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Dog for my DW
Posted: Sunday, January 9, 2022 5:02 PM
Joined: 1/1/2022
Posts: 25

My wife has had Alzheimer’s for going on 10 years now and has always had a dog. Ourcdog was very good for her, now sadly our Lola passed away 9 months ago, she was 13 but had liver problems. Since then my wife asks me every day when she can get one, its sad to see her this way. I dont know what to do because i cant get a puppy or untrained dog. Any ideas where i can get her a small dog already trained or thru the puppy stage, i am at my wits end
Posted: Sunday, January 9, 2022 5:21 PM
Joined: 12/22/2018
Posts: 188

Many animal shelters or breed-specific rescues have adult dogs that need to be re-homed and are already trained (in other words, way out of the puppy stage.) It can take time to find the right rescue animal suitable to your home, but I've had incredibly good experiences with rescue groups. From what I've seen, the people who work there love to make a good match between an animal that needs a home and a family that needs an animal  

My mother with Alzheimer's loves dogs too and she thrives spending time with my pup. 

I'm very sorry for your loss of Lola. Good luck finding your next furry family member! 

Posted: Sunday, January 9, 2022 5:46 PM
Joined: 8/8/2012
Posts: 49

There are so many senior dogs at shelters that desperately need a home. That might be a really good option.
Posted: Sunday, January 9, 2022 10:06 PM
Joined: 10/10/2021
Posts: 778

Chris, I too would recommend rescue shelters to find your dw and you a loving pet.  We got our sweet little girl from a rescue center, at first she was just for me, but it seems she just knew my husband needed her attention more. My husband has Alzheimer’s, late stage 5 and now early 6. My point being she would just walk over by him and sit close by. She has never jumped on him or been routy to him. Now she does play with me, but so protective of him. It has been the best medicine for him. Even his psychiatrist said it was a very healthy thing for him. Best of luck to you and your dear wife.
Posted: Monday, January 10, 2022 6:08 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 3732

I would add "asking around" to the advice about shelters and rescue organizations.

After dad died, we wanted a cat to keep mom company. I was looking for a more sedate cat who was well mannered rather than a trip hazard. My mom was 83 at the time, and TBH, I didn't want a pet that would survive her by many years (her last 2 cats made it to 20 and 21) that would presumably become my responsibility. My niece's friend was re-homing a 12 year old Maine Coon because she'd been transferred to Hawaii. This has worked out really well. 

Another option might be a Joy For All robotic pet. They're less work and a safer choice if the PWD is prone to over-feeding or harsh discipline. A friend got her mom one after I told her about them. Dad's MCF had them as a distraction and lovey for those who responded. The spares were in the office and when we'd meet with the DON my non-PWD mother found them irresistible. They borrowed it from the local library first- after her own cats started avoiding her mom because of her tendency to order them around. Her mom loved her new cat. 

MN Chickadee
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2022 9:55 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1576

I would definitely try a Joy for All pet. It sounds ridiculous, but so many PWD take to them. My mother loves hers. 

Putting feelers out at the shelters is a good idea. Also at continuing care retirement campuses around you - it probably comes up a lot where a person in assisted living can no longer care for their dog and they need to find it a home, or someone dies or moves to a higher level of care and a dog is involved.

Also just spit balling here, but where I live there are some people who are kind of known as local dog gurus. They live dogs. They have pet sitting services, dog walking, training and obedience services etc. I wonder if you could hire someone like that to train a dog for you or take a puppy in for a month or two to get it ready for you. A small lapdog who is a mix of a couple breeds would likely be pretty easy to train and probably be ready to come home to you in not long. I would try asking around and emailing anyone who runs local small businesses related to dog services and see if someone would help you out with that initial training piece. They may have a sense of what breed would be a good fit and where to get one as well. 

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 1:02 PM
Joined: 2/8/2021
Posts: 38

So sorry for your loss of Lola. As others have said a shelter or rescue organization could be a great option. Rescues will be able to give you information about a particular dog because they live in foster homes initially. They will be able to tell you if they are high energy or a lap dog, if they are good with cats, children, other dogs, housebroken, etc. My mom got two small dogs from shelters when she was in the early stages of dementia but her husband helped her with them quite a bit. She is in MC now and her husband visits her with her female dog and she really enjoys it. Good luck to you!
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 2:38 PM
Joined: 5/5/2021
Posts: 159

I would also try asking local veterinary practices, my daughter is in training and they get a lot of “situations” that might fit the bill.
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