily. I am a 4 year old tri-color Welsh corgi living in Phoenix, Arizona.
FD: Tell us about the human you support: are they male or female? Do you know how old they are? Do they call themselves a name? Like Mom or Dad or Sally or Fred?
My Mom’s name is Kristine. She is 48yrs old, I’d like to tell you how old that is in dog years, but I can’t count that high. My Mom is famous because she blogs at A Life Well Red on WordPress.
FD: Humans are always talking about something called a “Diagonal-orosis”. I think that means “what’s wrong with them”, but I’m not sure. Does your Mom have a “Diagonal-orosis?” Like “Fibro- mryalgeeya” or one those other things that makes her hurt or feel tired a lot? (Note from editor – FibroDog has trouble with big words sometimes – he means “diagnosis” and “fibromyalgia”, in case you couldn’t quite understand him.)
Mom has Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.). Mostly she spends a lot of time at home with me, and walking around the house very slowly sometimes. We do go out in the backyard a lot though, where Mom watches me run back and forth chasing the birds off my lawn.
FD: Wow, I’m not even going to try to pronounce that M.E. thing but it sounds pretty rough. What kinds of things do you do to help your Mom when she’s feeling sore or tired or sad from her fibro or M.E.?
When Mom feels especially bad, I give her a hug by nosing underneath her chin and pressing my furry body against her. She also seems to just enjoy watching me play around the yard, and nibble the ears off my stuffed dragon. She says it’s calming, but I think she’d feel better with a chew bone of her own to gnaw on.
FD: Your furry hugs sound awesome, I’ll bet they help your Mom a lot! What kinds of things do you try to avoid doing so your Mom doesn’t feel worse? (I know I accidentally broke my human Mom’s nose once when I was trying to give her a kiss, and that seemed to make her feel even worse for some reason, so I’m extra careful with kisses now). Are there things you have to be careful with so you don’t accidentally make her feel worse? Like not pawing at her too hard or not going potty in the living room when she’s having a bad day?
I’m only about 16 lbs, so I don’t hurt her too much when I perch on her leg to get a better view out the front window. My legs are pretty stubby too, so I can only get so high when I stand up to jump on her and say hi. I also try to be extra obedient on her ‘bad’ days and come inside the first three times I’m called instead of the usual seven.
FD: Wow, I’m impressed Lily, coming inside the first three times you’re called takes some serious commitment! I think I’ve got a ways to go in that department, but what I’m lacking in obedience I make up for in Snout. (At least that’s what Mom and Dad say all the time!) Is there anything else you or Kristine would like to say to our FibroFans out there about what they can do to be a more supportive friend?
The best thing I do for my human is be myself and give her all the furry love that’s in me! Yeah, I’m pretty awesome like that!
FD: Yeah you are pretty awesome Lily! Thank you so much for being my first furry interview, and you’re now officially part of my FibroDog Posse! (why don’t the humans spell it Pawsee?) I hope you don’t mind but I’ll be inviting some kitties and small humans to join the Posse, and possibly even a hedgehog, because FibroDog does not discriminate based on species or prickliness. (Although I have to admit I am rather curious about how that hedgehog manages to give soft fibro-snuzzles, I can’t wait to relay more details on that one!)
FibroDog p.s. – Special thanks to our human Moms Medea and Kristine for typing out our interview, because in case folks haven’t noticed, paws aren’t great for typing. I hope everyone enjoys reading my first interview, and if any other fibro support critters out there would like to be interviewed and join Lily and I in our Fibro Posse please leave your info below, or email my human Mom and Dad at email@example.com. And please check out Lily’s Mom’s blog A Life Well Red – once you read it it you’ll probably want to follow it. That’s what my Mom did.
xoxoxo Snout Out!
FIBRODOG INTERVIEW #2: JASPER THE ISLAND SUPPORT DOG
Snout greetings Jasper! Welcome to my second interview for kids and pets who support people with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and other kinds of chronic illness. Jasper’s parents are famous because his mom and dad make nice things for fibro humans at someplace called Etsy. His mom makes these pretty spoons that all the fibro humans seem to like. I don’t get what you would need a spoon for though, silly humans!
