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On Subject Of Pets & Dementia
The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 5:21 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Since it seems me that people on here divided amongst selves on whether people with dementia even should have pets, or be around animals...and or what use they can be us...I will let my dear friend Susan explain her own words. 

Susan in process of shooting a documentary on here journey FTD...she no on this forum, but she a very active part the dementia rights community...and she do speak for Alz Asso.

So, without further adue...

https://www.facebook.com/SusansStory2017/videos/1613657342279244/

No sure if you have facebook...but it there.  And you can follow the making of this video as they doing things. 

<3


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 5:29 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


PS...I could, an have, said almost the same as Susan my dog...an more.

They will keep bugging you, force you engage them....come on mom, I need go out now.  How often we get our tasks do that us??? 

<3


BlueSkies
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:20 PM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


Sun, my three dogs and cat fill my world with so much entertainment, joy and love.  I could not even imagine life without pets.  They make life so much better!  PS...My pets will not let me forget to feed them.  They are very pushy when I am late feeding them, lol.  I also have a dog door and a big back yard.  They go in and out as they please, so don't need to worry about taking them out to potty.
Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 12:00 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18508


Will the PWD be able to care for the pets properly?  Many of the caregiver posts are about their PWD's pets who are not getting fed, not getting walked, or not having the litter box scooped.  Also, animals are trip hazards.  I have tripped over my pets many times.  It's not fun for me or for them.  When my own pets cross the Rainbow Bridge, I will not get any more.  


Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 7:40 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


I related to Susan's video. When I was widowed and then lost my mother 3 months later I became clinically depressed. One day my niece showed up at my door with Boomer, a beautiful rescue dog who was abandoned by his drug addicted owner. I was barely leaving the house back then. That dog got me walking and then running again. I had to get out of bed to feed and care for him. I was suicidal and he was a huge part of what kept me going and not giving up!
The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 8:39 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


When I raised my children...it seemed that everyone an their brother *imagined* they knew something about parenting.  It has taken 30+ years for the world start realizing that parents are the best experts their own individual children.  I think the same holds true dementia...that the INDIVIDUAL with dementia is the BEST expert on what they can or can no do.  And, after all...what is that saying?  If you know one pers dementia...you know one person dementia.  Also, because of the gross mis-information regarding dementia being circulated (in caregiver circles)...it is highly likely that necessary supports were no given these peop support them in continuing care their pets...and, after all, aren't we on here try change that for ourselves...try support ourselves, an try figure out how best get the support we need from others keep living our lives??? 

Since there are literally 1000's of "dementia pioneers" out there, doing WAY more than what is talked about on here...and only a few hundred caregivers on here...you will, of course, have weigh for youself whose voices you listen...an what you willing take in and make you own.  Whether you give more weight those outside looking in...or those inside speaking out.   This is exactly why I posted Susan's video...give you yet one more voice of a an actual person with dementia...try an offset the voices outsiders...so you can see for youself the two competing points of view.   

I personally refuse take on caregiver (outsider) fear...just as a matter of personal policy.  Fear is just so highly destructive...like stress...that I really, just as a matter of personal policy...just won't...and I encourage you no do either.  Indeed, we each are living WITH dementia in our brains...we have enough our OWN fears...we certainly don't need anyone else's.  Just my thoughts on it. 

But I have add...this what real confuses me...on one hand, you try say...stand for...we "dementia pioneers" who can stay independent...and then, you keep randomly invalidating you words by bringing up caregivers belief that we can no do anything ourselves.  These two competing thoughts like a dog chasing its tail me...makes me dizzy.  I sure hope you come a place of decision *HOW* you really feel on this subject.

As for me, I know my dog adds my ability.  He will no let me forget feed him...or forget let him out.  He keeps me from isolating myself.  He forces me notice an feel the weather.  He gives me cause, greater than my own...drives me forward, makes me get out of bed morning. 

