Have your pets helped you after brain injury? - Headway


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Have your pets helped you after brain injury?


The UK is a nation of animal lovers, and we often hear stories of how pets have helped people through the hard times after brain injury. We'd love to hear your stories of how pets have helped you, for an upcoming feature in our Headway News magazine.

Are they the listening ear who never complains? Has their companionship helped with your recovery? Or has their presence caused difficulties you never experienced before your ABI?

Tell us in the comments below - we're looking for stories about all types of pets, from dogs and cats to smaller (or larger!) animals.

Thank you as always for your support.

12 Replies

Yes. Until he puts his claws on my toes 🤤☺

My dog has helped me. I lost a dog in the car accident that I got BI from. That was by far worst thing about my accident for me. I was in coma 8 days then had to go through physio to get walking again. My nan got me a Border Terrier pup after Id been home a month. I’d always had dogs so it was time to try and get back to normal. I had only recently got back walking so having a pup to look after gave me something to focus on. If it wasn’t for my pup I would never of gone out as I had nothing to go out for. It was only once I got my current dog I could look at photos of the dog I’d lost. No dog can replace another and never will but my current dog has helped me move on and get on with my life. Around the time I got my pup my nan who brought him for me was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly she went downhill from then and died 10&1/2 later. So now my dog means even more to me and gets spoilt.

I was walking my dog digby, when I collapsed with a bleed on the brain, I collapsed behind parked cars, it was January, cold and wet so not many people about. It was digby jumping up and down that attracted the attention of a lady driving past, and she was curious enough to come and have a look, and found me unconscious on the floor. Digby is a big boy, boxer cross lab, but fortunately very approachable, good job it wasn't my other dog, she's a very protective Rottweiler.

Pets would really help me and my husband. Unfortunately because we rent our home, we are not allowed to have pets (and even if one property would allow them, you can almost guarantee that the next one won't and getting a long term let is very difficult.)

Animals are so soothing, and loving (and entertaining!) and caring for them give a focus and meaning to the day even when everything else has gone out the window (inc jobs and having children).

So we really, really would love to have pets again. It would be nice if more people understood just how healing and important they can be.

They help in the pets as therapy in hospitals too.

How interesting you ask this now..my husband had his bi 13 months ago and can not longer work. Yesterday we went and collected our new rescue staffy she is adorable and has settled in surprisingly quickly however in the 24 hours we've had her my husband has gone downhill!..he suffers amongst other things chronic fatigue and I don't think he fully realised either how much attention and entertaining she would need or how much his fatigue rules everything so much so that he now thinking she may need to go back to the rescue centre. I'm gutted as she is lovely but can see how totall exhausted it's making my husband already in such a short time. I now don't know what the right thing to do is..perceiver or take her back before she/we all become tpo

...too attached. It's really hard to know what is best. In hindsight we should have waited until my husband could manage better but we are where we are and I don't know what the right answer is there doesn'tseem to be one :(


Yes our Bedlingtons are so caring - I am asthmatic amongst other things on e day I was seriously ill and went to bed - I am told Alfie followed me to bed and would not leave me till I woke up 7hrs later ( Bedlingtons are ok for people with with Asthma ) I can't walk far but they stop every few metres for a sniff etc which helps me but if I am struggling the actually turn round and take me home - love them to bits

Daren't have any pets... the idea of being responsible for another living creature is too much.

I had a TBI after a fall abroad I fractured my skull in 3 places and a bleed last year. I was critically ill and on my return to the UK had to have surgery

. I can honestly say that apart from my grown Children it has been my two little dogs that inspired me to improve day by day. I had to have a lot of care but now it’s back to just me and them.

They gave me the determination to improve my walking. Even when my speech took months to return,they understood completely. They are my beautiful best friends and I owe them more than they know.

After my TBI in April 2017, I purchased a kitten for my birthday in the summer time. Her innocence and companionship has made me smile a lot more and I am very glad I have got her. The only thing is if she gets to close to my nose sometimes I end up getting an itchy nose and sneezing. This has never happened with any of my other cats in the past, could the brain injury of made me slightly allergic to cats now?

After my head injury my mum got a dog and I loved her to death and we kept each other company and she picked up whenever I was down and cheered me up

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