My dad is 92, has dementia but lives at home with a daytime caregiver. He has a dog, 12 yrs old, blind, deaf and is diabetic. He requires 2 shots a day which we pay someone to cover over and administer the shots. The dog wears a dog diaper and also is now constipated. I know, I know, the dog should be put down but it is my dad's joy and reason for living. All he does is love on him. Dad's at the point where he doesn't care if the house smells or he smells. He sobs and sobs (actually wails) when the dog is gone for a couple of hours when he's at the vet. I'm afraid dad will go downhill when the dog is gone but I don't want the dog to suffer anymore. Will dad ask everyday where the dog is and then cry all over again. Its just so awful and sad.

The dog isn't suffering or in pain. (Verify with vet.) The dog definitely wants to be there for your dad, but he continues to need your help and support a little longer. Letting the pup do his job for his human is the kindest thing you can do for both of them right now. best wishes
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Reply to gemmab123

Anyone who “knows me” here on AC, knows that I love dogs. I absolutely adore them - wish that more people had more traits similar to those of dogs... the loyalty, the unconditional love, the selflessness, etc.

If more folks were more like dogs - this world would be a better place.

So, it takes a lot for me to agree that
a dog should be euthanized.

If this poor dog is as bad off as you say - it’s time to let him go. He’s done his work here in loving your father and being his faithful companion for 12 years.

If your father were not suffering from dementia - would he want his best friend to be suffering such as this? I’d hope not.

It’s time to do the selfless thing. Yes. It will probably be hard on your father. No doubt about it. But still - allowing this poor creature to continue to suffer is inhuman. Regardless of how it will effect your father - it’s wrong to expect more from an animal in its condition. Let him go - he’s done enough.

Its time for you to be more like a dog.
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Reply to Rainmom
gdaughter Jan 2, 2020
God help us if we decide to kill every person who is blind, hearing impaired and has diabetes and incontinence.
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The pup is not necessarily suffering. If they bring comfort and joy to each other, enough said. Leave it alone and don't generate a problem where there is none. You've got care coming in. Lots of pups wear diapers. Ask the vet about a dietary change if appropriate if you believe there is constipation. Is the pup up to any walks, even short ones? That might help.
All I can say is if you took my pup away from me and for the purpose you mention, it would be the death of me. This is said not to engender guilt, just a fact. For many their pets are the true source of love and connection when there are no others.
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Reply to gdaughter
rocketjcat Jan 2, 2020
My thoughts too. We were posting at the same time. Our dog was going deaf, had cataracts, and was starting kidney problems but he still had a really good quality of life, and was not suffering, and was happy. He was a little more maintenance, but it was worth it.
Why should the dog be put down? Let's put it this way, the condition you describe the dog being in is much better than many people are. Should those people be put down to keep them from "suffering"?

My parents dog is 17 years old, blind, deaf and toothless. If she would wear a diaper that would be so helpful. She bucks like a bronco with one on though. So I take her to pee every 2 hours day or night. I have to chop up her food into swallowable chunks since she has nothing left to chew with. I've spent more on her medical bills than than has been spent on my parents and grandparents combined. The dog doesn't have insurance. The dental care alone cost about as much as a small car. A nice one. Every day she's still with us is a blessing. Dogs are family.
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Reply to needtowashhair
gdaughter Jan 4, 2020
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We had a similar situation with my mother's dog. Her bichon was her reason to get up every day. When he died, she was a mess, calling the humane society numerous times a day, saying her dog was missing. My sister and I took her to the shelter to find another companion, and there was an older white poodle that she bonded with immediately. Mom would get confused and call the new dog by the old dog's name (Pu), so we officially named him "Poo Too". At times, she would know that Poo Too was a different dog, but said she loved him just as much. He was her constant companion for the last year or so of her life (even after she went to assisted living), and he gave her the love and comfort she needed. He came to live with me after she died, and he passed away in my arms a couple of years later from a seizure disorder. As far as your dad's dog, if he is happy and not in pain, I personally would let him live out his life with your dad, and assess Dad's needs once the dog dies. My heart is with you.
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Reply to melsharpe

Due to his dementia, he likely has no insight into the welfare of the dog. My LO was totally devoted to her cat. She loved the cat more than life. She freaked out if the cat was out of her sight for even a few seconds. Of course, this caused the cat a great deal of anxiety. When she had to go into AL, she left the cat in my care and after a few days, she forgot about the cat. Even if I showed her a picture of the cat, she would not remember it was her beloved cat. I was shocked that she forgot about the love of her life that quickly, but, have since read about many other people with dementia who do this. So, I'd discuss it with the vet and if the dog is suffering have him put down. If your dad is past the point of realizing the dog is suffering, then he probably won't be able to process the death. I'd likely come up with a story that would appease him until he forgets. And NOT get another pet.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

Hello swicklund75,
Oh, your position is unenviable.
While the dog has physical issues, is he actually "suffering"? Does the dog have a reasonable quality of life?
From what you've described, it sounds like the dear creature is old and infirm, but has a few more miles to go, not unlike your poor old dad.
I'm in favor of keeping the two together as long as is humanely possible.
I wish you well,
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Reply to Ricky27
gdaughter Jan 2, 2020
Every creature deserves to live.
This beloved dog brings your father comfort and has "taken care of" (vice versa, too) and is his best friend.

Please do NOT put him to sleep.
He brings your father companionship, love, and care in life.
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Reply to Loen210

It’s very difficult for me to respond to this as we put down our 15 1/2 year old dog last July . She was my husbands whole life . Four years ago we did adopt another one , found by my husband at the humane society, as I knew the day would come when Lolita would no longer be with us and my husband was showing signs of depression which I later found out was the beginning of his AD. At the time it was a lot of extra work for me as Elsa was young and needed to be housebroken etc but boy am I glad we did that. He so enjoyed the interaction of the dogs for the few years we had them both and Elsa has made Lolita’s death a bit more bearable for him . I was told by my husbands Drs not to put the dog down and I listened until I just couldn’t let her suffer any longer . My husband could not admit how ill she was but I think , that terrible day when she couldn’t get up he knew deep down it was time . Our wonderful Vet decided we would tell him that the shot she was giving Lolita was just to take away her pain while she was slipping into a
“ natural death “ . He insisted on staying with her which I know now was a good thing as he said goodbye ( I didn’t at the time and wanted him to remain with my daughter while I stayed but I was wrong ) I will say it was a very rough time . I will also say I should have done it sooner and not have listened to the Drs . I also have to say my husband was still aware to a certain extent of what was going on even tho I had to explain after how ill she was over and over and over . I gave him a project of pasting her photos all over our bedroom wall and every night he holds Elsa and shows her all the photos . That seems to give him great comfort even tho it’s a bit maudlin .
Sorry I’ve gone on and on . I think that I’ve been so concerned about his loss and ignored mine that writing this has really comforted me.
She was a wonderful devoted dog who brought both of us great joy.
Thank you all for this opportunity!
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Reply to Somethingelsa
Kittybee Jan 5, 2020
Bless you for your kindness and devotion to both your husband and your late dog.
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If the dog isn’t suffering, I wouldn’t let it go. My Dad is 90 and loves his elderly toothless and sight challenged dog to bits. At 8 pm every night the dog nudges at my Dad’s hand to tell him it’s bedtime, so they have a very strong bond. I am sure Dad would be devastated if his dog wasn’t with him right now. He needs his companion with him right now.
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Reply to JulieKac

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