Mom is spoiling the dog.

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We have 5 dogs in our household, including Mom's little Maltese. Mom is understandably attached to her, but it goes way beyond that and Mom treats Mitzi like she is her little doll or baby. She continually feeds Mitzi from her her table, and I have been asking/telling Mom not to do that for the last 6 years or so. Even though Mom has mild dementia, she KNOES I don't like it when she does this, because when she doesn't know I'm there, she looks around to see if I am watching, then gives Mitzi food (usually from her fork). This has caused Mitzi to be overly territorial toward our other dogs when they so much as pass by on their way to get water, etc. I am beyond angry. I have lost any semblance of patience. I have tried explaining to Mom why it's a bad idea to feed Mitzi from her table. It is making Mitzi a spoiled little dog who attempts to rule the roost. Please advise.


First of all, after 6 years it is time to accept that what you are doing isn't working.

Mother has dementia. I doubt very much that her behavior is going to change.

It apparently works to be with Mother while she is eating. Could you possibly spend her entire mealtimes with her? Your presence seems to be a deterrent to feeding Mitzi from the table.

I would guess that if Mitzi is a spoiled dog and has been for 6 years, even a change in your mother's behavior isn't going to "unspoil" the dog.

Thanks Jeanne! You're right, I should stay put near Mom while we're having our food. That makes alot of sense in a way that woldn't make either one of us upset. Later on today, after the last episode, Mom sulked near the back door in her wheelchair, and said something along the lines of what she has been saying since I was little: "Why don't you kill me?"... in th past when she was upset she did alot of things that were bad, like making us watch her cut her wrists and then saying: "Now look what you made me do!". I can't help but feel the old feelings, and the incidences with her dog and her reaction bring it all back. Sorry if I am a little emotional, I'm just worn out. But thank you, Jeanne, I will certainly give your advice a try. :-)
Ah, some dysfunctional behavior in the past! How very sad, and what an extra burden that adds to an already overwhelming task of taking care of someone with dementia.

I hope that you have now fully accepted that you don't "make" anyone do anything. Your mother's behavior in the past was what she decided to do, not what you made her do. (A mental illness may have made her do irrational things, but that was never your fault.)

A book I highly recommend is "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia" by Pauline Boss.
I am going to find that book locally tomorrow, one way or another. Thank you!
My mum does exactly the same with our dog, she wouldn't have allowed it in the past when she was well. We ask her to leave it on the plate for him and we will give it him in his dish, works if we catch her doing it, perhaps you could have a small side plate where she can put any food she wants to give her dog and then share it with all of them, I know its difficult as its like groundhog day every day and its forgotten and needs to be repeated. I've learnt mum doesn't always see the reason in things and as she forgets its easier not get her or yourself upset and go with the flow.
My mom spoils her dog just like yours and it drove me nuts to no end, until 1 day she told me that her dog was her best friend. This dog has slowed her dementia down. I take care of my mom 24/7 but I have 5 children and a husband,( which I only have 2 left living with me), and she reallizes my life can't revolve around just her even though she tries. I won't let it happen either. I try and balance myself between everyone. But her dog never leaves her sight, he waits patiently at the door when she uses the bathroom, he sits with her while I am with other family members or cleaning. Before dementia she would of never owned a dog much less have him in the house. My mom lost my dad a little over a year ago and lonliness set in until her new bestfriend found his way into her heart. I am thankful for her dog because he will never be angry with her, he will always listen to her, he gives her unconditional love even though she forgets, he's patient with her, he stands by her side through whatever she is going through and he will never leave her. I just wish people had more of that in them. But whatever makes her happy and keeps her calm I can sure learn to accept her feeding her dog at the table because to her he is her bestfriend and she loves him. Personally I do not like indoor animals but I have seen what he has done for her. And when I am unable to sit with her I can sure rely on her bestfriend being there and that comforts me.
P.S. He loves her more then he loves himself
I have much the same problem. We just had over $1000 in vet bills because of Mom feeding her little dog people food. He had pancreatitis and hemmoragic gastritis and almost died. What drives me crazy is that Mom argues with me when I tell her the vet said he can no longer have anything but low-fat dog food and tries to sneak him stuff every chance she gets. What I finally had to do was to put all the dogs either outside or in another room when Mom was eating. It was an adjustment, but after a couple of weeks they (and Mom:) quit whining about it, and now they go where I tell them at mealtimes with no problem.
Aww, RobertaCapeCod, I just read your second post, and I am so, so, sorry that happened to you as a child. My mom was much the same, blaming us Dad or kids when something was wrong, and barely acknowledging our existence otherwise. Good for you, though - you have grown far beyond your mother in emotional maturity. Hang in there! You're now an adult, and your mother owes you some respect and gratitude for the incredible love you are showing her by allowing her to live in your home. If she refuses to give you that respect and gratitude, it says a lot more about her than it does about you, believe me.
I am struggling with mom and dad feeding their 10 year old shepherd mix all of their table scraps, which are many. They both have mod dementia and do not see the problem. The dog has gained 24 pounds this past year and is obese, panting constantly, The trips out for the dog to do her business are getting farther in between.
I need help in deciding what to do.My parents do love the dog, but they have passed the point of reason. It is very sad.
Any advice would be so appreciated.
Thank you.

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