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Dementia’s journey

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Bless you. I’m glad i’ve never abandoned TP as even in the darkest time everyone’s been there for me. Thanks again xx
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Oh God what have i done? My greyhound has arrived and i’m as nervous as hell. What have i let myself in for? He’s soppy and big. Been for a walk and now he’s resting in his crate.

When we’ve had pets before it’s always been a shared responsibility and fun for us both. Now it’s just me and again i feel i’ve gone behind her back with another big decision and do i really want to do all this on my own. I’m hopeless ain’t I !

i’ve wished for this for a long time and now i don’t know whether i’m up to it. Anyway i had to tell someone as everyone i know expects me to have a changed, more contented life with my new pet.

In a rational world would Bridget be pleased for me or not. I know it’s stupid thinking i need her permission but a long time married means a hard wiring of talking it through together.

Let’s hope my dog and me get through the first night without too much stress. A walk tomorrow early to avoid too many strange dogs and hope he sleeps a lot as greyhounds tend to do.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,347
Dorset
Make sure you take him out before bed time and give him lots of praise and a treat when he goes to the toilet outside. Try to ensure he knows the way out to the garden so he can show/tell you what he wants but don’t get cross if he has an accident indoors, he needs to learn what you want of him.
i always have moments of panic when I take on a new dog (I’m on No’s. 6 & 7 now) and when I had both of my children, so you are not alone in this!
Has he come straight off the track / through RGT or from another Animal Rescue Charity? RGT do their best to ensure their dogs have some experience of living in a home before they are adopted.
Looking forward to hearing how you get on together!

Wags from Chancey and Nutmeg.
 

DianeW

Registered User
Sep 10, 2013
787
Lytham St Annes
I think it’s only natural, it feels such a responsibility when you take on a pet that relies totally on you.....I remember it well.

Just take one day at a time, and you will come to love each other....he will help you, by just giving you a distraction and something to focus on and care for....he will soon be your pal x

Just remember he will be feeling unsettled too, you just need to get to know each other slowly.....
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Thanks guys for all your advice. Been for his first real walk. He slept right through till 06.00 this morning but i didn’t rest settle last night wondering if he’s ok. Anyway, he’s in his crate resting now and i’m going to have a little rest too.
 

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Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
would it be ok if i bored you all with some more Buddy news as i go along. It will trail off eventually! Any doggy tips more than welcome.

i’m mindful that TP is a site for dementia related issues and i’ve done my fair share of opening my heart to you all in my heartache for Bridget. My dog and me will settle., my longing and grief for my wife remains raw.

I’m reading ‘ It’s OK that you’re NOT OK’ by Megan Devine. it there she says “ in order to survive , to find that life that feels authentic and true to you, we have to start with telling the truth. This really is as bad as you think, Everything really is as wrong, and as bizarre, as you know it to be. When you start there, we can begin to talk about living with grief, living inside the love that remains”.

Bless you all, Peter
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,514
South of the Border
I had a wonderful retired greyhound once. People would say 'but isn't he a big dog?' and my reply was always 'No, because he lies down most of the time!'
Generally, they are so happy to have an indoor home, and just want to be there... I used to have to talk him into going for a walk.
Just be aware though that there may well be vets bills - these dogs are retired for a reason, but other than that, you will have a lovely time with your new pet, and he will have a great time with you!!
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,011
High Peak
Hello Peter,

Ms Devine's book sounds very good. Your reactions to an awful situation are that you feel awful so it's kinda right that you should!

I can remember having a discussion with my GP about depression. She said I appeared to be depressed. I said I wasn't depressed, I was just flippin' miserable because there are a lot of bad things happening in my life right now and my reaction (feeling really low) was an appropriate and completely normal reaction to that. I've also experienced times when I felt close to suicidal for NO particular reason - there is a difference!

I hope you can console yourself a little to know that you are merely reacting appropriately. (Probably doesn't help on those occasions you feel in the depths of despair.)

Buddy looks lovely. He also looks like a dog who will listen to you and sympathise. There are those who would say 'he's only a dog' but those of us with pets know that some animals are enormously supportive and can have a really positive effect on our mood. From the replies you've already had, I expect you now know that we'd all love to hear about your progress with Buddy :)

Wishing you a good day...
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
749
Buddy, being big and soppy, sounds great. I always have a period of anxiety when getting a new pet. Will they settle,, have I made the right decision? I have never regretted any of them, even my current cat Jasper, who is a huge, stupid rescue cat who lives to ruin our carpets. I still love him, and he has been a great comfort to me all through Mummy's dementia.
Welcome Buddy, I hope he settles in well.
 

DianeW

Registered User
Sep 10, 2013
787
Lytham St Annes
I would love all Buddy news, Buddy by name and he will become your best Buddy by nature too x

Like I said earlier just take each day at a time, settle in together, you are so lucky to have found each other...honestly x

He looks nice and snuggled in his bed...
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Ok, here’s the thing. I’ve had really awful day one way and another. First i had to speak to the Samaritans as i was in a bad way this morning and then with a Admiral nurse this evening.

Bottom line is that I’ve gone behind her back again with the dog and it’s no longer a shared responsibility. The nurse said that i deserve a spot of happiness but in my heart I believe I don’t. Is that logic? No it’s guilty feelings. Again she confirmed that it’s all worse for me because for Bridget, well, she doesn’t have the same emotional capacity any more.

We have this disassociation between logic and feelings. Perhaps i feel too much but i can’t have it any other way. Dementia is cruel as we know but what the dementia situation is doing to me is pulling me back to a place i don’t want to any more.

I too have thought about suicide in my darkest times especially on Monday when Bridget looked so pathetic and lost. But thinking is not doing. There’s a difference but we feel we must do something to stop the hurting.

Peter
 

Lirene

Registered User
Sep 15, 2019
241
Hello Peter, guilt monkey is sat on your shoulder again weighing you down.
It is okay to feel guilty at times, if you didn’t you would not be human. You feel guilt because try as you may you cannot make Bridget better and unfortunately no one can. You, with help from others, can only make Bridget comfortable and safe in her own world. Everyone would give their world and their own life to restore our loved ones to how they were and dementia is the cruelest, saddest and longest goodbye ever. You, however must learn to live, help and be there for Bridget throughout the rest of your lives, be them long or short. You cannot change the situation but you must to accept it and learn to live with with life as it is now and will be.
Acceptance of things as they are is difficult, we, as humans always wish, strive and pray for this perfect place where no one gets hurt ill, old, incapable, distressed, and no one dies.
We must learn to accept what we have, and accept what life throws at us that we cannot change. My heart goes out to you Peter and I pray that you may find it easier to live with everyday life as it is now. You cannot fail Peter you have to keep going, keep fighting for Bridget and yourself - she only has you.
Talk to Buddy all the time, tell him your innermost thoughts, share your memories and what you are thinking with him he will be of great comfort to you.
My prayers are for you and all xx
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,011
High Peak
Ok, here’s the thing. I’ve had really awful day one way and another. First i had to speak to the Samaritans as i was in a bad way this morning and then with a Admiral nurse this evening.

Bottom line is that I’ve gone behind her back again with the dog and it’s no longer a shared responsibility. The nurse said that i deserve a spot of happiness but in my heart I believe I don’t. Is that logic? No it’s guilty feelings. Again she confirmed that it’s all worse for me because for Bridget, well, she doesn’t have the same emotional capacity any more.

We have this disassociation between logic and feelings. Perhaps i feel too much but i can’t have it any other way. Dementia is cruel as we know but what the dementia situation is doing to me is pulling me back to a place i don’t want to any more.

I too have thought about suicide in my darkest times especially on Monday when Bridget looked so pathetic and lost. But thinking is not doing. There’s a difference but we feel we must do something to stop the hurting.

