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She has dementia and lives in an assisted living community. dog was removed because mom refused to walk her on a leash(even before her dementia, she refused to walk dog on leash), and the dog off lead is a liability for the assisted living community(also some people are afraid of dogs). She was told,(not my choice, other family members), that Dolly had to go away because mom was not walking her on lead, but of course, mom says she did walk Dolly on lead, says everyone is lying, says we stole her dog, and she wants her baby back. There were signs all over her apt, saying put leash on dog,and nurses cuing her, but nothing worked. We even paid to have someone walk the dog with mom, but then mom refused to go with them. Poor little dog was suffering as well since only my mom or her long time private aide could get the dog to go out, but aide only there 4 hrs a day, and mom took dog out when she felt like it. Mom will not let go of asking for the dog and has been yelling and cursing at us. She was calling us 50 times a dy, non-stop which was frustrating and upsetting, and very bad for my brother who has MS. We finally told the Assisted living nurses to unplug her phone. I know that sounds cruel, but we hd no choice. We live in VA, mom lives in Florida and does not want to move north and leave her aide, Candy. Candy, btw, takes mom out every day to shop and eat out, and also plays cards with her, etc. but nothing distracts mom from wanting her dog back. I have one memory care facility in mom's area that will let her have her dog off lead(very pet friendly). Problem is, we're not sure mom is ready for memory care as she still knows who we are, who Pres. is, etc. and we're worried that she will hate it at this place. But, at least she could have her dog! BTW, places here in VA either do not allow pets, or need them on lead and cared for by the resident. Also, rents at assisted living communities up here are very expensive compared to florida, and money unfortunately, is an issue. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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I now have an indelible picture in my head of a chihuahua herding cows, bounding over the pasture with the wind rippling her ears. Thank you, AmyGrace :D
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Bubbe1, sounds like you did the best thing for both of them. Sadly, aging takes so much away from us, including our beloved pets, but there is nothing we can do. Its so hard to explain to someone with dementia because they suffer loss often without the ability to understand it. You and you mother are so fortunate to have a wonderful caretaker - she sounds like an angel and she has given you peace of mind - she must be a lovely person!
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Bubbe1, you did the right thing in regard to the dog. Lot safer for the dog and for the community since your Mom refused to use a leash. Sounded like a win-win for all involved :)
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Countrymouse, thank you.
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AmyGrace, mom's dog is back wit her wonderful breeder, running and playing on a farm, with other dogs. As for mom moving here, she doesn't want to. She likes florida, where it's warm and sunny all year and she can go out and take walks whenever she want to. Here in the north, she would be miserable. As well, she loves her very long time aide, Candy who is irreplaceable.
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Seriously, as a dog lover, it would crush me to lose my dogs. You mom has dementia, and if she moves near you where she can have her dog, unless there is someone to care for it, eventually you will have to find it a new home but it may be worth it if she will move. Unfortunately, with dementia things are black and white to her - she wants her dog and trying to reason with her that she will have to move, just doesn't compute. It sounds like the dementia is fairly bad. Please be sure, whatever you do that you find a good forever home for the dog and don't give him/her to a shelter - check on line and find a group that will connect with someone who agrees to love and care for an older dog forever. If it is a pure breed, there are re-home sites for just about any breed.
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Bubbe, for what it's worth I'd have turned my phone off too. There's nothing wrong with taking control of when and where you take calls - a lot of people would escape a lot of fruitless agony if they took a leaf out of your book, there, with no harm done to the loved one.
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I have my mom's little dog. He was her everything and at first mom talked about the dog and wanting it. I took him for visits which just upset her to let him go. I bought her a stuff dog, we called it Coco 2. I put mom's name on it and said "I love you mom" on it's tag. Mom now talks to the stuff dog, gives it kisses and I believe she thinks it's real in some form. I am stuck with dog but glad mom is not talking about him anymore. I guess it all works out in the end.
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Thank you all for your answers. We ended up getting mom a cat who sits on her lap and sleeps with her. Mom loves her and has stopped asking for her dog. To those of you who said we were selfish and it was horrendous to take the dog away, she was not just an inconvenience. She was a danger to others who live in the assisted living community since mom would let Dolly run loose andsince she is tiny(a Chihuahua), people who do not see well, were tripping over her. As well, since mom didn't pick up after the dog, it was becoming a health issue. The dog absolutely would not walk with anyone else, we payed a dog walker for almost a year, but to no avail. Also she was grossly over feeding Dolly who could barely walk since she was so overweight. As for the phone, it's turned back on. So far,so good with that. Seems the cat is filling the void. BTW, the AL that my mom lives in is the most pet friendly of the AL's in the area. that's why we chose it. They really tried to make accomodations for Dolly, going so far as to have the head of assisted living go to mom's apt. and urge mom to go for a walk with the dog and dog walker, or at least get up and put the dog's leash on and walk to her front door, but mom wouldn't do it. For those who think we are awful, know that none of our decisions were made easily or without tears.
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Sounds like you weighed all the different and difficult factors, and made the best decision you could.
Take a break from your mother for a while until she adjusts. I had to stop contact with my mother for several months after removing her car, because she called me incessantly about it, and no amount of explaining did any good. She just had to move on, and I needed the irrational, circular, upsetting conversations to STOP. If you take yourself out of her sphere for a bit, it will help her to adjust.
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I think you did the right thing by taking away the dog and unplugging her phone. The dog was suffering, probably not getting out enough to relieve itself, and dogs can be a nuisance off leash. Stop feeling guilty because you did what's best for the dog and for yourself. I would have no qualms about telling her that her dog passed away peacefully and you had it cremated. Give her a box or tin of ashes from a woodburning stove or fireplace sealed inside and let her have a ceremony to mourn the dog. And do not replace the dog with a cat! Cats require care too like cleaning the litter box daily. In my opinion, people with dementia should not have pets but rather ought to be visited by therapy pets. I would suggest finding a therapy pet service and getting her visits scheduled. Good luck.
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Dog should have stayed with mom for as long as possible. There were so many other solutions that could have been tried. Loss of a beloved pet can be overwhelming for someone without dementia, and for someone with it, it can really screw them up. I would have moved her to another AL. It sounds like she was still doing fine with other aspects of caring for the dog. I would not have removed the dog until it was clear that she lost interest in it. Dog walkers are not very expensive and the dog eventually would have adapted to going out without mom. If there were other problems already, then perhaps this horrific separation was necessary, but it sounds more like the dog was an inconvenience, not a problem. I just cannot imagine ever forgiving my kids if they ever did that to me. Horrendous.
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Where is the dog now?
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Just curious...I have heard that sometimes a stuffed animal can fill the space that the real dog filled and is a lot less trouble :-) Wonder if a toy cushy replica of Fido would help? Also, would a cat work better than a dog? Less trouble supposedly.... And honestly I can understand the relative being continuously upset about the dog. I guess I would work every conceivable angle before removing a demented person's love object from them.
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We are still going through the dog obsession after a year +!!!! I so feel your pain! FIL lives in separate mother-in-law suite with us and had to have back surgery. We were told he was not to bend, twist - you get the idea. Found out that he was letting the dog go in his area. Dog was a nightmare barking for him night and day while he was in rehab. We had to board it so we could sleep. He never took care of the dog - bathing and such. Talked to him about finding it a good home where it would be cared for - he agreed. Once home, holy cow was he mad and still is a year + later! Still talks about getting another, and yet he is going in for another back surgery! Still can't reason with him on it except keep saying no and that until you can care for yourself you can not care for an animal. Yes he has mild dementia....
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I will tell you what I told my sister, before the stress killed her. Do not answer the phone. I am sure the facility can telephone you. Candy can telephone you. But, your Mother does not need to. I know, it is too bad. My cousins had to take my Aunt's phone book away and I did not understand it, at the time. But, I do now.

