She loves her dog and he is a good companion for her. With her advancing dementia, she feeds the dog anything and we cannot control that. Other aspects we can. I am concerned that she will keep looking for 'Buddy' after he goes, but I am not sure if it would be humane to introduce a new dog.
I agree with Jess. Only get a dog if YOU will take it in when your mom passes.
My daughter adopted an elderly large breed dog (a 10-year old Pitt Bull mix -- very friendly) from the SPCA because the elderly woman who owned him died and the family could not or would not keep her. It was such a shame as this dog is so docile and friendly -- I couldn't believe the family would just dump him at the SPCA. The old lady was the only family this dog ever had. He lived a quiet and peaceful life with her. Needless to say, the dog sat their languishing in the SPCA for 4 months becoming frightened and traumatized from other constantly barking dogs, a new/strange environment, and lack of human contact. He was probably passed over numerous times because he was a pit bull mix (there is no actual Pit bull breed -- they are actually Staffordshire terriers) and their bad reputation. He "looks" mean but he is actually a marshmallow. It took my daughter months to gain his trust but he is now a wonderful pet!
Anyway, please don't think about getting another animal for your Mom unless YOU have a plan for its ultimate care. It's not fair to her or the animal. Blessings to you.
If you are considering getting a dog for your own family, and taking it to see your mother regularly, that wouldn't hurt the right kind of dog and it might be lovely for your mother. We have an older Staffie who is painstakingly gentle around my mother and her very elderly cat; but any intelligent and scrupulously well-behaved dog would be fine. There's no harm, btw, in her talking about Buddy as much as she likes. If she becomes distressed and is constantly searching for him, you'll need to reassure her constantly and find an explanation of where he's gone that works for her (it could be the true one, but she might find something else easier to grasp - you'll have to take it as it comes I'm afraid). Take plenty of pictures of him for now - enjoy him while he lasts!
Best of luck. Keep us posted…
When I moved to care for her for four years I thought what the heck, the dog would always have a home with me so home came Sue, a minpin x jack russell terrorist. My mother went into a NH 18 months ago and Pixie and Sue now live out in the country with me, an old black lab that came from rescue last year and 4 other cats.
If your mother misses a pet perhaps a visiting pet would make her happy. I can't take Sue to the NH as she barks/screams at wheelchairs/walkers and my old lab girl was formerly abused so she's nervous of anything new or different. Lucy is the answer! She's a little kitten recently rescued off a back road and I occasionally take her to visit. Initially so tiny and sick, she's now thriving and I bought her a harness and leash for visits as she's so lively now. Makes my mother happy.
This is a hard question.... on one hand your Mom enjoys the companionship of a dog and it sounds like she is caring for him except she is feeding him people food.... yet on the other hand, if Buddy passing on which tell me is a senior himself, would your Mom be able to control a younger dog? And if your Mom needs to go onto assistant living, would you be able to continue to care for the newer dog?
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