LBD- Life Before Dogs- How Owning a Dog Helped My Life - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish -Fashion Over 50
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LBD- Life Before Dogs- How Owning a Dog Helped My Life

Hi Friends!

If you are a fashionista, you probably know the acronym LBD standing for “Little Black Dress”. However, I am thinking for the purpose of this discussion, let’s say it stands for “Life Before Dogs”.

I really feel  like my pups have  done so much to enrich my life, that it is hard to think of the time before them! I have been with my hubby now for 18 years and we have only had Truffles for 8, Gibby for 5. Prior to, however, when I was growing up, we had plenty of animals, namely pups that I can remember, Buttercup and Shadow. I have always loved dogs, the kind nature, the willingness to please, the fact that they are so loveable and there for you when you are emotional.

It took me pleading for about 7 years of our marraige, to get our first pup. As I mentioned, when you grow up with dogs, you know it can be so enriching.. and I wanted a furry pal to be my sidekick in life too. My hubby has allergies and was resistant to getting a dog. I told him about my best friend growing up, her shih tzu, Saint, and that he didn’t shed, as the breed is known to not shed. After finding a breeder in Asheville, and seeing Truffles, he couldn’t say no! It didnt take me long to convince him after that, that Truffles needed a playmate! and Gibby was then brought home.

My husband thought that 8 years ago, when I was diagnosed with  Ehlers- Danlos, that having a companion would be a great distraction for me as well as a way to help my anxiety over my illness. I couldn’t get up out of bed without feeling like someone ran over my feet or having my whole body ache. However,  having a little pup around did help quite a bit. I did have pain management, but at this time, it was not under control. I would lay in bed many days in a row, but I had my puppy for company and just the act of petting the pup helped me relax more.

What do the pups bring to my life?

My husband thought it would be good for me to have companions as we got Truffles around the time my Ehlers-Danlos was at its worst! And then there was Gibson…

  • Companionship- they are so fun to be around and keep me company when I am at home alone.
  • Joy- I smile each morning as I see my furry pals and they set me in the right mood.
  • Exercise- Not that I have problems exercising, but like us they need walks for good health and I enjoy taking them on our Greenway trails.
  • Fullfilling a Need- We do not have children, but I am able to take care of them ( something outside myself)
  • Emotional – Truffles has a sense when I am sad or not feeling well and will come up to me and cuddle or lick me. Gibson will move in closer to lay with mommy if my illness has been difficult or I am having an “off day”.
  • Laughter- playing silly games “pillow ball”, “fetch” “sockball” and others make me laugh as their personalities are so different!
  • Keeping My Mind Distracted- Before we had the pups, I needed to find distractions from my EDS and it was very difficult. Playing with them, taking them with us, provides me with that ability to look beyond my disease.
  • Love- pretty self explanatory! They make me feel loved and I do the same!
  • Anxiety- Just the action of petting the puppies makes me more relaxes and reduces my anxiety.

Do you have a pet that you love dearly? What has he/she brought to your life?

For more doggy pics follow me on Instagram! 

Have a great weekend!

Jess xo


  • Elle
    Posted at 18:13h, 12 May Reply

    I love reading about your pets Jess,
    Truffles and Gibson I am sure feel like family! I have read about how good pets are for a person, in every way, and I know my dogs have helped me.
    I know you illness is so difficult for you and I admire how upbeat you are in the face of it. i know it its not easy.
    Love your red skirt and the doggie costumes too!
    gentle hugs,

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:31h, 13 May Reply

      Thank you Elle. They are spoiled, just a bit! But I love it. You have a shih tzu too and I imagine she helps you quite a bit, they are so loving! xx

  • robjodiefilogomo
    Posted at 09:40h, 12 May Reply

    It is amazing how our pets can add so much to our lives!!
    I love seeing these photos, Jess!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:32h, 13 May Reply

      Thank you Jodie! Yes, I don’t know what I would do without them! xx

  • Nancy
    Posted at 02:27h, 12 May Reply

    I know exactly what you mean. I have always had Cats. Can t Imagine my life without them!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:33h, 13 May Reply

      I love seeing pics of your kitty too! Pets really do extend our lives!xx

  • Heather Lord
    Posted at 01:57h, 12 May Reply

    Lovely to hear how your furbabies came into your life, and how they have helped with your illness, Jess xx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:04h, 13 May Reply

      Thank you Heather! I appreciate your comments as always. So glad you enjoyed the post.xx

  • dan
    Posted at 01:48h, 12 May Reply

    I could spend a whole day explaining how having a dog enriches my life! The loyal friendship of dogs, their hendless love are only two among the many reasons why I chose to adopt one …

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:16h, 13 May Reply

      Thank you Dan for your comment! I know how much they mean to us! That is wonderful that you adopted your pet too! :-)xx

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