Please tell us what type of animal you are, your age, and where you live.
Howdy FibroDog! I’m not sure cause I’m not what the humans call a papered dog or a shop dog as some are called, I guess, but my doctor at the smelly stainless steel place says I am a hybrid Lubrador Retrievers, meaning I get things back for my mom and dad. I turned 5 years old today! It’s my birthday. My mom and dad made a huge fuss about that, which was fun cause I got way more to eat than usual, and this really strange chewy ball that they stick treats in and I get to figure out how to get them out. I live on an Island on the beach. I love the beach! I think they call it Shone island.
Tell us about the humans you support: Do you know approximately how old they are? What do you call them? Mom and Dad? Dude and Lady? Or do you call them by their human names? I know different families have different preferences and I want to be “poriticurry currect.” (Mom told me to say that.)
Mom and dad are almost 59. Dad’s Birthday is not very long after mine cause we celebrate mine than all of a sudden we celebrate his! Mom’s seems a long time later when its very cold out. I have always called them Mom and Dad but I have heard some other humans call Dad Phred and Mom Sindy.
What is their “Diagonal-orosis”. (Mom says that’s “diagnosis” but I can never say it right.)
Mom says Dad has kidabeatees, which has something to do with his blood sugar and he got it when he was a kid. He has things not work right because he has had the kidabeatees for many many years and it has hurt his body. His tummy doesn’t work right anymore so he throws up a lot. Mom has this fibro thing and she hurts a lot and sleeps a lot sometimes or is awake all night too. She also has this thing making her hair fall out which makes her crazy upset. She calls it hypotroid. I know they both have too many things wrong so I try to be very calm.
What kinds of things do you do to help your humans when they’re feeling sore or tired or sad?
When dad is sick and his tummy hurts really bad I put my head in his lap and lay very still for hours to keep him company so he doesn’t feel alone. On our walks when I take him out if he gets sick I wait quietly while he is sick and then get him moving again when he is done so he does not get too sad. For mom I warm her spot in the bed until 3:30am when she can come lay down in the bed for a few hours at night. If I am not dreaming too deep I move quietly when she comes in to the bottom of the bed and her spot is all nice and warm when she crawls in. During the day I put my head in her lap while she is sitting in her big chair and smile at her to make her laugh. She has a really big laugh. It almost scares me sometimes!
What kinds of things do you try to avoid doing so your humans don’t feel worse? Like not jumping on your Mom when she’s hurting? Or not chewing up your Dad’s insulin pump?
The biggest thing my mom and dad says I do is to not react when I am laying in the middle if the room and they step over me. This keeps them from tripping because I don’t get startled and move. I guess the last dog that lived here moved a lot and they fell down a few times. I also try really hard to not hit mom with my happy tail. I have hit her before when I get really excited and she gets tears in her eyes which makes me really sad. So when I get really happy now and my tail can’t stay still I run to the other side of the room and stay away from her with it till it quits being so excited. When I wrestle with dad I had to learn how to not get my paws tangled up in his plumbing he calls it that is attached to his tummy. I accidentally pulled these wires out a few times making dad have to go through a bunch of work to reattach all these things to himself and stick a huge needle in his belly again! It scared me so bad I ran and hid in the closet. Never again! Very careful with dad now!
Is there anything else you or your humans would like to say to our FibroFans out there about what they can do to be more supportive of fibromyalgia and other chronic illness?
Try to recognize and support those who have invisible illnesses. Just because someone does not look sick does not mean they are not suffering. Also be aware that their canine companions that wear jackets are working and make sure you ask permission before you try to pet or offer a treat. Thank you for letting me chat with you today FibroDog! You are wuffingly awesome!
