The Value of Four-Legged Friends

Having a chronic illness sucks. Not going to lie about that. It’s isolating, depressing, and debilitating.

However, having a furry four-legged friend makes coping with pain a bit easier. Whether you’re a cat or a dog person (I, myself, am a dog person. And no offense to the cat lovers, but cats hate me), you’d likely agree, even if you don’t suffer from a chronic illness. Stressful days can take a 180 degree turn just from a sweet kiss from that gentle animal.

Twig and Birch are black and white English Springer Spaniels. They are hunting dogs (woodcock, grouse and pheasant), and love what they do. They’re house dogs and love to protect the family. They appreciate a good game of tug-of-war, lots of fetch, and comfy beds – especially mine. I adore them.

Twig, the youngest of the two, and I have a special bond, as she’s nearly saved my life a couple of times. She’s very aware of my pain and illness. She’s gentle but playful, and cuddly but attentive; Twig is incredibly smart. Birch, the older one, and my brother, Derek, have a unique connection; when Birch is reunited with Derek, they’re inseparable. Birch is a fluffy lover, with adorable puppy eyes, and he always wants to be around people.

Having Twig and Birch around for this get-healthy year is so nice. Being in Georgia is pretty isolating in and of itself, but dealing with fatigue, pain and overall feeling sick is also isolating. When I feel sick, I know that cuddling with the pups will make my heart happy, even if my body isn’t so happy. When I am having a down day, mentally, Twig and Birch are right there begging to go outside and play, and fresh oxygen always makes me feel better, so it’s a win-win for all three of us.

The companionship that fur-babies provide is irreplaceable. Their sense of emotion is remarkable. Their unconditional love is beautiful. Their kisses are undeniably sweet (and sometimes too slobbery). Their unrelenting happiness is utterly uplifting. They know what to do and what to say (by body language of course), at just the right time.

I’m looking forward to the day that I get to have a pooch of my own; and the next 4+ years being separated from my animals is going to be tough. The effect that a dog has on my mood is very positive, so I know that a dog in my future is 100% likely.


PuppySpot flow chart

PuppySpot is a website that can help you find the right dog. Their goal is to match your personality with the right type of dog, so that the dog and human are optimizing their time and relationship. For me, I’m thinking to the future. So, I went through the flowchart with a hypothetical plan in mind. The dog that would be a good match for the situation I’m hoping to be in, would be #2 – The Easy-Going Playmate. Comment with what kind of dog would be your best fit. Dogs are amazing companions, and they’re most definitely human’s best friend!

The value of companionship that a dog provides to its human is priceless.

Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”


3 thoughts on “The Value of Four-Legged Friends

  1. Oh Happy Birthday Elise! I pray you are getting lots of slobbering kisses from Twig and Birch! We also pray you will be healthy and ready for college this Fall! We will always continue to follow Live Younique and celebrate each baby step of recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

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