I have said before in other places, I am fairly advanced disease process...so I have signs remind me...and I have a system cue me.  As well, my daughter pays attention...just in case...as a safety net for us.  These are the proper supports me that allow me remain independent. 

And these things ^ are no done, or said, assuage you (or anyone's fears of me/my disease)...but rather because it show that "I" view going in idea of living independently with this disease, that we CAN...and ARE capable of doing so with knowledge, aforethought....and I view it as how "I" take responsibility my life.  And just because you, or a host of caregivers, are no USED peop dementia taking responsibility their lives...does no mean I am no used taking responsibility my life. *Warm smiles*

My words fail.

Hope you have a wonderful day.

<3

 


alz+
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 9:33 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


Thanks for that video! 


alz+
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 10:01 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


2 cents regarding "pets" helping or being trouble:

I have never been without an animal companion since I was born and my animal friends were often life savers, lightened the mood, kept me going, all that love stuff. Even the trouble they caused was often full of merriment.

But I can see where if one has enjoyed cats, dogs, birds, goats, horses - there will be a time when the care those animals require is more than a person can give. Fact is few assisted living/ nursing places allow animals.

This is cool story about a cat who found her woman who was put in a nursing home:

http://pets.people.com/pets/article/0,,20859933,00.html  

 I cannot drive so I could not get our dog food. I can walk her sometimes twice a day, sometimes none, cannot lift her, cannot take her to vet - lots of things. My husband does all of this and ENJOYS IT. If I had an animal and the person I was dependant upon did not like the animal, or animals in general, I would rather it go somewhere it was wanted.

Animals are work. Not being able to provide for an animal companion and knowing it -that is a big thing to acknowledge. Brave and kind. Maybe best not to replace beloved animals in some situations, to know that is courageous, compassionate and wise. It is for the best to not have animals when they do not bring joy to one's life or theirs, nor cannot be provided for, it just makes good sense. Separation is traumatic enough, this is a sensitive discussion. People make different choices.

One of  those big things in life. A person like me with dementia dies a little without an animal companion. Below story about 102 year old woman who missed her recently deceased cat and found another.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.33.12 AM

http://www.godupdates.com/this-102-year-old-woman-just-met-her-purrfect-match/

101 year old woman who gets new cat quote:

“To me, an animal gives you life, that a person can’t, or material things can’t,” Bates says. “You come home from a stressful day, and they want to kiss on you. It just makes everything bad go away. So it just touched my heart. And I’m just glad that what I felt came out in the photo.”


BillBRNC
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 11:48 AM
Joined: 12/2/2015
Posts: 1018


When I was growing up at home, we always had dogs, cats, and birds. The were wonderful to have around and to be with. When I went off to college, no more pets. In fact, I never had another dog or cat, at least not until this coming Sunday when I get my service dog, Doc. When I first realized that I probably had Alz, the first thing I thought of was how much I wanted to have a dog to make the trip more comfortable and hopefully enjoyable. I started looking for service dog programs, but none would touch someone my age with Alz. I finally found a program that would take a chance, and that was this past September. I later got a solid diagnoses of Lewy Body Dementia with early onset Alz mixed in. I sure glad I had got the ball rolling months earlier. On Sunday, I get my 2-year old cream colored male Golden Retriever, who just got neutered which is why he's a week late. I'm his first partner, hopefully his last too. I just can't describe how anxious, anticipating, happy, thrilled, and just plain Wow I am about all of this. Yes, I know the day will come when I won't be able to take care of him, but my wife will gladly do so at that point in time. If I end up in a facility, then Doc will move in with me to help me there as well. All the places around here and reasonably close for memory care accept pets, so no problem there. My wife is very happy about Doc too, as he will be her dog one day after I'm gone. In the meantime, Doc will still be her best buddy to.
Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 12:22 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18508


Those are indeed heartwarming stories, Alz+.  If anything were to happen to me prematurely, my pets would have to go to a shelter.  I don't want that for them.


Iris L.


