Popcorn & Puppies.

On the tidying front today: was a big fat FAIL. Must achieve something tomorrow or I’m going to be very embarrassed come Monday.

What we did do today is our movie for March. Part of the plan is to see at least one a month so I feel good about this. We get bonus points for the 40 min walk it takes to get there AND for doing that same walk home in the cold and the dark, not chickening out and riding the bus.  Sadly we give up those points somewhere in the middle for stopping at the Golden Gateway to fast food sin (that’s McDonalds to the rest of the world) and eating dinner. oh well.

Our movie of choice was “Marley and Me”. Well, when I say our movie of choice I mean mine. Hay, it was my turn or at least we think it was. It’s been so long since we went we can’t actually remember what film, but even Jon reckons it was one of HIS and I’m not one to argue when I’m getting my own way. It could have been worse for him – “Confessions of a Shopaholic” was playing, I’ll have you know.

I hadn’t read many any reviews of the film but the feedback from the Twitterverse left me unsure, most people saying it was a lot sadder than expected and I’ll agree there were surely some weepy moments, especially for anyone who experienced the joyous loving nature of a great dog for themselves. I had tears in my eyes… but then I balled my eyes out at “Sex in the City” and the “Little Mermaid”, so I’m thinking that’s not saying much

On the whole, I found the movie much more uplifting than I believed I would.  Laughing out loud several times always ratchets up my star rating for a film. If this Labrador’s antics don’t have you at least chuckling, well then I feel very sorry for you, my friend. It’s not earth shattering, ground breaking stuff, but I’d recommend it for a quiet night in and if you’re an animal lover, then it should be right up your street. There is one serious problem I need to draw to your attention: I WANT a puppy… and I’m sure so did many others as they exited the movie complex. Parents beware – you may be subjected to weeks of “can we get a dog can we get a dog can we get a dog pleeeease can we have a dog”. Forewarned is forearmed.  I wonder how many households are now home to yellow lab puppies and just out of curiosity how many of them are also called Marley after this Awwww so cute worlds worst dog .

Speaking of dogs, while browsing some PCOS support forum the other day I came across this interesting idea: service dogs for psychiatric support Essentially the concept is that a dog could be trained to help a sufferer of anxiety issues  in the same way that guide dogs can help the blind or hearing dogs aid the deaf.   tasks that can be performed by a psychiatric service dog include waking the suffer from nightmares,  recognizing when their human becomes anxious or has a panic attack and either attracting the patients attentions so that by focusing on the dog they will be able to calm down,  or leading the patient to a safer quieter place. Some dogs can will even lead their owners  home or back to their car when they have become disorientated.

I think this could be a great idea. I know for sure that a dog trained to attract my attention when I have a panic attack would help no end as often all I need is something to break the cycle of rushing thoughts in my head. I often feel isolated to so a companion that recognizes what’s going on and lets me know he’s there would be fantastic not to mention the simple joy of owning a dog and being responsible for caring for him / her, giving me something to do… someone to care for even forcing me to go outside and walk. I could see it being a social thing too. I mean who doesn’t stop and say hello to the person with the cute puppy. Studies have already shown the benefits of pet ownership for people with depression and projects like Pets As Therapy are already successfully using dogs and even cats to help patients in hospitals, hospices and nursing homes.

Isn’t the PSD idea just taking this one step further? I’m not exactly sure what the dog is trained to respond to however. I mean often there are very few outward signs of the panic going on inside my head so would a dog really be able to recognize what’s happening and respond accordingly? Hmm not sure… and if the dog has to watch out for me having nightmares, when does the poor thing sleep!?  I hardly think any boyfriend would be happy at the idea of having a puppy in bed with us even if it is to guard against monsters in my dreams!

Overall, I think it’s a wonderful idea, just not so sure on the practicalities.  You can find more information at the Psychiatric Service Dog Society website. This organization is in the US and sadly I haven’t been able to find similar on this side of the pond. If you know of anything please tell me

I believe owning a pet of some kind would help me for sure. I think the responsible thing to do is to get my own life more in order before I take on responsibility for an animal. So looks like I won’t be asking the doctor to prescribe me a puppy  just yet !

Ali xX

K.S.: That Marley puppy was soooo cuuute I couldn’t help but smile.

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