Getting A Dog After Stoma Surgery Has Improved My Relationship With My Stoma

by Jane Bland

Getting A Dog After Stoma Surgery Has Improved My Relationship With My Stoma

My stoma and my dog are both named after a character in Breaking Bad   

Hello again.

You may recall in my last blog that I named my stoma Heisenberg after an evil character from Breaking Bad. Well, that show is the inspiration for another character, who came into my life on August 5th 2017; my gorgeous long haired Chihuahua puppy called Walt. Walter White in the show was a lovely gentle character who was pleasant to everyone at first. So when I was thinking about a name for my pup, Walt seemed the perfect name.

Getting a dog after stoma surgery

Now, I’m not saying that everyone with a stoma will be much happier with a dog, but I just want to talk about the change that getting Walt has brought about in me.

When I was working full time I couldn’t get a dog as it wouldn’t have been fair to leave it alone all day. When I retired 2 and a half years ago, I began to think about it - but for some reason kept persuading myself that it was a bad idea. This was mainly because I felt I picked up and dealt with enough poop from my leaky stoma! I also wanted to do a lot of travelling.

However, the idea did not go away and the desire got stronger. So I did my travelling, and then got Walt.

Walt has had a positive impact on my relationship with my stoma

I don't think I will be able to quite get across the difference he has made to me and my relationship with H (my stoma). I no longer focus on life with H, I just do the business and go back to Walt. He's affectionate, loves people, children and other dogs. He's been an absolute joy to train (sure, the first 2 weeks were very challenging!). He has 'calmed' me emotionally; I have lost a bit of weight with the twice daily walks. I love the walks, they are joyous! Physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially; I have felt improvement because of Walt.

I don't know how I've managed without him in the past and I can't even consider being without him in the future. We are a team! I've been fortunate to have found a fantastic dogsitter who adores him, so I still get a weekend away every now and again.

If you are thinking about a dog, have done your research and have time I'd absolutely urge you to get one!

There are extra perks There are some extra perks to having a dog if you have a stoma – find out about them in Jane’s blogto having a dog if you have a stoma

Walt ignores my stoma when all is well but, in the night, if he knows it's leaking he wakes me up by scratching at the bag - he's always right!

I'll leave you with a little story about when I was walking him as a very small pup. We were walking in the woods when H did a huge stoma bag fill. I knew I'd never get back home without the bag coming off, so I went behind a tree and emptied my bag into one of Walt’s poop bags. When we got back to the car park, I put the bag into the dog poop bin. A man watching us said “Blimey love, for a tiny dog he doesn't half poop!” Well, I could hardly tell him it was mine could I?

About the author

I first became an ostomate in 2014. This was not something I wanted, and still don't, but it doesn't hold me back from anything I want to do

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