Peter
Peter, you can't say you've gone behind Bridget's back by getting Buddy, just because she wasn't involved in the decision. You make decisions every day that no longer involve Bridget, like when to go shopping or visit family, paying all your bills, making repairs around the house - you name it. You are able to accept that you must do these things without consulting Bridget.

It's almost as though you feel it's wrong to enjoy Buddy because Bridget wasn't involved in choosing him. But I bet you anything she would approve of your choice! Could you take him with you when you do a window visit?

Never forget that Bridget-as-she-was would be devastated to see your sadness and despair and would tell you to grab every bit of happiness you can.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,347
Dorset
Great to see Buddy and we expect more photos of him. Get out in the fresh air walking him. Once he gets used to other dogs you will find a network of people to talk to on your walks. (Socially distanced of course!);)
During shut down it was the act of getting out and walking each day with the dogs, with the opportunity of speaking with people out in their gardens that helped get me through the isolation.
If you have any concerns about living with a greyhound there are web sites that you can join with pages like TP where people with experience share their knowledge and chat socially. I like https://forum.greytalk.com/ . It is predominantly US based but there are UK members and there is tons of good advice when/if needed.

Carol
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
893
Hi @Dutchman, I think it's great that you have the aptly named Buddy, he will help you as you are helping him. I'm sure Bridget would want to see that. He looks a great little fella and the companionship you can get is unconditional. I understand the pain you are going through, I'm just pleased you picked up the 'phone and got some help. Be kind to yourself even when it's the last thing you want to be. Stay strong, best wishes to you and Buddy.
 

big l

Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
63
There is, perhaps, no peace, but hopefully comfort will gradually come if you allow in the support that you are getting. Let Buddy in to your heart and tell him all your sorrows. It helps I promise you. It's a horrible place to be, I know.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
hello,
Since i last spoke to someone i may have jumped the gun but i’ve taken the dog back to the kennel. I made a terrible mistake and rather than him getting really used to me i thought i’d take him back sooner rather than later. Now i’m the bad boy with my daughter ( Claire ) who believes that a dog would have been good company, etc. Why didn’t you discuss this with me this morning she says. But she would have talked me into keeping him longer.

I just felt that on top of everything else, my ongoing heartache for Bridget seeing her slowly deteriorate each week, the upset i get when i go to the home, well you know the rest, i couldn’t take on more responsibility with caring for a dog.

My daughter doesn’t see it that way. She want me to separate off Bridget’s situation and for me to concentrate on my happiness. She sees Bridget as an excuse to me ever enjoying life. A dog, she thinks would have been a comfort and company. Ok in theory but too much for me . She says as far as she can see things now i have limited choices. Either I bring Bridget home and employ carers or go get more medication or just carry on as i’m doing wallowing in my misery. When asked what she would do in my situation she says “dad, you saw this coming over the past 5 years and the inevitability of a care home and none of the family can understand why you don’t want some happiness in your life“ Of course i want to feel better but there’s so much in my way.

I seriously thought about bringing her home back in September 2019 but that’s not logistically possible as you know ( and i’d lose her room in the home), medication is short term and i’ve been made to feel weak by her term “wallowing”. I certainly feel weak and wretched for suddenly getting rid of the dog

I’m a mess again after i believed i was just getting somewhere. I’m stuck emotionally and serious fear for my sanity now. Should i have had the dog, should i have kept him longer ( should i back there later tomorrow and get him back) ? Oh I don’t know.

Now i’ve got to tell everyone else who had high expectations for me.

I care so much for Bridget even though it’s the care home job to look after her. I cannot separate the two. Perhaps things will be different much later on, who knows.

When asked would Bridget be pleased for you that you’re trying to make yourself happier, i really don’t know. Perhaps i feel that acceptance of happiness is somehow something wrong and i’ve no right to it. Is that weird?

Anyway, i really don’t know where i go from here
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,528
hello,
Since i last spoke to someone i may have jumped the gun but i’ve taken the dog back to the kennel. I made a terrible mistake and rather than him getting really used to me i thought i’d take him back sooner rather than later. Now i’m the bad boy with my daughter ( Claire ) who believes that a dog would have been good company, etc. Why didn’t you discuss this with me this morning she says. But she would have talked me into keeping him longer.