In our family, moving a dementia patient to a different state only made things
worse.

My mother, age 96, always wants to "go by the house." She is not ambulatory, at all. So, that is not an option. I feel your pain.
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1hunter, I agree that in most cases that animals are the key to life.... but in the original post the writer mentioned "poor little dog was suffering".

There have been others who have written on these forums about a parent who had dementia and how eventually their parent would forget to feed the dog.... forget to walk the dog thus the dog would be relieving him/herself inside the home.... the parent no longer bathe the animal thus the dog's fur was all matted.... forget to take the dog to the Vet for the required annual shots. It just comes to a point where it just isn't fair for the animal to stay in that environment but to be placed with a caring relative or to another forever home.
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Please move your mom where they will allow her dog back.Animals are the key to life.And I do think your selfish for unplugging her phone would she do that to you.
I know it's hard but you chose to take away something that was always there even after the provider goes home her dog is still there.
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Leave her there with this amazing caregiver and leave the phone unplugged and give the dog a good home elsewhere. It ain't easy, but moms just going to have to deal with it. There has to be a balance between her welfare and yours. Btw, is the dog in good hands?
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I would also see if there are meds that might calm this obsession. Is she on an antidepressant?
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When it comes to dementia, one cannot reason with a person, that person's brain won't allow it.

Now, if there are times of clarity with your Mother, tell her rules are rules regarding the dog.... even if the Queen of England moved into her assistant living building with her Pembroke Welsh Corgis, they all would need to be on a leash.

On the bright side, sound like your Mother has a fantastic Aide :) I would vote on letting Mom continue to live in Florida where she is around people she knows.
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