Paul Hornback
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 4:14 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


I'd be lost without my pet Chihuahuas and my chickens. They give me something to do each day and provide love in return. Hopefully, I'll be able to care for them for a long time. God bless, Paul
BillBRNC
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 7:08 PM
Joined: 12/2/2015
Posts: 1018


Paul, I never had much luck with chickens, but then we usually ate them. Glad you're doing better. I've never eaten a dog though, don't plan to either.
llee08032
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2016 9:37 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Alz+ right a sensitive topic close to the heart of us animal lovers! Bill, you're Doc sounds beautiful! Taking trips and being hospitalized with a pet at home is another worrisome issue. I was on a honeymoon at a top resort and the pet sitters thought they did me a favor by sending me a picture of Boomer and only I could tell how sad and lonely he looked! It wrenched my heart and we ended up coming home 2 day's early.

We always had dogs too growing up with a few ducks interspersed. Ducks are very affectionate. My younger brother and I also used to bring home stray dogs and try to sneak them in the yard when mom was at work. Both parents big mushy animal lovers too. 

My close friend who is a cancer survivor has begged me to take her dog if anything happens to her. I totally emphasized with her and didn't have the heart to say no! The dog is in his senior years and it doesn't look like he's going to outlast her.

I honestly do not think I will be able to go too long w/o getting another dog and I have had a few urges to hit the local animal shelter lately. I have been trying to give a lot of thought to the responsibility and the what if's? I sure will be begging and making my son's swear before I even get a dog that they will take the dog if anything happens to me!

Pets enrich our lives and it would be nice if there were resources to help people care for their pets but the bottom line is the $ is not there.


BillBRNC
Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2016 11:12 AM
Joined: 12/2/2015
Posts: 1018


On the subject of dogs, the service dog I've been waiting for a long time for is actually comint to my home tomorrow afternoon. Name is Doc. Cream colored Golden Retriever. He is 2.4 years old and has been in training until just now. The program director will be coming to spend 3 days with us during the transition. Usually, the person goes there, but she wanted to come to the mountains to beat the heat in the flatland. I can't wait, I just wait. I didn't realize how much I've come to anticipate and count of the arrival of Doc, who hopefully will make my trip a little easier to the promised land. I am so very lucky, even with all these health problems. So many other people have it so much worse.
alz+
Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2016 7:26 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


Bill - this is going to be a lot of fun for you. Hope he likes banjo!

Paul & L lee - I did not know how friendly chickens are until I met someone with them up here. My neighbor has chickens now, like to see them running around.

we are all excited about your dog Bill. He sounds gorgeous, waiting for pictures next week maybe? Isn't there some theory that it takes 45 days to find the bond? not sure.

just watching them sleep is fun.

Iris I have seen dogs at local shelter that their owner went into nursing home or died. Once they get used to the atmosphere they seem to adjust. One man takes the older ones to his house to sleep at night! Some never leave his house, others have their pictures at shelter.

I laughed at L lee getting photo of her dog on honeymoon and cutting the honeymoon short! I went on a trip back to california to visit my kids and left my 2 dogs at home with a friend who pet sat for me. She was not a dog lover, I was worried sick the whole time.  When I got home they did not even come to the car, I was never sure if they even knew I was gone for 2 weeks.


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2016 8:33 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18508


I  have had horrible experiences with other people taking care of my pets while I was away.  My dog was allowed to run in the street and got hit by a car and killed.  My cat was locked in a kitchen cupboard for several days.  Another cat was septic and almost dead with pus oozing from an abdominal wound by the time I arrived home from a two week vacation.  He would have died in 24 hours if I had not immediately taken him to the vet for surgery and antibiotics and intensive care.  No, I am very fearful of my pets being taken care of by others.  It's a nightmare just thinking about it.

