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Topic Some thing is wrong with my best friend Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By olpilot On 2013.04.09 22:29
This is one of the hardest things I have ever written, There is something wrong with my best friend. I was dx with Parkinson's about 2 years ago, 2 years before that I was dx with cervical spinal stenosis and needed surgery. A couple years before that I new something was wrong, not sure what but had plenty of problems. The constant in my life, besides my wife who has been amazing through all this was our dogs, one, and the first one is a corgi/beagle mix named Casey. The second a beagle/fox hound mix named Carmen. About a year and a half ago we added Lucy, a pure breed corgi. All rescues. All very special in their own right.

Casey was rescued from a vet tech training program my wife was in at the time. His entire life up to that point had been in a cage and used by students to learn how to give shots, draw blood and so on. My wife fell in love with him at the end of the school year and wanted to adopt him. They thought he was about 2, but no one was sure. I had never been an animal lover but I was still flying for a living, gone a lot and went along with it. He was so afraid of everything, me, the guy who ran the feed store, everything. It took several years before he was comfortable around me and most other men. Eventually though he did relax and even became pretty friendly, not completely, but ok. Sometimes at night when I would get home late, or just come to bed late he would growl at me or even charge me, but I was alpha and took charge. We worked it all out and it was fine.

When I got sick we became pretty much constant companions, both him, Carmen, who we got to keep him company, and me. After a while I had to quit flying, tried driving truck, hated it but had to work. Then finally had to quit that and just stay home. That is when I became best friends with my dogs, what a wonderful set of companions they became. Funny how they could make my days full, and I was never alone, I was always given more love than I could possible give out. Lucy came about a year and a half ago, she also came with a canine form of breast cancer, we had the tumor removed and she has been doing pretty well since.

Casey in the last couple of months has been going down hill very fast. Around the first of the year we discovered he had diabetes, started him on insulin. A few weeks ago he went blind.,He is a beagle so we aren't sure but sometimes it seems like he might be deaf, others he can hear me unwrapping a package of food when he is in the other room, who knows. But the really worst is he seems to be developing “Canine Cognative Dysfunction Syndrome”. A canine form of Alzhiemers. I am now a caregiver as well as a pwp, talk about learning the hard way. I see some one I love and who has loved me deteriorating right before my eyes, and so fast it scares me. At Christmas time he was pretty much his old self, now I don't think he has long to live.

I have been the one with Parkinson's, I have been the one who is sick, now a caregiver.. I have only begun to realize how difficult that job is, and I am taking care of a dog. The pain I feel watching him go away can't even compare to what it must be like to watch a loved one go down hill. I am doing pretty well, but in our support group there are some who are also going down hill pretty fast, The strength of the ones who give care is astounding. I will miss my little man very much, he has been a true and loyal companion, but I thank God everyday for my wife who has been my caregiver, and pray for strength and understanding for everyone who through no fault of their own has become a care giver.

Maybe it's a bit foolish too try and equate the two situations, but seeing a loved one losing a grip on reality and life hurts, even if it is just a pup. My first time as a caregiver, I sleep little because in the middle of the night he gets up, doesn't know what he wants or where he is. He just bumps around looking for something, neither of us knows what............

By jcoff012 On 2013.04.09 22:48
There are many on this board who will respond. I just wanted you to know someone here has read your post and wishes you peace.

We only had pets when the kids were home, but I remember how my heart broke the day I unexpectedly had to put down our daughter's cat. I cried for almost an entire day. Then shared tears with our daughter. Passion for pets runs deep. I am sure others will also feel your pain.

By lurkingforacure On 2013.04.09 23:13
If you have not read "dog heaven" by Cynthia rylant, I think it is, you may want to. A beautiful book for a very difficult time...especially if the pet was loved by a child. I actually bought a copy for our vet who had never heard of it, he loved it.

I still get teary when I pass by a certain tree in a certain park that our dog loved, and I still cry when I hear Beethoven's Emporer Concerto which was playing as I had to drive our dog to be put to sleep for cancer...and it has been 15 years!!!

One of the most beautiful gestures I have ever heard about was planting a tree in honor of your pet. We have lots of trees in our yard now:)

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.04.09 23:55
olpilot, I hear You and know Your pain. A couple of years ago I lost my Service Dog Squire. He had been my constant companion for 12 years (the last one I was watching out for and caring for Him). It's hard I know! I don't have any words to say that make it easier. Just from My heart to Yours I know and understand My friend.

By parkinit On 2013.04.10 22:44
I hear you, too. I am deeply devoted to not only my PWP, but our faithful dog.

