My mother is 84 years old and very strong willed. She lost her dog about 6 months ago and wants to get another one. She lives in a condo my husband and I own and we cannot really afford to have her live there anymore so we may have to find affordable housing for her. She constantly goes to the doctor/emergency/hospital, etc. She has rheumatoid arthritis and is sometimes in a lot of pain. When she had a dog she had a hard time caring for the dog's needs, not to mention the expense. I don't need another responsibility added to what I already deal with but she's wearing me down. If we need to move her in the future the dog may present a problem if they don't accept pets. She has a bird already but I don't see a problem with that. I know she gets lonely but I don't think a dog is the solution. How do I approach this situation? I've made my case to her over and over again and I let her know that I cannot take care of her dog when she's sick or in the hospital but it doesn't seem to matter to her. I'm afraid she will go out and purchase a dog on her own without my knowledge. She just got out of debt with our help so now she's talking about a dog again and how lonely she is. Like I said, she's very, very strong willed.
It may not be like this, but it does sound a lot like early dementia. My mother 83 who has now been diagnosed with lewy body dementia (2012) had begun to show changes to her personality since 2002. I thought it was solely because she was older that the "I, I, I" prefacing was coming through instead of her constant self-abnegation which was typical of her previous personality. Now I see that it was early parts of dementia, which can take many forms -- depression, paranoia, loss of different types of memory, etc. As her symptoms were diffuse, for about 10 years I wasn't clear it was anything more than "regular" aging and/or mild-cognitive impairment. Now it is clear her personality issues came from the dementia setting in.
Even if you don't think this is happening to her, you may want to check out American Assoc of Alzheimer's Disease at http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_1973.asp which also talks about dementia in general.
If your mom is lonely, is there any way she can go to a day program for seniors in your city/town? Or are there programs for seniors at any nearby house of worship for instance? That might be another route to pursue rather than a dog if she is willing.
All the best to you and your family.
No, if I can not take care of my dog as it should be, then no more dog for me. As I understand from your question, your mother is not suffering from dementia, but purely and simply very very strong willed and acting like a child of 2 or 3 years. Arguments, discussions, long talks WILL NOT HELP. You will have to stand firm and stay with your standpoint : NO DOG ! Some small dogs easily live up to 15, 16 or 17 years. Can you imagine what problems you will have on top of those you already have. With best wishes for you and your mother and a big hug.
They are accustomed to going the day without a pee break and usually eat once in the AM and once in the PM but spend their days alone.Many owners regret this situation but have no alternative.
I tell you this because you might be able to find someone who would welcome dropping their dog off before work and picking it up after work thereby providing company for both mom and part time pet.If you consider this option consider
larger breeds as they are generally quiet in their old age and don't get under foot: Example would be an older lab (quiet,relaxed) a real people dog.
If you explain this to your mom she feel she doing what dog lovers do best; providing care and attention for a living, aging soul.
Not all cats are sweet and cuddly either. And they also require vet visits and litter pan cleaning, etc. But yes, they are easier to care for than dogs. Mine is declawed in the front.
IF the AL can't help with care, it is not fair to the dog.
My mother is now in a nursing home and close to the end but she had four years with Sue always at her side. Sue and mother's cat, Pixie, now live with me, my four cats and old rescue lab on 2 acres out in the country.
I know it wouldn't work for everyone but we were lucky enough to be able to make it happen.
I, too, am a dog lover. I have two dogs and an old cat, but am in a home with a fenced in back yard, so I can leave my dogs out into the yard to bark and run safely without having to walk them. Dear ones, the kind of companionship a dog can give goes much deeper that that of providing medical care, a safe place to live, and day to day personal care. I can talk to my dogs, they love to curl up in my lap and receive hugs and petting, their bodies are warm against me and so they comfort me with their presence and "love." I am still able to feed them, and make sure they get the personal and medical care they need. Because they are with me and "love" me, it somewhat lessens my need emotionally for human companionship/fellowship. So I am somewhat less of a burden to my adult children.
May I suggest, as one of you did above, that you find someone with a well-behaved pet who will visit your mom frequently with that pet. It could make a world of difference. If her request is coming from pure obstinacy and is an attempt to demand and control her family, that is another issue as some have suggested. Especially dogs have special gifts, I do believe, to give and receive love. I've often felt that the love of a good dog is akin to the love of God. After all, if you reverse the letters, d-o-g, you have g-o-d. Ultimately, we all crave unconditional love and acceptance.
In this case, it sounds like she is unable to care for a dog, and that is sad. So, do the next best thing. Listen with your heart, pray for divine guidance, and search for another loving person with a suitable dog to visit with her.
I have an older friend whose dog died. She was heartbroken. But now she lives with relatives who also own a dog, and she can enjoy their dog without the responsibilities of caring for it herself. That is a win-win situation. She is 93.
God bless you in your struggles.
Dad was diagnosed with cancer and was in the hospital for months. His dog was left alone for long periods of time. My oldest brothers son took the dog to live with him in another state and to this day, still has him. The dog is very happy and adjusted well. My mother now lives with my oldest brother and his wife. They have two toy Pomeranians that they have had for years. They take them everywhere with them. My mother gets very upset because she claims one of their dogs is "her" dog. We've done everything we can think,of to get her to understand that she gave up "her" dog to her oldest grandson and that the dog she claims is her's really isn't. The person who stays with her during my brother & his wife's abscense with their dogs get the relentless barraging about how they took her dog without asking and demanding that we contact them to bring it home! It's all part of the dementia! It does get tiresome.. we have got where we tell her that they took the dog to give it some exercise since she can't. This will quiet her down for a couple of hours, but then it will start up again. Just letting you know you're not alone.
We get the picture of a lovely, colourful strong-willed lady, so far so good. What I'm not clear about is whether or not she has capacity. Who is actually in charge of her life, her or you?
If, whether legally or just in practice, it's you, then no dog. But if, both legally and in practice, she makes her own decisions, then you'd better just hope she never gets round to visiting the puppy farm - because I think you'd be on dodgy ground removing a pet that she had legitimately acquired.
Either way, though, you don't have to give her your permission to get a dog. You don't agree it's a good idea, so don't agree to it.
I'm guessing she's not a cat person? Pity...
I have had three Therapy dogs living with me in my past and they were always gentle, well trained and eager to be petted and loved by the folks ( of any age) where we went to visit. Now that I am 79 I still have two dogs, but am able to take physical care of them with no problem. I think that when I am too old to care for a dog/or cat I will just "fold up my tent and steal away." I understand and sympathize with your Mom's wish to have her own dog, but a visiting dog could solve that problem.