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I've brought up this topic on a few other forums that I frequent, and they've had pretty good responces, so I thought I'd mention it here too. ^^

I was thinking the other day (a dangerous pastime) about how much the presence of my dog Maddy has had an effect on my experience of therianthropy. Here she is.

[Image: brad7.png]

Maddy is my best friend. She's my friend, my baby, my everything. I can't explain how much I love her. Anybody who knows me will be perfectly aware of this, hehe. We adopted her from a rescue shelter in December 2004 when I was 14. I had always wanted a dog during my childhood. I expect that this intense longing for a canine companion was just another early manifestation of my therianthropy and species dysmorphia. It was around 2003 & 2004 that I first came across the term therianthropy and begun exploring this aspect of my identity. I wonder how much my awakening and my meeting Maddy crossed into each other?

Species dysmorphia is very painful but having Maddy with me has definately eased that pain. Even though she is a dog and I feel as though I should be a dog, I could never feel resentment or anything negative towards her. She can't possibly understand about my therianthropy but I'm aware that she knows that I have a deep respect and appreciation of her. Just having her company is so soothing when that familiar feeling of entrapment rears its ugly head. Being able to pet her fur, listen to her breathe or watch how she moves is very theraputic when I feel that I should be the same way. I know that it's been proven that keeping animals combats stress and so on, but Mad does more than that for me. She makes me feel that I can act in a way that doesn't feel alien to me. I'm not always the most mentally stable of people, and I can honestly say that if it wasn't for Maddy I either wouldn't be here or would be far worse off than I am. It's as though she completes me. I want to be a dog ~ it's the most hollow feeling to know that it'll never happen and that I'll be the way I am until I die, but Maddy makes it easier. Having her with me makes me feel whole.

I should probably clarify that I don't think Maddy thinks any differently of me because of my therianthropy ~ there is no way she could know. She's a dog and I'm a human, period. I don't think animals react to Otherkin any differently to how they react to people who don't identify as other. The point of my topic was more about the impact that she's had on my experience of therianthropy, I'd rather that this didn't turn into another discussion about therians claiming to 'understand' animals better than other people. ^^;
Yes! I can so relate to this on many levels. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> I don't know what I would do without my dogs, especially my first dog, a dachshund who I tend to treat as a perpetual cub and am overprotective of. Though being a wolf as opposed to a dog, I've felt a similar kinship to dogs as family members. I think I'm a little different from them in several key ways (I mean, human body/influence aside) though. For example, I'm kind of more intense in playing or working with them and sometimes it makes our big rescue herding mix a little nervous. When I first moved in with my now-husband and was living with this dog for the first time, we would actually get in the occasional fight or snarly display, but we've since worked it out and living with him has taught me a lot about how to consciously not scare domestic dogs with my wolf behavior. XD Both my dogs have taught me most of the dog body language and expressions that I know, which makes me feel more myself and more fulfilled. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> They're contributions to my well-being are deep and endless.

It's also funny because my dogs and I tend to "catch" behaviors from each other. For example, my dachsie started the sleep-barking habit, which then me and the big dog picked up. I started the habit of stare-begging, which was then caught by both dogs. Our big dog came with lip-lifting when nervous, which then I caught, and then my dachshund started doing. XD It's pretty hilarious. My husband thinks it's really cute and amusing that he has a three "dog" pack that includes his wolfie wife. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> Do you ever pick up habits from each other? Some of this stuff we even have our cats picking up, lol.
Not a therian, just had to say that you're dog is a-friggin-dorable, Pye <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

What I can relate to is feeling that you and your dog understand each other and have a stronger bond than you and other humans. I definitely had that sort of relationship with my dog. When he died, I completely lost it. Took me longer to get over losing him than it did to get over losing my grandmother.
I imagine that my affinity for reptiles may be influenced by my therianthropy. We share habits, behaviors and preferences, and I'd rather have a monitor lizard than a child.
I wouldn't be much of who I am if it were not for my cats. I know without them I would be so confused about myself by high-school I probably would have gone crazy. I even exhibit some feline traits, my friends in high-school even use to scratch under my chin and jaw to get me to purr. They found it funny(in a cute way), to me it felt sooo good (which is why I would purr). And I think it was having my cats that helped me understand what I was feeling. But to them I think I was just another cat, albeit a strange looking cat but a cat just the same.
Going back to an old topic, I know, but something to consider. How about connections with other animals, ones that are not directly related to your kintype but nonetheless seem to react based thereon? Hard to tell, I know. I once took a walk and had a cat sitting in front of a house cross the street to nuzzle on my leg. No idea whether that means anything, but it sure was strange.
Pyewacket your dog is SO CUTE OMG! *grins* I'm a leopard therian, but my dog is my dog-daughter, and my cat is my cat-daughter. If I had the horse I wanted, she/he'd be my horse-child, too lol. My therianthropy seems to have very little to do with which animals I'm close to and which I'm not. Nor do animals seem to pick up on my therianthropy, either. Ugh, heck, I had a freaking stallion blatantly HIT ON ME or the horse equivalent once, that was unnerving haha!
I have a cat and she doesn't seem to mind that I'm a seawolf. And she's definitely sensed my 'kinness at least once as she was being naughty and I laid my phantom ears back and growled at her and she got this look on her face like 'oh shit, Mom means business!'.
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