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I'm the caregiver for my 84 yr old mom with dementia. She still lives at home and her husband recently passed away in a NH. She has 2 pugs that are 8 yrs old and they never should've had them in the first place. Her husband wasn't a mentally stable person and he refused to let them out. They spent their lives in the house, not being walked, and they do not go outside in the yard, the kitchen floor is their toilet.


My mom has rheumatoid arthritis as well and is always banging her shins and arms and has balance issues. My brother's and I were estranged from mom and her husband for years due to his mental issues and my mother's refusal to admit it. He went into the NH this past April and this has been dumped on me. My mom is very stubborn and selfish and can also be sweet and funny. She complains all the time that she is sick of cleaning up urine and feces and when the dogs drink water they drip it on the floor and this sends her over the top. She is obsessed with it and inspects the floor for water drips like a detective. She uses a filthy old mop that she doesn't rinse out to mop up the water, then drags a fan back and forth from the living room to the kitchen to plug in and dry the floor. She will also lock the dogs out of the kitchen which to me in her mind means they won't go to the bathroom if they can't go in the kitchen.


I get that this is the dementia making her make these choices but the dogs are suffering and I tell her all the time I'm going to find them a home with a yard where they can run and play and be walked. I had SPCA come who didn't seem to think there is a problem. After that my mom kept saying she is going to call the guy and tell him to take them away but she never did. I've been doing this for six months and last night was the final straw for me. She had them locked out of the kitchen, and no water, which she refuses to leave out all day for them.


This summer was one of the hottest and I fought with her everyday to leave water out all day for them. She will tell me "she gave them water", which means she gave them water once, and took it away. I contacted a Pug rescue and they found a home right away and we have it set up for next weekend. My sanity is hanging by a thread. Adult Protective Services actually told me, "Well, the dogs have managed to survive this long." It's affecting my caregiving of my mother. I can barely spend ten minutes in her house anymore. I think my sanity and health are more important at this point and I feel these beautiful dogs deserve a decent home for the life they have left in them. I guess I'm writing for support. Thank you

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You've answered your own question. For the sake of everyone involved, the wise thing to do is re-home the dogs. It's a win-win-win.

Your sanity and health are everything if you hope to continue taking care of your mother. The problem here is admitting that your mom is too far gone to make decisions for herself---nobody likes to; it is so final.

You're not being hard-hearted, but loving.
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bgdisme Nov 8, 2018
GraceM, thanks for your reply. It's clear my mom can't make decisions for herself. I'm just agonizing over taking her companions away and from all I've read I feel the best way to do it is to lie to her. If I tell her what's going on she will no allow it and it will be a fight. I've read from other that they tell the parent the dogs are going to the vet and they need to stay in the hospital.
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If you have POA and Mom has Dementia then you can put her in an AL or NH. I think ur right about the dogs. Give them a good home. Sounds like me Mom doesn't interact with them.
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bgdisme Nov 7, 2018
JoAnn29 her interaction with them is her obsession with them. She doesn't play with them or give them toys. She wants them to sit on the couch with her and do nothing all day. If they get off the couch or wander around the 3 rooms they are limited to she yells at them, "Where are you going, what are you doing! Get back here! What is wrong with you!" etc..etc... She barely pets them, she will rub them while they lay next to her but it's very limited. I am staying with her now but I have to sleep in the living room and she is worried they will go near my things. All they do is walk around and sniff and I don't mind. She put a dog gate up in her den so they are trapped in there all day with her and gated the kitchen door (theses gates were already installed) so now the dogs don't have access to water in the kitchen or to go to the bathroom, which is the kitchen floor. I've told her repeatedly not to do this and she assured me on the phone yesterday she wouldn't but when I got home they were gated in den. I have a rescue scheduled for next weekend and I'm just telling her I'm taking them to the vet and be done with it. It's causing so much stress that just isn't necessary anymore.
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Hugs to you. I do honestly think your mother will take this better than you fear, especially with MM's ideas about "selling" their new house beautiful to her. No more weesandpoos to handle. No more background stress about food and water. No more just being on duty, which is a weight on one's mind even unconsciously.

And you're not lying! - they will be having a lovely time. It was a smart move on your part to go to the breed rescuers. Pug owners (the ones I've watched anyway, we have a club round here that meets once a quarter) make us other dog lovers look like normal sane human beings.
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Countrymouse & MountainMoose thank you both for your responses. You made me feel better as I am sick to my stomach over this. She is emotionally attached and that is what is killing me. But she can't manage their care and it is too much for me. I am not able to take them into my home because I rent a room in a person's house. She has no one, she is isolated and doesn't have friends or anyone to check in on her aside from my brother and I. An older brother is not involved at all. I am her POA so that makes this legally easier for me. It's affecting my caregiving and I cannot take care of the dogs. It's costly because I am not going to bathe them myself, (for a few reasons, one of which she is overbearing when it comes to doing anything in her house, she thinks she can do everything and she can't) so I have to take them to a groomer or use a mobile groomer. I haven't even been able to get them to a vet these past six months with all else I've had to take care of. I had to take care of getting a lawyer and getting her husband on Medicaid and deal with the Nursing home as well. I was driving all over the place, on top of Dr. visits for her, food shopping, paying her bills, arranging lawn care. I'm overwhelmed. I work 8-5 and my brother works in NYC so neither one of us has much time. She refuses in home care and I honestly don't know who can deal with her filthy home and her stubbornness as well. Thank you both again.
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Those beautiful - and, I have to say, very valuable - dogs do indeed deserve a good home.

If your mother were emotionally attached to one very elderly dog, I'd have answered your headline question with 'don't if you can possibly help it.'

But she isn't. I'm sure she's fond of them in her own way, and feels some responsibility for them (nobody wants to think of herself as Cruella de Ville), but they are at least as troublesome to her as they are a benefit.

So as the rescue people have come up trumps, you're looking at a situation that is good for everybody concerned. Your mother may feel a twinge of guilt and regret, but I think the honest truth is she'll really be relieved.

And the dogs? They'll love you forever. Wishing them every happiness in their new home!
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What matters most in this situation are the dogs. They don't deserve to suffer. But I couldn't just take the dogs without her permission. I suggest you announce to your mother that a person really wants her dogs and would give them a great home (the rescue). I'd tell Mom the dogs deserve a great life and wouldn't you [Mom] feel good knowing her dogs were healthy? Frankly, I'd lie like the devil to get her to agree.

Honestly, if she just flat refuses, I'd push until I wore her down, but eventually she would agree.

Thank you for caring for these dogs. Not to mention, you'd be doing a great service for your mom for her to live in a clean environment and be safer.
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