Cody, a North American raccoon, lives in Stevenage, England, with Valentine. The 24-year-old has a number of illnesses, but the most debilitating are her myalgic encephalomyelitis and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Both leave Valentine in constant pain, with joints that dislocate easily, among other difficulties. She had to stop working as a result.
"[These] illnesses have left me quite isolated and anxious about going outside and meeting new people," Valentine told The Dodo.
"I don't have many close friends these days because of this as not many people understand how it feels. Cody has changed that around though."