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Puppy dillema

Alyson1955

Registered User
Mar 6, 2016
12
0
I asked this question on the Alzheimer’s group and had a mixed reaction so thought I would try on here but explain more about our position. Husband has dementia aged 79 I am his wife of 46 years and his full time carer aged 65. I no longer work so am at home 24/7. We are both physically fit. I have no outside help at all and to be honest no family help either. We are on our own.
I have fought hard to keep him active and stimulated but am now finding the stimulation almost impossible. He can no longer, read, do puzzles, write or even watch tv as he struggles to follow storylines. I came up with the idea of getting a puppy as he always cheers up when he sees dogs out walking and keeps asking for us to get one. We have had dogs before, when our children were young.
Rescue dogs are out of the question as we care for our little grandson two days a week.
I am well aware of the extra work that would be created, cleaning, walking etc but to be honest it’s not that I don’t have the time. I have considered the trip hazard so would not go for a very small dog and plan on cage training the pup. Do you think that my husband would get the stimulation he needs from a dog? I just want to keep him at home for as long as possible and if this could help in any way I am up for the task even though I know it won’t be easy. The daytime would be fine but nights may be a nightmare with sundowning.
I wonder if I too would benefit from this pup as the loneliness at time is unbearable as I’m sure you all are aware.
I guess my question is - has anyone already done this???
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
I am going to fail to answer your question ( I am quite good at that) '!
For Christmas I gave mum a ‘Joy for life cat.
It is a robotic cat.
But they do dogs too.
It can be seen on you tube.
I have not turned it off since Christmas Day and the batteries are still powering it.
Mums reactions to the cat change from day to day.
I have found gunk on its chin ( she has been trying to feed it ?)
I tied its grooming brush to its back legs and she got upset ( because it couldn’t go out for a tiddle) !
But then another day she said to Debbie ‘It’s not real, I don’t know what to do with it but can’t put it in the bin’ ?
I was in the room at the time ! and Debbie giggled !

But my ultimate review of the purchase must be:
I spent £100 pounds on that robotic cat! Do I regret it ? NO I don’t.
image.jpg
 

Alyson1955

Registered User
Mar 6, 2016
12
0
Thank you for trying to help and it’s lovely to hear your mum gets comfort from her new pet but this is the trouble, my husband is nowhere near that yet and I am fighting to keep him for as long as possible. He would 100 per cent know it’s not a real dog. He is still aware we are looking for a pup, every single day he will ask me if I’ve found one on ‘the computer’ as he calls it. I feel guilty for holding back and not getting him one for my own selfish reasons. I just want to make his last couple of years happy ones but don’t know if I could cope with a dog. I’m scared of failing I guess.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
3,118
0
Southampton
im not sure a puppy is the best idea especially as you are caring for your husband. we have had dogs from puppies and yes they are cute and sweet but they grow up. its the training, house training taking them for walks, playing with them, grooming them, cleaning up after their muddy paws has gone in something nasty and the sheer patience. its going to be 15yrs on average so what happens when your husband cant go out and you cant leave your husband, the dog needs his walks. its maybe one commitment too far. we have had our cat for 7 yrs and my husband loves him and will talk to him. hes independent and doesnt need much other than a belly rub and some fuss.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,708
0
Dorset
You are 65 and already have your hands full with your husband and grandson. Whilst your grandson should become easier to handle your husband won’t. Puppyhood won’t last too long but you will have the continuing care of a dog for possibly the next 15 years.
Due to Coronavirus the price of puppies has skyrocketed and then you have to find a responsible breeder of your chosen breed who is prepared to sell you one. You could well have to wait for months, maybe years. Buying a dog on line is one of the worst things you can do unless you know and have complete trust in that breeder, too many people have ended up with poorly animals from unscrupulous puppy farms. Supposedly beautiful little “designer dogs”, that is to say Crossbreeds, are bred with little or no care given to the characteristics of the breeds or animals involved, giving unsuspecting new owners and dogs a (sometimes short) lifetime of distress.
You say you don’t want a rescue dog and with a young grandson I understand your fears. Do you have the space for or would you consider rehoming a retired greyhound? They can be any age, depending on why they were retired and a carefully chosen one might be better than a puppy. There are plenty out there.

That is just my 4 penn’o’th.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
You are 65 and already have your hands full with your husband and grandson. Whilst your grandson should become easier to handle your husband won’t. Puppyhood won’t last too long but you will have the continuing care of a dog for possibly the next 15 years.
Due to Coronavirus the price of puppies has skyrocketed and then you have to find a responsible breeder of your chosen breed who is prepared to sell you one. You could well have to wait for months, maybe years. Buying a dog on line is one of the worst things you can do unless you know and have complete trust in that breeder, too many people have ended up with poorly animals from unscrupulous puppy farms. Supposedly beautiful little “designer dogs”, that is to say Crossbreeds, are bred with little or no care given to the characteristics of the breeds or animals involved, giving unsuspecting new owners and dogs a (sometimes short) lifetime of distress.
You say you don’t want a rescue dog and with a young grandson I understand your fears. Do you have the space for or would you consider rehoming a retired greyhound? They can be any age, depending on why they were retired and a carefully chosen one might be better than a puppy. There are plenty out there.