 


Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2016 10:28 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Iris,

How horrible! I cannot imagine coming home from vacation to a sick or dead pet! I have always used a professional pet sitting service, family member or a dog lover close friend. Even with professional pet sitting services you have to check them out and get references from persons who use their service. One should always insist on introduction meeting with sitter and pet and pay close attention to how your pet responds to the person. I don't think I would trust someone who does not, nor ever had pets to care for a beloved pet.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2016 4:21 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


I get all my dogs (most all, some I get from friends/family) from the local shelter.  Aside from the temporary stress of being in that environment, an Kennel Cough (that seems par the course), the dogs do no seem mind very much.  Our local shelter homes so many animals every day, it actually mind boggling....and I know I have been happy as all get out with each my dogs from there.

The other plus side of the shelters...is you know they got all their vetting.  Ours does ALL the vaccines now, chips, spay/neuter, etc...plus they behavior test them...so I have some clue of who I am bringing home.  But, perhaps the best, quality of the shelter here...is that if for any reason at all, it does no work out...or is no the right fit...you can return them...

So, for those reasons...I like getting animals at the shelter better than say, Craigslist...in which you pretty sure someone dumping a problem on you. 

Also...THE MOMENT YOU DIAGNOSED dementia (an after you get a grip on it)...you have start PLANNING.  Getting one's affairs in order (for self) is the same if we have pets...it means PLANNING what will happen our pets when we can no longer care them.  Either a family member or friend can take them...OR...we can bring them nursing home with us...or...we can put them down.  This is what I LOVE about Susan's video here...she took in her mom's dogs. 

I know, for me, our dogs are part our family...so my daughter an granddaughter will continue love an care for them long after I gone.  I also know, I have (am am) well socializing my dogs...so that should the day ever come that they have find a new home (an I have had rehome a few dogs along the way, generally friends)...I know that whoever gets them will no only stay friends us...but be WELL pleased with the dogs. 

As for peop caring for them when we away...that is a rough one...an I anticipate the same trouble someone caring for US when we can no longer care ourselves...which is one of the main reasons I will no be leaving that on anyone else either. 

As for chickens...I have had a few, an a few ducks.  I much preferred the chickens the ducks.  Chickens are surprisingly good pets, very cuddly.  I wish I could have goats rather than dogs...but our zoning does no allow barnyard animals...oh well. 

Our new dog (second dog) was supposed be 2 years old...she bigger than Bodhi...but by way she acts, an how pliable an squishy she is...she reminds me of a 4-6 month old puppy...maybe 7, 8, 9 month old.  Imma thinking she going get a lot bigger...but we will see what the vet say this week.  The two act like soul mates...it very cute.

<3


julielarson
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2016 7:23 PM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


I just adopted a kitten from the humane society and the things he adds to my life are immeasurable. I love him big time. I am glad I did it.. My boyfriend loves him too so if anything happens to me he will care for the baby.
alz+
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 4:07 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


Julie - what did you name cat?

Cats that are "characters" are so interesting.,  I have had some mousers who just kind of did their own thing. Bold move, good for you!

Iris  - a horror story about your animals. No wonder you would not trust anyone to take your animals again!

My friend lived in my house while I was away so my dogs just continued to live their lives without me interfering. I now recall they looked a little chubbier - that friend was a great cook and she shared with them!

My dog now was lame last week, apparently not anymore. Today she went off like a rocket a couple times chasing chipmunks. We went to a new place in woods yesterday rock hunting.

Felt like I was miles away from home but came out on a  ski slope.

I am waiting on Bill's dog report.


julielarson
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 5:01 AM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


His name is Freddy Mercury.. He came named from the shelter.. I love his name. He is so sweet.. in fact I am right now getting a break from him sitting on me at the computer. He loves to cuddle when I am online. LOL.. What a sweet baby he is. He is a tuxedo kitty.
llee08032
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 7:09 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Congratulations on adopting Freddy Mercury, Julie! May you have many years of joy together.
BlueSkies
Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 12:01 AM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


Congratulations Julie!  My you have many joyous and loving moments with your new pet.  ( I mean, Freddie Mercury.  I love the name also ).  So happy for you