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Assisted living residence not permitting a dog because parents cannot care for it. They cannot move because they have a lease. My Father is dispairing and wants to die because his wife is so sad and he cannot buy her a dog. He is 94. Any guidance would be most welcome. Thanks.
Christine

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Are there lots of pictures of their dog? If so, make one of those photo memory books for them, so at least they can sit and look at all the pictures and remember their family member. These can be ordered through Walgreens or Walmart's photo depts, or on line from various other sources where you get pictures developed or order calendars, mugs and so forth. For a smaller costs, if they drink in their own place, make them each a mug with the dog's pictures on it.
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Losing a pet is a terrible thing. A lot of facilities have pet visits which can include all sorts of animals including dogs. These are usually therapy animals and the residents benefit greatly. Maybe your dad could do some volunteer work at a local shelter, this may help him. On top of that his wife of many years is declining as well. He may benefit talking with a professional such as a social worker, minister or counselor. I look at things this way; the circle of life continues, we're born, we live and we pass on. all living things have a life cycle. I think it's humane to have a beloved pet put down rather than letting them suffer. It's not easy for I've done it, it was the hardest thing I've done. He's going through a lot of changes and I can only imaging how difficult it is for him. Be supportive, if you have a pet as the facility if you can bring it in, all you will need to do is bring in vaccination records (usually). Encourage the facility to find therapy pets to visit their facility. Good luck.
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Captain, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? :) Options after 85 should be narrowed down for our loved geriatrics. My MIL included... Back to the issue...It's hard on the geriatric health to comprehend a loss...My mom went downhill after her dog died...It would be nice if the Human Society could bring in elders to sit with a decent animal for a certain amount of time, to give the dog or cat a break from its cage, and the elder to hold an animal or watch an animal for a change of scenery....Yeah, I know...it's a risk for both parties....
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you shoulda had that dog stuffed , then its down to compromise -- either pet the sob or throw it in a dumpster , mom . narrow down her options ..
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience BrendaLynn. We will try and work towards your solution. Kindest regards, Christine
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Hi there, I'm not sure how close you are to the facility, or if you have a pet that travels well, but I'm able to take my mom's cat to visit. She would not be able to care for the cat. Luckily, I'm close enough that I can drop the cat off in the morning and pick her up in the afternoon. Mom is in a private room. (I have a pet notice door hanger sign that I put on the doorknob when she is in the room so the people that work there are aware to not let her out). I take the cat 2 to 3 times per week. Also, they have many activities and animal therapy is one of them. Small poodles are what the group uses that brings them. Mom holds them like a baby, and enjoys her time with the dogs. I'm a firm believer that animals are wonderful for older people, but it is a concern when they can no longer care for them. Oh, I'm not sure if this would pertain to you at all, when mom first moved where she is now, there was another woman that had a cat, and paid a high school student to come in to feed and clean up after him. If you parents have the money, they could pay someone to come in. One thing to keep in mind is your parent's age. My parents had always had dogs, but I knew in the big scheme of things, I would be stuck with any animal they got. I talked them into a cat (I worked at a Veterinary Hospital, and this cat came back to us from a man who got deployed. The timing was right). My father has since passed away, and my mother and her cat moved in with us for over a year. Mom's health got worse, but her "Baby" seems to be a constant with her, even when everything else in her mind makes no sense. Luckily, I have bonded with her cat, she is at my feet as I type this...and she gets along with the other cat that is here...funny, the other cat had been my daughter's and when she moved out, I got the cat. My husband will even say that we are taking care of two cats and they aren't ours. Oh, little does he know...they have become my minions. I hope you will be able to work something out. Pets do become our family.
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Certainly worth a try, thanks so much.
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This might not work for your folks, but it worked for my MIL. She missed having a dog at her new home and I looked on line and found a very realistic stuffed toy that looked like a dog she had. It's a hand puppet too. She loves the thing. Something to hold and pet, even if not alive. Just a thought.
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Thank you so much, I will try your suggestions.
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I am sorry for your parents having to put dog down. That is always hard. Is there a Canine Companion group in your area that visits their AL place? Ask the residence activities people. If they had a specific breed, perhaps a breeder in the area would consider dropping by.

Could they volunteer for a local rescue group or shelter? collect items for dogs, Visit to help socialize dogs new to shelter etc?

There was a book that I always kept in my classroom when I was teaching. It is a children's book and called "the tenth good thing about Barney" and it follows a child grieving for a beloved pet. Whenever a high schooler or fellow teacher lost a pet, I shared the book and told them to read it when they were ready. It was very helpful.

The grief is real as the dog (or other pet) have loved and been loved unconditionally. Ok to acknowledge that. And help channel the grief into something positive...like a donation to local shelter in pet's name. Perhaps they can plant a tree outside the assisted living place in memory of their beloved pet. One they could enjoy through the season and through the years...

((Hugs))
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