Life with Dogs

I haven’t been up to posting lately. I had something compiled about my cat, River, and then she died….and I was too bummed to talk about her much publicly.

However, if you’re ever in a situation where you have to decide between euthanasia or learning to live with a handicapped animal, please contact me. I am grateful for the last month I had with River but I also know the idea of caring for a handicapped pet can be scary and daunting and overwhelming when you first consider it.

BUT, in my very humble opinon, paralyzed kitties are way easier to take care of dogs with dementia. Oh yes, River wasn’t my only handicapped pet. Technically, Bear the Bad Dog is handicapped as well. Beware the dogs with dementia.  They will destroy everything you own but you will still love them so fiercely it feels like your heart could break.

Anyway, Bear has dementia.  He was diagnosed two years ago. Other than that and mild arthritis, he’s in very good health for being 14 years old. I guess his kidneys aren’t great either. Also, he has cataracts and is mostly deaf, but I swear he’s great for being the equivalent of human nonagenarian. When’s the last time your grandfather (or great grandfather) chased a squirrel up a tree? Or danced around when you told him it was time for breakfast? I bet never.

However, caring for him does present its own set of challenges.  For instance, everything is food:

Bear: What’s that? Can I eat that?
Me: No. That’s a beer can. They aren’t for eating.
Bear: I could eat that.
Me: Please don’t.
Bear: I’m going to eat that.
Me: Leave it.
Bear: I’m eating that.
Me: Bear!
Bear: OM NOM NOM NOM

And sometimes I can’t find him even when he was seriously just right there.  For an old beastie that can’t manage the stairs or jumping on the bed somedays he really can get around. I think he has a teleporter.  It wouldn’t be so bad but he gets lost constantly.

I’ve made a series of steps of how to find him.

How to Find A Sneaky Old Man Dog:

Step 1) Check the bathtub.
Step 2) Are you sure he’s not there? Check the bathtub again; he’s sneaky.
Step 3) He’s stuck under the bed.
Step 4) He went to the basement when you called him to come up to the bedroom.
Step 5) He went up to the bedroom when you called him to the basement.
Step 6) Still can’t find him? Check the damn tub. He’s thirsty and has forgotten there’s fresh water in his bowl.
Step 7) He’s stuck under the porch
Step 8) He’s on the wrong side of the tree.
Step 9) He got lost behind the couch
Step 10) He’s climbed into the cat box and it’s become his Mt. Everest. Or maybe the Garden of Eden. Nothing else exists.
Step 11) He’s trying to get under the shed.
Step 12) He’s climbed onto of the dining room table and can’t get off. To be fair, he doesn’t want to.
Step 13) Seriously. He’s in the bathtub. Just turn on the water and let him drink.

After that if I can’t find him, I yell all the words he still knows – BREAKFAST OUTSIDE FOOD TRUCK!

I’d yell his name but he’s mostly deaf and besides, I’m pretty sure he’s forgotten it. I think. Sometimes Kyle and I take stock of the words he knows. Kyle told me which words he was going to say the other day to test Bear….but he spelled them so as not to get the dogs overly excited. I, however, was mostly asleep and was deeply, deeply disappointed when I realized it was just a vocabulary exercise.

No. It wasn’t time for breakfast.  No, there wasn’t a food truck outside our house. 😦

I feel that Bear and I have a lot in common. Maybe I should try to eat a beer can after all…

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