This is one of my most favorite things:
I am 100% positive she improves my health, and the health of everyone in our family!
I NEVER wanted a dog! We had 3 cats that we sadly had to find new homes for when the kids were very young. My son had pneumonia over a dozen times before he was 4 years old and was diagnosed with asthma. We knew the cats made his asthma worse.
Asthma sucks! I believed we'd never own a furry animal again.
And, then my husband and children came home from the mall one day in 2005 and announced that I just HAD to go see this dog...a dog that didn't shed or give off dander. My reaction was, "nothing new will enter this house that poops until something that poops leaves!" But...I went to see the dog. They called it a golden doodle. It was the cutest thing ever. And I was hooked. However...I didn't want a dog from a mall shop. And, I didn't want a dog that would grow to be 70 pounds. So...we went searching for reputable breeders and doodles that weren't so big. I found one in Oregon. And when I emailed them for information, they sent me this:
I had to have her! She was estimated to be 40 pounds full grown (her dad is a 38 pound poodle).
We named her Teyla. Her name comes from a character in Stargate Atlantis (chosen by the boys in the family). I liked the name. She came to live with us when she was 9 weeks old in September 2005.
Teyla is a smart dog! She house trained in 2 weeks. She seemed to understand us in a way I have never seen an animal do. At the same time, she was a puppy.
Teyla liked to chew. There was a time around 6 months of age I was ready to send her back! She chewed the sprinkler system in the yard. She chewed our socks. She chewed our shoes. I knew she was ready for obedience school. So, she went to school! The trainer said she was one of the smartest dogs she'd ever seen. Maybe she says that to everyone, but I believed her. And in those training courses, Teyla and I bonded.
She became my "baby". Yes, she belongs to all of us. But I'm her mom. She thinks she is one of the kids.
I think she is right though. She is one of my kids. And she loves us all.
She tolerates the things we do to her.
She gets along with others.
She gives GREAT kisses!
She is always there to lend support in only a way she can.
When Alex was diagnosed with diabetes, I came home one evening overwhelmed with grief and sadness. I had failed at giving Alex her first shot of insulin. I hadn't slept in days. I sobbed hysterically. Teyla curled up in my lap and just laid there while I sobbed.
When Ben visited Alex (who was still very sick with DKA), he was overwhelmed as well. He went home that evening and threw up repeatedly. Teyla was by his side the entire night.
That dog knows what we need when we need it. She reduces our stress and makes us laugh.
She is just one of the kids.