If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
A close friend of my family has elderly parents, who have been temporarily displaced from their home after a severe flood. Unfortunately they cannot bring their senior dog with them to the hotel, and are forced to go back and forth to the house each day to feed him. The larger issue is that this dog is arthritic, a little senile, and worse .... potentially aggressive (out of fear) if approached incorrectly or cornered. He was horribly abused as a puppy, and has always been a fear-biter. At his core however, he is still a loving dog who is now nearing the end of his life, spending all of his time alone in his doghouse with the weather getting colder. His family really just isn't equipped to provide the care that he needs, and they are afraid to even take him for walks, as that requires putting a leash/collar on him. So he is pretty much isolated all of the time, and now that time is 100% outside. Anyway, there isn't really much I can do personally, except recommend a hospice-care facility that might be willing to take him. The only problem is that the one place I found locally (Phoenix-Metro/Scottsdale Arizona) is full and not accepting any more dogs. I was hoping someone in the community here might be able to offer some advice and/or a referral to an organization that can help. I'm just looking to figure out a way to make his final months more comfortable, providing him with a little love, warmth, and safety during the time he has left.
Any help is very much appreciated.
It sounds like this poor dog is having a miserable existance, especially since he's elderly and living in isolation outdoors. Taking an old dog who is a fear-biter to any sort of shelter or facility is not humane, IMO. Because of his biting, rehoming would not be an option I would consider.
I'm very sorry if this sounds harsh, but ANY life is not always better than NO life, and perhaps a gentle euthanization would be preferable to any other unsatisfactory solutions if there's no chance of his owners returning to their home in the near future.
The owners will be back in the home soon...but they are elderly as well, and really aren't equipped to care for him. It is heart-breaking because the dog is sweet like sugar to me, because I know how to approach/treat him. As long as you don't corner him or startle him, and make sure he knows he is safe, he is a very friendly dog...yet a nightmare to groom or take to the vet, because you can't lift him or coax him into the car. I was just hoping there might be some facility out there where there are volunteers who know how to care for this type of dog. I am thinking the best way to go might be for me to just visit him myself as much as possible and try to give him some attention when I can. Unfortunately even if I thought euthanizing him was the right way to go, I wouldn't be able to convince the owners that this was a good idea. They are completely oblivious to the problem. Thanks for your reply.
Welcome back...just in time for us to wish you a Merry Christmas! I am so glad that the owners can come back to their home and their dog. You have been chosen to intervene an assist in a difficult situation which is somewhat resolved, now that they are back home and their dog can live inside with them. Somehow, I feel Mini has a paw in all of this. You have stepped up to help other animals in his honor and sometimes the ways you help are not cut and dry.
My Bailey was so afraid of the vet that it was very traumatic taking her. My vet became a close friend and I was so fortunate that she and her tech would come to the house for routine things - the most difficult being clipping her nails. She would lie down on the floor with her, cuddle and talk to her, hold her paw, clip a nail, cuddle and talk, clip, etc. Maybe there is someone who could help in that way. Many vets back off of certain vaccinations when a dog is elderly and an inside dog. As for grooming, perhaps brushing at the same time as stroking could take care of some of that. Nail clipping takes a special person.
I don't know how much time and inconvenience this is causing you, but I know that those people must appreciate having you in their corner. It is obvious that their dog has seen your soul and bonds with it. Bless you for helping them - Mini is proud.
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
Thanks for the kind words. I went to visit him yesterday, and he seemed like a different dog..came right out to greet me and was very happy and affectionate. When you see them like that, it is hard to consider euthanasia as an option. If only good-will-towards-animals-karma was a little stronger, as it turns out, I may be good at helping other people's animals, but may not have been meant to have my own.
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