Thank you so much for answering my furry interview questions Jasper, you’re wuffingly awesome too! And now you’re officially part of my FibroDog Posse along with Lily the Corgi! That’s three of us so far, and more to come. I’m supposed to interview Ghost the Siamese Cat soon but my mom hasn’t sent my interview questions to Ghost yet. I sure wish I didn’t need her to type for me! I’ll also have to get my mom to hunt down that support hedgehog, I’m REALLY curious about that one!
Warm fuzzy snuzzles to you and your humans…..
FIBRODOG INTERVIEW #3- GHOST THE FIBRO SUPPORT CAT
Whisker greetings, Ghost! I usually do snout greetings but I’m not sure if kitties have snouts… But I know they definitely have whiskers because I got to lick some once… So Whisker greetings it is! Please tell us what type of kittie you are, your approximate age, and where you live.
Hi there FibroDog whisker greetings right back at you! My name is Ghost Kittie although I am actually named after a direwolf from some book my mum reads called ‘Game of Thrones’.<editor’s note: FibroDog likes Direwolves very much, and wishes he had one for a brother or sister!!!!!!!>
I’m a chocolate point siamese and am the most beautiful kittie on my block. I live with my human parents and my human brother and sister. My mum Clare adopted me when I was only 15 weeks old but now I’m real big and have lived here for just over a year. I like it here in Eastbourne thats in England you know.
Tell us about your human friend, does she have a name? What do you call her? Do you know how old she is approximately? (I had to learn “approximately”, which is kind of hard to say, because Mom and Dad say I shouldn’t ask a girl’s age, it’s not polite whether it’s a human girl or a girl kittie! I had no idea, I’m just not a very puriticurry currect dog I guess!)
My mum Clare is much older than me. She says it’s her 40th birthday this year. Wow that is old!
That’s not very old, my Mom’s much older than that! Does your Mom have “fibro- mryalgeeya” or one those other things that makes them hurt or feel tired a lot? Is she able to work or go to school, or does she need to stay home so you can take care of her?
My mum has that thing called fibromyalgia and something called osteoarthritis which I know both hurt her a lot. She used to work as a RN but had to stop. I guess her pain got too bad. She gets very sad sometimes, I think they call it depression. Now I take care of her especially when the rest of my family are out.
My Mom’s a nurse too, yay for nurse humans! My Mom only works part time because of her“fibro- mryalgeeya”, but I wish she could stay home with me all the time like yours does… On second thought that would mean that she felt too bad to work at all, so I guess I wouldn’t want that. I’m sorry your Mum can’t work as a nurse anymore Ghost But I’ll bet you help her a lot… what kinds of things do you do to help her when she’s feeling sore or tired or sad?
I always snuggle up real close to my mum because it seems to make her feel happy. I’m also very clever at knowing where her pain is. If her left hip hurts l will lay down on it and go to sleep. Or if her knees are bad I’ll snuggle in from behind. She seems to like my warmth. When she’s sad I will lay on her pillow right next to her head and purr and lick her face. I let her rub my belly and I make sure I purr extra loud.
Oh that’s so sweet, I’m starting to like kitties more and more! Are there things you have to be careful with so you don’t accidentally make your human feel worse when she’s having a bad day?
I have to be extra careful when I play and run around. My mum moves really slow and sometimes she just falls over. She brought me the smartest collar ever with my name on it in diamonds and a special bell. The bell is special because it alerts her when I’m coming so she doesn’t trip over me. My paws don’t make a noise when I walk but my bell does. I also have to be careful how I jump up onto my mum by keeping my claws in. My dad sometimes cuts them for me so they keep nice and trim. That way I can’t accidentally hurt my mum.
Is there anything else you or your human would like to say to our FibroFans out there about what they can do to be more supportive?
My mum wishes more people understood that just because a person is smiling doesn’t mean they are not in pain. She thinks us animals understand this better than some people.
I agree Ghost, that’s why I’m doing all these interviews, to try to teach humans to be as sweet and understanding about chronic pain as we animals are. I know they can learn eventually, they seem pretty smart. Well thank you so much for being my first FibroKittie, Ghost!
It’s been great talking to you FibroDog!
Meow for now,