Friday, July 22, 2011

Family Friday: Sadie is a Senior

My Labrador/mix spends her time laying in the living room by the couch. That is, when she can relax.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about our doggie, Sadie. She has definitely entered her “golden years” but I’m not convinced they’re “golden”. Lately her behavior has been downright disturbing; she walks in circles around the house, she’s losing her hearing, barks for no reason, walks into the bathroom and just stands there, wanders out of her yard, begs without manners, etc.

I called the Vet yesterday to see what we should do. She explained that this behavior was quite common in older dogs. It’s comparable to a person getting Alzheimer’s. Great… My puppy is totally losing her mental capabilities. The doctor mentioned a drug we could try but it would run about $75 a month. With two in private college, two, possibly three car payments and a rental in Washington, we really don’t want to commit to that expense. We might just try some anti-anxiety medicine on an on-going basis-sort of like puppy Prozac.

It’s been too hot to take her for walks this week (her favorite thing in life) and it's so humid she barely wants to go out the door to go potty. I can’t leave her alone anymore outside. If I do, she wanders across the street. It really is sort of like taking care of a toddler or a senior with Alzheimer’s.

A dear friend of ours has a Dad suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve watched how patient and caring he and his Mom have been. I on the other hand, have just been downright annoyed with my dog. Why can’t she be mellow? Why can’t she stop pacing and just lay down? Why does every bang sound coming from next door’s remodel send her into a tizzy?

Sadie has always been a good girl even though we knew she had “issues” when we adopted her. (She flunked the service dog program.) She’s been part of the Carver Clan for over 10 years. I hope when three of my four kids are home this summer that she gets SO much attention that she’ll relax.

Lesson learned
: Sadie reminds me that we all need to be loved and cared for as we age. I hope my children will be more patient and understanding with me when I’m elderly than I am with my doggie!

The power is off again-another storm here in the Midwest. I’d better go check her in her hiding spot in the basement…

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Isaiah 46:4

How about you? Do you have a pet advancing in age, or a loved one who needs special care?

In His Grip, Jane

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