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

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!

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?

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

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by Jane Bland

Jane Bland

About the author

I 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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