That is just my 4 penn’o’th.
Thank you @Banjomansmate . you may not have come up with the answer for the poster but you get my respect as a beautiful person!
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
3,118
0
Southampton
grey hounds are so gentle and placid and they only need 20 minutes walk not a whole run. retired greyhounds have to be kept on a lead and muzzled as they are likely to chase which is what they are bred to do. we looked into it but got a lurcher instead which are just as gentle and he used to pick up on my moods and come to me. but they stay like playful toddlers.
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
2,988
0
@Alyson1955 We thought that a puppy would be a good idea for Mum but she became very anxious about it, worried about feeding it and was also concerned about where it was all the time. It was only with her for a short time before going to live with my sister. Do you have family/friends with a dog that would consider 'loaning' it to you for a short while, to see how your husband copes? It wouldn't be fair to either your husband or the puppy, and would be stressful for you too, if problems arose after it had arrived.
 

Thethirdmrsc

Registered User
Apr 4, 2018
295
0
Hi @Alyson1955 i would definitely say go for a dog or cat, but perhaps not a puppy. It’s like the baby stage all over again, and I equate my OH with my 3 yr old granddaughter, both are similar and hard work together, and a puppy I feel would just be added hassle. I echo @Banjomansmate about a greyhound, as they do make lovely pets. I have a rescue 7yr old JR, who has grown up with my granddaughter, and it’s almost a dementia dog. Please don’t buy off gumtree either.
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
3,485
0
South East
My PWD absolutely loves our Labrador , the dog will go and lay next to her for a fuss and senses when she is confused or upset and stays by her side , I don’t think it would of worked so well if it had been a pup.
 

Alyson1955

Registered User
Mar 6, 2016
12
0
Thank you everyone. I think we all try to hang on to our husbands/wives that bit longer doing whatever we can.
On our babysitting days I see so much difference in my husband, he is definitely more alert and happy as he is occupied. On other days he is just so bored and doesn’t know what to do with himself. I was thinking along the lines that the dog could take the place of our grandchild as he will start school this year so we won’t see as much of him, which I am dreading as he is the only reason I have the will to get out of bed each day.
I will knock the idea of the dog on the head, I think I already knew deep down the workload would be too much for me especially as things worsen. I dread the loneliness ahead of me but maybe when I have to face life alone, that will be the time for a puppy. Thank you all again for your comment, they mean a lot.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,306
0
Victoria, Australia
I am a little unsure why you think a rescue dog would be unsuitable because you have a grandson who comes twice a week. My kids and grandkids have grown up around pets of all sorts, including a water dragon, a python, birds, fish and dogs and cats.

The last puppy we had was in 1972 and since then, every dog we have had has been a rescue dog. There are so many lovely adult dogs that deserve a good home and we've had some great dogs.

My husband loves our dog and she takes him out for a walk every afternoon. I know a lot of carers are not in favour of pets but as well as the dog, we have three cats

A lot of the various dog breed associations have a rehoming service so could be worth a try.
 

Hayley JS

Registered User
Feb 20, 2020
301
0
@Alyson1955, for what it's worth, I look after my mum full time, she's 78 and physically fit, but like your husband is no longer able to entertain or occupy herself in any way. Last July we looked after a relatives dog for 2 weeks while they were on holiday. The joy that dog brought mum (and me) was enormous. We've had dogs before but not for many years so I dithered and fretted and wittered and eventually went to look round the rescue centre. Long story short, we now have two small dogs, mother and daughter (how apt!) aged 12 & 6 approx. Mum chatters to them endlessly, shows them love and empathy long lost to myself and others, engages more with other people when we are out walking them, they give her company when I need to get things done without distraction, the list of good stuff goes on. No mum can't look after them, yes they are small dogs and she frequently treads on them 🙄 yes they create a bit more work for me. Like you, I have no help, no carers, just mum and me, if I tallied up how much time they take me to look after versus how much time they give me to do my own thing for a while by keeping mum entertained then I can say they are worth their weight in gold to me. Sometimes we over think and worry too much, mum took one look at those two overweight, badly clipped, kennel cough riddled little dogs and fell in love. For us the dogs have been a godsend, good luck whatever you decide x
 

Pumpkin Pie 2020

New member
Jan 14, 2021
8
0
I would say maybe a dog from a shelter or rescue organization, but not a puppy. Puppies require so much work!

