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My mother, who has Alzheimer's just lost her beloved dog after a terrible storm. We have no idea what has become of him. He was given to her after the death of my father 6yrs. ago and she cannot get over losing him. Every morning the grieving process starts again. Does anyone have any suggestions to help us help her get over this an move on? My heart seeing how much grief she is in.

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That is a terrible way to lose a pet. Death is hard enough, but to not know what happened to the dog has to be terrible.

As suggested, depending on her mental capacity, the idea of saying that a family with children has the dog now and that the children love the dog may help. All of the ideas are good ones. Just understanding her grief and validating it is vital. Much of the rest depends on her mental and physical health.

Please update us. This is something everyone can learn from.
Carol
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This is a tough situation. You could get another dog, but sometimes it causes someone to mourn the missing dog even more.

What you might try is to locate pet service organizations and see what facilities they go to, then take your mother there to interact with a service dog that's been trained for older people. If she enjoys it and it makes her feel better, you could consider getting another dog.

In the meantime, have you contacted a pet finders group? Put up notices in local stores, papers? Contacted local rescue groups and shelters? Perhaps someone has found the dog and is searching for his home.

Something that can also work, depending on her cognitive level, is to get a stuffed toy dog. Even though it can't interact, just petting the soft fur can be calming.

Another option is to tell her is what another poster calls a therapeutic fib...that you contacted shelters and someone found the dog and brought it home for their young child, who just adores the dog, and the child would be very upset if the dog were taken away. Then segue into whether she'd like another dog of her own.
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Thank you so much for all of your answers and concerns. We did get my mother a new pet. We took her to adopt a dog and she fell in love with one. Then the very next day the rescue center found her dog. The joy in her face when they were reunited is impossible to describe. It was a very heart-wrenching 3 days and all of your comments were greatly appreciated. I couldn't have done it without all of you. We now have her dog back and a new family member as well, much younger and hopefully will help when we have to deal with her other dog's eventual death. This is a wonderful sight.
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GardenArtist gave some really great advice options. I think all of them are worth trying. Depending on your mother, the last one might help change her heart. But if she is able, maybe going to shelters and having time to spend with a dog will lift her spirits and be a distraction from mourning. Or getting a stuffed animal that looks like the dog might help console her. Also, do you have any pictures of her and the dog? Do you think getting one nicely framed would help?

Grieving isn't about getting over and forgetting, it's about coming to terms and feeling better and living with the grief in a way that it doesn't interfere with your life. Your poor mother :( losing a pet is so devastating, especially in her condition.
I hope she finds some peace.
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This happened to me, so it's not far-fetched if you want to make it into a story... I lost a cat during a move, the cat had bolted and we didn't have time to do an exhaustive search. It broke my heart. A few months later, I received a call from someone who had just moved into my old neighbourhood. They found my cat on their doorstep and had taken her in. They wanted to know - did I want her back or could they keep her? They had grown fond of her. I was happy to leave her in her new home, and they were thrilled with my response. So it's possible! (Just in case that makes the white lie a little easier.)
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Can you tell us a bit more? Does your mom live alone? Or with you? How far along the alzheimers journey is she?

My mom actually killed her dog by overfeeding him--though I was actively begging her not to. But she could not remember. However, about two weeks after his death, she didn't even remember having him!!!!!

Dogs are wonderful for elders. But elders are not always wonderful for dogs. I would be very wary of getting her another one if she would have to care for it on her own.
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Keep checking the animal shelters and hopefully the dog had a microchip inserted. Put up flyers everywhere and have her help. No one has a right to "make" another "get over" the death or loss of a pet or human, and you would serve her better if you tried to help find the dog. Scared animals usually return to their previous homes. Their sense of smell is amazing. Keep trying to help find the dog and if after you have exhausted all avenues, get her another dog to love. It is so soothing to pet an animal, lowers blood pressure and keeps someone with dementia much calmer. My husband pets both of our dogs so much, one would think their hair would come off! Good luck hunting.
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Oh..what a happy ending! I kept looking back to this thread hoping that you would find her dog..how wonderful!
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That's wonderful news - couldn't have worked out better. I'm so glad that your mother now has her beloved pet plus another with whom to share her life.

Thanks for sharing the happy update.
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He may be found alive. #1 you could put flyers with his face and description and place them around your city, #2 go to the local animal shelter, #3 go to the ASPCA -both to see if he's there or #4 (and don't take this the wrong way) as she has Alzheimer's, .buy a dog akin to your old dog's looks.
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