I just felt that on top of everything else, my ongoing heartache for Bridget seeing her slowly deteriorate each week, the upset i get when i go to the home, well you know the rest, i couldn’t take on more responsibility with caring for a dog.

My daughter doesn’t see it that way. She want me to separate off Bridget’s situation and for me to concentrate on my happiness. She sees Bridget as an excuse to me ever enjoying life. A dog, she thinks would have been a comfort and company. Ok in theory but too much for me . She says as far as she can see things now i have limited choices. Either I bring Bridget home and employ carers or go get more medication or just carry on as i’m doing wallowing in my misery. When asked what she would do in my situation she says “dad, you saw this coming over the past 5 years and the inevitability of a care home and none of the family can understand why you don’t want some happiness in your life“ Of course i want to feel better but there’s so much in my way.

I seriously thought about bringing her home back in September 2019 but that’s not logistically possible as you know ( and i’d lose her room in the home), medication is short term and i’ve been made to feel weak by her term “wallowing”. I certainly feel weak and wretched for suddenly getting rid of the dog

I’m a mess again after i believed i was just getting somewhere. I’m stuck emotionally and serious fear for my sanity now. Should i have had the dog, should i have kept him longer ( should i back there later tomorrow and get him back) ? Oh I don’t know.

Now i’ve got to tell everyone else who had high expectations for me.

I care so much for Bridget even though it’s the care home job to look after her. I cannot separate the two. Perhaps things will be different much later on, who knows.

When asked would Bridget be pleased for you that you’re trying to make yourself happier, i really don’t know. Perhaps i feel that acceptance of happiness is somehow something wrong and i’ve no right to it. Is that weird?

Anyway, i really don’t know where i go from here
Peter, for what it’s worth, I completely understand. I felt so bonded to Keith that we were like one person and I didn’t want a life apart from him. Any kind of happiness felt disloyal. This is a human reaction though it will frustrate others who want happiness for us again. It’s one reaction to grief, there are so many different ways to feel and react. Dog or no dog, your reaction is human. All sympathy. Geraldine aka kindred.
 

DianeW

Registered User
Sep 10, 2013
787
Lytham St Annes
I am so sorry to read your update.

I can see it from both your side and your daughter too, I understand that she wants you to get some peace and settlement in your life, she wants her Dad to be ok.

Peter .....I think you are in such turmoil that you are not thinking rationally, about the reality of the situation, allowing this guilt to envelope you.

Lots of supportive people here have agreed that you have absolutely done everything you possibly could in caring for Bridget, you know deep down it’s the disease that has taken her from you, and you can’t go backwards.

You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about, yet you keep identifying things to justify the guilt.

You feel guilty and are not able to allow yourself to move on, because it’s not how you wanted life to be. I know from experience this feeling as I’ve explained.

Peter I don’t know if you are taking any medication or if you have spoken to your Dr, honestly about your thoughts and feelings, I really think you need professional help and I am concerned about you.

Peter you need help to get through this and accept your current situation and move forward.

My dad lost my Mum very suddenly 19 years ago, he like you became very down, and we did everything we could to support him whilst grieving ourselves........he has never got over my Mum and still feels very lost and alone to this day.
But I think he has accepted his new life, realising he had no choice......he gets through as best he can.

Peter you need some help, speak to your Dr and be totally honest.

Regards to Buddy, who knows if you returned him too soon and have now lost the chance of a lovely friendship, or that it was the right thing to do??? But if your minds not in the right place and you don’t want the dog, then allowing him to get a settled home was absolutely the right thing to do.

Please keep us updated, as lots of people here are very concerned for you, and are holding your hand virtually.......XXX
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
loads of heartfelt thanks to all for your comments. At least i know on the forum i won’t be harshly judged. i feel a little better now . peter AKA dutchman