Just yesterday I was in tears as I thought we may have to give him away (this may still be a possibility). My spouse has dementia along with the PD. He keeps forgetting to shut gates and doors and our very territorial dog gets out. He "bit" the neighbors daughter (but didn't break the skin or draw blood - not even a "scratch to speak of), and scared her to death as he put his jaws around her small arm.

Understandably, her parents were very upset. I don't want my dog biting or scaring small children. We're going to try a week to only let him out with a least and take some other tactics to help even if my spouse forgets to shut gates, etc. We'll see. If this doesn't work, I have a friend who is willing to take our dog. * sigh *

By dkleinert On 2013.04.12 00:30
I so feel your pain today. We had to give our faithful dog away today. Pudn (as in chocolate pudding - my PWP husband's favorite desert). Our chocolate Lab was my husbands companion and best friend for almost 12 years. We recently moved from our lovely home in the country to a small apartment in town so my husband can have easier access to different things to do and a social life during the day at the local senior center. He only goes for a few hours 3 times a week, however, he does love it.
The only problem with the apartment is that Pudn was dependent on my husband to let her out to go to the bathroom during the long days when I am away at work. His dementia has gotten so much worse lately, and he just could not remember to let her out and I was coming home to "accidents". Poor Pudn - what a sweet, smart, loving, loyal dog she is. We decided she deserved better her last years on this earth. We found a loving family to take her. They live out in the country as Pudn had grown up doing - oh how she loves to run and fetch a flying tennis ball! Anyway, we are in pain tonight, as we will miss her terribly. PD affects ALL aspects of our lives.......I hate it!

By carman96 On 2013.04.17 22:59
So sorry. It's devastating losing a dog. They just don't live long enough. I have almost always had two dogs to keep each other company. Plus I love big dogs. Black lab mixes mostly. We have buried so many. Ours are getting up in years 10 and 11. Hope I will be able to keep them for as long as they live. I can't imagine not having dogs.
Again I am sorry for everyone who loses their best friends.

By olpilot On 2013.04.29 01:11
Just a brief update on my buddy, he seems to be adapting to the blindness but a week ago gave us a terrible scare. He found a gap in the deck big enough to get through and fell about 12 feet tl the ground!! We took him to the university of Wisconsin vet clinic figuring it was a one-way trip, but miraculously there was no injuries, none. After record rain I guess the ground had soften some so as of now he is still pushing on. The will to live is a powerful thing.

By parkinit On 2013.04.29 17:53
Wow! That is a . . . miracle! Your buddy needs to stick around a bit more apparently. I'm so happy for you. Dogs are such wonderful companions.

By olpilot On 2013.05.23 23:14
Today was a very sad day. After Casey fell from the deck we put chicken wire around and tried to block anyway through, it didn't work. This morning he found a way through, fell and this time broke his back. He was paralysed in his back legs and had no feeling. We had to let him go. Thank you for all you kind words after his earlier troubles, we and his 2 sisters will miss him terribly.

By carman96 On 2013.05.24 23:01
I'm so sorry for the loss of your companion. I know how difficult it is to lose a beloved pet.

By Betsey Clarke On 2013.05.24 23:15
I am so sorry to hear about Casey. I know how hard it is to take care of a PWP and dogs, and cats. There are no words to help. I am sorry. Some dogs are so special, I know we will meet them in heaven again.. I know! I had a very difficult decision a couple of months ago, I had to put our mini aussie, Skye, to sleep, even tho he was only 8 years old. He was helping my husband (PWP) pick blackberries in our pasture, suddenly, he chased a stray cat down our brushy creek. Anyway, the next day, his back legs were almost paralyzed. We took him to our local vet, and he recommended a veteranarian neurologist 2 hrs away.. we had a cat scan done on him (LOTs of money) and found out he had an inoperable embolism in his spinal cord. So not only did I have him to take care of, but my husband, who was on his first broken hip from an accident related to PD. I tried to give Skye PT, express his bladder, ordered him a wheelchair to improve his quality of life, (I tried for 2 years) but eventually, I had to chose between taking care of Skye, or my husband, and of course my husband wins. But it was heart wrenching to have it done. I am so sorry about the whole situation..! I still feel bad about it. Casey will understand your decision.

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.05.24 23:52
olpilot my friend I hear you and know how you feel. Can't say anything to make it any better. Try to remember the good times.

By parkinit On 2013.05.25 23:16
olpilot -

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know our animals become like family.

By olpilot On 2013.05.26 02:01
Thank you all very much.


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