Dad vs dog? - AgingCare.com

Dad vs dog?

Follow
Share

So, my dad and stepmom have had a King Charles spaniel since she was a puppy; the decision was initially stepmom's, but dad's grown fond of the dog as well. Fast forward, and dad was moved into assisted living in March (Parkinson's, depression, some short-term cognitive issues, and now blood clots). Stepmom visits every day, and seems sorta/kinda inclined to move in; although she is being treated for cancer, she is in better shape physically and mentally than my dad. One of the obstacles to her moving in is the dog--it's not a dog friendly place. Around the same time dad went into the hospital for his blood clots in Feb., the dog--which has been having health problems for the past couple of years--had seizure. Part of me says I know they love the dog, but I think stepmom's absence at the AL facility is really rough on him--and some family members seem to think stepmom is sacrificing dad for the dog. With the dog as old as it is (and with the health problems), I'm not sure how feasible it is for someone else to take the dog on while stepmom moves in with dad. Thoughts? Is this a rock and a hard place?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
6

Answers

Show:
Adam, the way I view this is that Dad will be around long after the dog passes on, so let Step-Mom enjoy the dog's remaining months. I wouldn't think your Dad would want a beloved pet put down just because he had moved to Assisted Living, that might make it sad for him.

It sounds like Mom lives alone now since your Dad is now in Assisted Living, is that correct? If yes, then the dog probably makes her feel safe since your Dad isn't in the home. And since the dog can visit your Dad, that makes it the best of both worlds for now.

Yes, there are retirement places that accept pets, such as Sunrise. My Dad is in Sunrise which has a elderly "house" dog. Prior to that there was a "house" cat. There are residents with their own dogs, but what I have seen the dogs are small, so maybe there is a weight limit. The dogs I have seen are very well behave, there is a bossy dachshund.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks for the input thus far. And, yes, obviously we don't want to twist stepmom's arm (or make dad angry). Some answers to your questions:
1. I believe the dog is 11 or 12. Stepmom indicated she didn't think the dog had much longer--but, then again, she herself seems to be outliving her forecast from a few years back.
2. None of the family is nearby--the closest is my stepbrother, a 6hr drive
3. She can bring the dog to the ALF--they just can't live there with her.
4. Not a huge number of living choices on Cape Cod (where they live); this particular one was one of several they visited and the only one that seemed to generate some enthusiasm. It should also be noted this place is cigar-friendly (as dad does enjoy his occasional cigar).
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

How old is the dog? I have two King Charles Spaniels - they are well know for being extreamly loving to the point of neediness. One of mine will follow you into the bathroom because he doesn't like letting his humans out of his sight. Their nickname in dog circles is "the love sponge". Before you do anything please consider an older dog with health issues is likely not to be adopted. I do know there are King Charles rescue groups that might take him. But poor baby - he hasn't done anything wrong and doesn't deserve the fate you are considering. I don't mean to imply the dog should take priority over the dad. Please consider his age/health - the dogs - and look for other solutions. If your stepmom is under going treatment for cancer the comfort of her pet could mean a great deal to her. Please let this be her decision and without pressure. A tough situation to be in for sure. The life expectancy of a KCS is about 10 years - most do suffer from heart conditions. I'm facing major surgery in four weeks and already I am planning to put my baby's blanket on my bed so he will be there for my comfort during recovery - as for him, he'll be happy as a clam looking after me.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hello again.

Some thoughts:

1. There are some rescue groups that will take older dogs, and foster them with various people who've volunteered to do this, while looking for a home for the dog. You might contact a rescue group specifically for the KC spaniel; sometimes groups that focus only on a specific breed are more flexible and dedicated to finding a home.

I'm assuming that none of the family want to take the dog?

2. Have you discussed with the vet what the dog's chances are? Are further seizures likely? What is the dog's projected longevity?

3. Are there any critter sitters in the area who will take the dog for a week or more, or even for daily walks? That would allow your stepmother to have someone to care for the dog when she visited. But it doesn't address the issue of full time care.

4. This is a much more drastic option - find an AL place that is animal friendly. Sunrise Assisted living in our area had a resident pet dog, although I don't know if other residents were permitted to have live-in animals.

Sometime ago someone posted about a parent living in a facility with animals; other residents were complaining, walking the dog became problematic because the parent wasn't able to, etc. So apparently there are some places that do allow pets.

However, to move your father as he's becoming acclimated would be very unsettling.

Hopefully others will have some good suggestions.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

She has not made up her mind yet. Avoid the temptation to do it for her. "Some family members" should stay out of it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I think step-mom should be with her husband and something else can be done with the dog. How many years old is the dog?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions