Elders need companions to love and understand them!!! Dogs have hearts that are filled with love to give a companion!!!

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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.

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I live about 15 miles from where this occurred. It was unquestionably the family's dog. The area is home to mostly undocumented immigrants/migrant workers who work the large corporate farms in the area. Chances are strong he wandered away from the home with the dog and was sitting down by the tracks with the dog. Possibly he tied it to the tracks while he was smoking or urinating, and then got confused. The engineer said that the man didn't respond at all when he blew his whistle and appeared confused and disoriented. I don't believe he meant to kill the dog, even if that would have been the end result of what he did. And I think his family is doing the best they can in a bad situation. Not everyone has options. Some people are really poor - like living on the street poor. These people, I believe, are just one step above that. That whole area is like that and we need to cut them a little slack.
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eguillot This is what I wrote about this article...
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!!!
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I have recently discovered an unfortunate side of dogs and elders who have dementia. Our local newspaper ran a story about an old man who left a dog tied up to a railroad track. The engineer was able to stop the train in time, and the Union Pacific Officer determined that the old man was suffering from some of senility or dementia, so did not arrest him, but did contact Adult Protective Services.

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.
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Love this discussion. I can not tell you how much joy it brings my father when I bring along my dog. All his attention goes to Buddy and he can't stop petting him and talking to him. Buddy has also been instrumental in helping "convince & distract" my dad to go to doctor appts and even moving him into a new facility. I just wish he was able to keep a dog of his own with him at the retirement home.
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In my mother's case too, a pet would not be suitable. She has very occasionally looked after a neighbour's cat in her ALF, and enjoyed it, but with her BPD, and some obsessiveness, any animal with her continually would become an irritant. When my father was declining and mother was still working she got him a budgie, which gave him interest during the day., It is wonderful when it works. I have my own very cuddly old tabbie, who stays very close to my side much of time and is a great companion.
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Thank you Sand56. My black lab Piper adores my mother and my mother enjoys seeing her, but because of Piper's breed she is overly friendly and energetic which sometimes irritates my mother. My mother has a tendency to spoil my dog then gets impatient when Piper continues to seek out her attention. My mother is better suited for pet visits than ownership!
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Debralee- I was delighted to read your post. Animals are absolutely wonderful and help with loneliness and depression. However, it is a huge responsibility and must not be taken lightly. The dogs temperment as well as the elderly persons are determental to a successful union and believe me this may be problematic as you have found out. I understand that your mother has OCD but how unfortunate. The rugs do not provide compansionship and pleasure but a furry friend does.

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.
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Pets can be wonderful companions for the elderly. I would recommend first to foster a cat or dog to make sure your elderly parent is capable of caring for a pet. Adopting a pet comes with a lot of responsibility including financial. It is cruel to return an adopted pet because it didn't work out. My mother wanted a cat for companionship, but knew she could not care for one properly. She is extremely OCD about housekeeping/she is a neat freak and thought cleaning a litterbox once a week was sufficient. She does not drive so emergency vet visits would be impossible. I knew a cat would not last more than two weeks with her before she would want to get rid of it. I have taken my dog over to her house and have to vacuum before I leave because she is so obssessed with dogs hairs on the floor or carpet. Some seniors are better candidates for pet therapy visits than pet owners.
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Our dog is my Mom's life line. That dog is smart and on the ball. If he thinks something's wrong with Mom, he'll wake me up (we sleep about 3 feet apart), he comes and get's me in the shower or kitchen if she wakes up and i'm not in the room, he knows if she's not feeling well etc. If i take her out somewhere, he runs out to the car the minute i open the door to look for her and will not leave her side until she's back in the house. He sleeps under her chair and really has been a godsend for us and for Mom.
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equillot This is a wonderful match made in heaven. I believe everything happens for a reason. Oso sounds like he is just what your Mom needed and fortunately for him you were there to rescue him! WOW this is exactly what I suppose I wanted to do.... Generate a focus on the needs from a situation like this!!!! And how this can be beneficial. See.... I am not religious meaning I am not for or against anyone's choices of faith or non faith but I do believe there is a reason for everything. You may not really know it but if you are doing a good thing, when you least expect it, a piece of the puzzle of life fits perfectly without effort it's just there. Two great things came out of Oso and your Mom's needs.
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