Caring for Young Children and Pets After Stroke/My Non-Scientific Personal Study

In late May 2021 my grandson, who lives with me got a new puppy. My daughter and grandson were working/schooling from home so it seemed like a good time. 8/3/21 My strokes occurred, the kids went back to school in person, daughter to work in office 3 days per week, then to visit me in hospital after work as well as take care of the grandie. Poor puppy was left alone most of the time, and learned bad habits of destroying everything in sight…bedding, flooring, doors and trim…Healthworkers and extended family said the dog had to go before I came home. I would not allow them to take away my grandie’s first pet of his own. I regretted that many times as I was training the dog to behave in a proper manner, but she never hurt me. It is as if she knew I was frail and took care of me. She started listening to me, learned to be very gentle. My cat missed me terribly and to this day has become very protective of me. Animals just know. The dog most especially has increased her amount of ‘roughness’ with me, as if to say, “C’mon, you can take it”. She is correct, And when I get tired, she gentles. I learned to bend over because the cats and dog needed fed. The dog stengthened my arms and legs because I take her out on a leash and sit in my rolling walker, but I must walk to get there and hold on to her. She will only pull until I tell her to stop. I have fallen twice with her, but not her fault. I was distracted once and tripped over my walker the second time. I really do not think I would have done as well without the help of the animals to care for.

Regarding young children, my grandson keeps me on my toes, literally. We could not afford sitters for him so he stayed home with me over the summer, once I was home, and since. He has often been right there to steady me, or keep me company. His friends all come over…a band of seven usually…they would make me try to play a dance game or Mario Party which helped me, ask me to fix them Ramen or Pizza, or drinks. Make much noise and movement around me to help get used to it, and keep me walking around outside to see where they had gotten off to.

The kids are all in the 7-10 age range. Care workers and family were very concerned about that as well but I wanted my grandson to be able to be a kid. Sometimes the noise would get to me and I would sleep in the chair to shut it out. Thankfully the age group made that okay.

I just wanted to share my experience, that things that may seem too much for a frail person are just the thing to help them get stronger. I know the kids and animals truly helped emotionally, mentally and physically.


Well said.
Anything that takes you out of yourself for a while is certain to be good.
You are lucky, surrounded with all that love. Animals and children give unreservedly. It is a healing bath. Stroke pushes us back into a second childhood where we have to relearn so much.
Just like a child, frequent naps help, more in fact, they are necessary for growth or regrowth.
Stop me now, I’m probably very wrong, but it does seem right.
Who am I to say?
I do drone on at times.

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :grin: :teapot:


I think you are exactly right, based on my own experiences. And I for one enjoy having your feedback, additions and musings.


@DeAnn you are so right. The way to move forward is to push the boundaries a bit. There will no doubt be some trips & falls along the way but as long as they’re nothing setious tyen whats the harm.

I think pets are very astute. I no longer have one but always found my cat to be tuned into my feelings (except in his schizophrenic moments).

I am totally in awe of how we you’re doing given all you’ve been through. Very inspiring.


Good to hear @DeAnn and I agree about the animals knowing that your a bit vulnerable. My lovely rescue cat (that’s him on my profile pic) certainly knew and is very sweet. He’s FIV so has to stay indoors and only goes outside in catio but he follows me around the house an pines when I go out.

You’ve done great looking after your grandson & his pup.

Well done!


Your cat looks like my grandkitty. So adorable! There are many studies in cats and dogs being able to sense illness in humans. They are such amazing creatures!