Jessie’s behavior has more or less stayed constant since I initially posted about her diagnosis by veterinary behaviorist Dr. Amy Pike at Veterinary Behavior Consultations, though some new signs of canine cognitive disorder have appeared.
Jessie is restless. She often sits by the back door (something she didn’t usually do before), thinking she has to go out even though she may just have been. If we don’t let her out, we risk yet another puddle on the floor. If we do respond to her anxiousness to go outside, we may end up spending much of our evening wearing a trail to and from the door, and out into the yard to snag her before she gets into mischief (that is something she’s always been good at).
The other day a new sad-but-funny sign popped up. I came into our hallway and saw her standing, blankly staring at nothing down and to her left. A blank wall. A soft statue of a dog that had an aura of vagueness about her. As I approached to walk by, I lightly touched her back end, and she spooked (not a usual behavior for her, our tough-as-nails thunder-fighter). It’s another moment of clarity about the decline of our healthy, constant family companion.
We have amped up the strength of Jessie’s medication, something Dr. Pike has assured us she will need the rest of her life. We also make sure we order DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) collars soon enough to avoid any gap between when the one she is wearing loses its magic (they last ~ 30 days) and the next. When that happens, the incessant whining begins. We’ve learned.
We couldn’t know less about the path forward with Jessie and her doggy dementia. Will she decline steadily or abruptly? Or will another ailment emerge to stun us? It’s life with fragile beings, isn’t it? Human and pet.
What have you experienced with pets that enlightened you, trouble you, brought you closer and/or gave you unexpected perspective on animals and our relationships with them? Share your stories with us.Share on Facebook