I also like the idea of a retired greyhound. I was told they like to sleep all day. They have to be on a six-foot leash or be in a fenced-in yard.

My neighbor regularly brings home very old dogs from the shelter. They live out their days in the comfort of her home. Doing that could be a win for everyone.

Good luck!
 

margherita

Registered User
May 30, 2017
3,010
0
Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
The last puppy we had was in 1972 and since then, every dog we have had has been a rescue dog. There are so many lovely adult dogs that deserve a good home and we've had some great dogs.
I have had rescue dogs for thirty years and I would never buy a dog. I have been adopting only adult dogs for some years and, more recently, only elderly dogs not only to give them the warmth of the family they never had, but also because I don't want them to outlive me. In my experience as an animal activist and volunteer I have seen too many dogs moved to municipal pounds or shelters after their owners died or were no longer able to look after them.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
206
0
I think you need to think very carefully about this. Yes, your husband would probably love it now, but, as his dementia progessess, that may well change. My Mum has had dogs all her life, and was actively involved in a dog based charity. She now lives with me, and takes hardly any notice of my 2 dogs. They find her rather odd and tend to keep away, as she is often quite shouty. Last year I had to have my third dog put down. Mum was competely unconcerned. I own an unusual breed, that Mum also used to own. A few weeks ago a litter was featured on a puppy TV programme. Normally Mum would've been really excited to see "our" dogs, but was not remotely interested. If you told me that 4 years ago, I simply wouldn't have believed it.

Do you have a local dog rescue centre? Ours, in non Covid times, welcomes dog walkers, (particularly those who can walk on weekdays) and this might be a way of giving your husband a dog "fix", without the worry for you. It would also give you a new circle of friends, which you may appreciate in the coming years.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
600
0
I was going to say, don't do it, don't even think about it, but actually, although I think a puppy is not a good idea, I think fostering some shelter dogs would be a great idea! You can try out a dog for a bit, the dog will learn from you, you will see how your husband reacts and if you end up keeping a dog, great, or if you take them back after the alloted time, also fine. I have to say I've not had great experiences with fostering myself, but lots of others have, and even though I didn't personally enjoy it, I did learn a lot. Good luck!
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,306
0
Victoria, Australia
I have had rescue dogs for thirty years and I would never buy a dog. I have been adopting only adult dogs for some years and, more recently, only elderly dogs not only to give them the warmth of the family they never had, but also because I don't want them to outlive me. In my experience as an animal activist and volunteer I have seen too many dogs moved to municipal pounds or shelters after their owners died or were no longer able to look after them.
That is a real problem of course and my family understand what is to be done if our pets outlive us. They are all animal lovers and my will also makes financial provision for my little friends.

The dog we had before this one was exactly what you were talking about. His owner died and the daughter had no interest in him. We offered to adopt him and it took us six months to get him well. We had him over four years before he developed cancer and had to eventually put down.

Our current dog was two years old when we got her and she is lovely.
 

Seaholly

Registered User
Oct 12, 2020
62
0
Hello, I wondered if you had thought of the Cinnamon Trust? They are a charity that works with people who for whatever reason are unable to care for their pets the way they used to, but the Trust aims to keep them together by pairing owners up with volunteers who can help by walking the dogs or fostering for short periods. It could be something that gives you and your husband your doggie-fix and your husband will know that he can still do something worthwhile and helpful. Another thing they do is help rehome dogs that have lived with older people and would be best placed in quieter homes.

My mum was a real dog-lover before dementia really got a grip and used to absolutely adore our dogs, but sadly now they are just too much for her. Instead of cheering her up, she gets upset because she can't remember their names, can't see them properly and actually gets a bit jealous of them and sometimes a bit frightened. Of all the tricks dementia has played on her, that's the one thing I honestly never expected! Even 12 months ago, her face still lot up if I brought a dog with me for the day, but now I have to judge it very carefully and only bring one every blue moon and on the 2 days where I am doing 2 x 3 hour shifts, rather than my full days because her mood can now change very rapidly.

I'm another one with a soft spot for the sighthounds though!!! I'm not sure how they do it, but they certainly know how to give off calm - vibes! How mobile is your husband? Looking ahead to when the pandemic is finally behind us, is there a greyhound charity anywhere near you where you could take him to walk a hound? I know many really appreciate volunteers.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
720
0
I am the last person to advise on types of dog as I dislike them myself, but in your case I can see some merits in getting one. The real issue is whether you are prepared to personally commit to looking after the dog as well as your husband. Could you, for example, afford to pay a dog walker if you had to stay home to look after your husband? Whilst I don't like dogs and they rarely like me, they are a comfort to many people!