I see that there are two great needs that can possibly be merged and could be a resolution of two issues. All of us here are here for answers, we are trying to solve a common problem for a Loved one. I also see on the Web there is another problem with Dogs, and they need to give love and need to be loved.
Dogs love unconditionally, Dogs have the gift of survival at no cost, greater instincts than us,and much patience without an attitude. Dogs have a way of comforting and warming the heart.
So it has been bothering me, that dogs are destroyed when they can otherwise be giving love to an Elder at home for a visit to brighten someones day or at Nursing homes for therapy. I just don't know What to do to create this merge as a useful situation.
I need to explain what brought me to this article and how it is quite coincidental and Ironic. Due to my Mother having Dementia, I feel the need to share experiences and thoughts with others who understand the Mental disability and want to help others who find themselves in a crisis situation, due to this illness. Elders with Dementia and Animals seem to be misunderstood and mistreated, because they both need care and love unconditionally. and they seem to understand that in each other. Due to my experiences and as a caring person, I wanted to express this emotion I started a discussion on a site for caregivers of Elders, the discussion relates to this common bond, between the two needs and the need for awareness. In a response to this discussion on that site someone brought this article about the Elderly man tying Banjo to the RR tracks.
So here I am..... The Ironic thing is that Banjo looks exactly like my beloved dog that lived for almost 18 years. The same dog that saved my Mother from a fire, by warning her of the situation. The same dog that my Mom took to the vets with me when her life was in jeopardy from a cancerous tumor a few years before the fire. The same dog I didn't give up on when she was unable to walk but still had life in her. In fact I was looking for an apartment at the beginning of my dogs final year and was chosen over others due to the kind hearted landlord understanding my wish to just make her remaining time with me comfortable for her sake. When everyone else thought I should end her life, thinking..."why bother" he saw my Love for her.
So in this Elderly mans defense.... I am wondering if he maybe was trying to save the dog, because someone else left it there to die? If the dog got stuck by accident on the tracks? Where was this mans family when he was in need of care himself? If you think about it they saved each other!!!! Everything happens for a reason and that train Engineer was truly and angel that they both needed in order to be saved!!!
The comments in the online paper are harsh, calling for the old man to the tracks and left there. It seems no one believes that he was incapable of knowing what he doing, that he should "taught a lesson", that he should work at shelter to have time to "reflect on what he did". No one seems to understand. They all seem to care more about the dog than the old man who was left to wander. At least the Union Pacific Officer showed some compassion, both for the dog and the old man. But then, he was the only one there.
My deceased Maltese and Maltipoo rescue dog have brought so much joy to the elderly both at home and in visits to the nursing home where my father now resides. I also take my two doggie nephews, Haley and Bailey, Maltese brothers, to visit. They are more docile and will sit in peoples laps. These sweet, toy dogs, bring so much joy and laughter and literally entertain the patients in the library.
I had a beautiful Maltese dog, named Sammy that literally kept my elderly parents entertained and engaged for several years. They were in their 80's and he was their baby. Sammy loved to ride in the car with them, they bought him toys, arranged for grooming appointments, cooked him home cooked meals, played with him, talked to him and walked him. The sun set on Sammy and when he died my parents were absolutely devasted. ( Sammy also visited a alzehmers day care center, at the local veterans hospital and would visit bed ridden patients. He created so much happiness for all of us and was truely a little "rock star").
Charlie, is a Maltipoo, rescue that is much more challenging as he was "overtly
neglected", abandoned, malnourished and abused. We have had him for 8 months and although he has made alot of progress he is still fear aggresive and this has created issues with my elderly mother. (I have considered re-homing him to my sister who absolutely adores him). Charlie is adorable, very energetic, playful but mom just cannot leave him alone and at times her behavior is very inappropriate. She uses him to get attention and does not understand boundaries for the dog or anyone else. Any issues that arise are always associated with mother. This creates tension,stress and anger. Charlie gets irritated and so do we. Mother is a master of manipulation and alienates very effectively. She is becoming more attached to Charlie but .... He is also showing her more attention because she is constantly giving him treats (low fat of course). I supervise him closely ("when I can"), he absolutely adores me but in the back of my mind I worry as mom is unpredictable. Charlie's interaction with my Dad is great! He cannot wait to see him and take him out for rides. Charlie is loved and will be taken care of. I pray it will be with us but if it comes to a point where it is determental to my mother or Charlie, I will make the difficult decision to rehome him with my sister. He is pampered and loved and will remain in a loving home environment.
The other thing he has started doing lately is if she has her "tv ears" in and her cell phone rings, he will bark. That is why I thought he might have been a hearing assistance dog. That and the fact that he doesn't seem to know many verbal commands, yet is very well mannered. Obviously well trained, but not in a sit/stay kind of way. My conclusion was that his previous owners died or ended up in a nursing home, and he ended up in a kill shelter within days of being euthanized. Thank goodness Animal Samaritans found him when they did and took him to the adoption event where we found him. He has been a blessing for my Mom, and no matter what happens with Mom, he has a happy home for life. We all love him.
I wasn't quite sure how this would be accepted here, but I guess, my instincts were right. We all have things to share about care.
Anyway all I know is that my Mom smiles every time I mention my cat, she played fetch with him for hours during her repeating stage. Boy Oh Boy was that a blessing for my sanity. When I say I got go now to feed my cat she says "The Black one?" and for some reason she remembers playing fetch with him. Go figure she has no idea where I fit in her life but she remembers him. I asked her if she remembered my friends dog, a puggle, She says "of course I do Jackob, I'm not stupid!" she got attached to him because my friend kept on eye on Mom every other Saturday for a year. They would sit on her couch and he kept her from wandering too. She didn't want to come home with me at the end of the day because of Jacob. So there is definitely a bond with our furry friends.
Oh my I just remembered this too.... my black cat would come in by me when my Mother would wander and "tell on her". I swear he would come to me and meow like it was urgent. The first time he did that I said to him what? what? this was unusual behavior for him, and he got under my feet and I followed him he took me to the open door and MEOW-ED I was like How did that get opened.... OMG MOM!!!!! Sure enough Mom was gone! Somehow that cat new my Mom was in danger alone! Oddly instead of him following her, he came to tell me??? (hes an indoor cat but curious about outside!) If I leave the door open he goes out slowly if I don't stop him.
4LANEY My dog had her favorite stuffy her baby, a stuffed dog. She always ripped the eye balls out of other stuffed toys then mutilated them slowly but never damaged this one. My Pup's been gone for about seven years. but I still have her Baby. I actually forgot exactly why I still have that SPECIAL toy, until I read your post. GROSS but I will not wash it either!!!!
So if you bring any animal home, be sure that he/she will have a loving home until the end of his/her days.