Remodeling with Senior Dogs
Remodeling is difficult on midlife bodies. Humans, I mean. I’ll be 50 in a couple of months, and survived the onslaught of chemo and major surgery last year, after the stage three cancer diagnosis. It’s rough. But remodeling with senior dogs is tougher than even that. Flash and Patches aren’t handling this well. So first, a little back story. Then what we’re doing to help our 15 year old senior dogs with the chaos and transition. Last, please talk to me if you’ve been through this and have tips? We’re not out of the woods yet.
Why Are We Remodeling?
For six years we’ve talked about selling our lovely house and moving to acreage, starting a little farm. It’s not everyone’s dream, but we’ve had chickens and a duck for six years, and we love it. We’d like to have more, as well as milk goats and geese. We can’t do that in the city, in the suburbs. Every time we discussed moving, it came back to getting our own house ready to sell in order to buy something else. We were raising teenagers and dealing with problems related to that. We didn’t have the energy, time or money to move. It just wasn’t right.
Finally, I got cancer. Finally, like that was my goal or something, right? Finally something huge to light a fire under my butt. Heh. My butt. If you don’t already know, I had rectal cancer, so I no longer really have a butt. Anyway, we’d decided, last year, that we were done talking about moving, that we’d stay in this suburban two story with the giant back yard and the few chickens we had. We do love this house, after all.
Then I decided, this spring, out of the blue, that I was tired of not chasing my dreams. Not chasing Hunny’s dreams. We were going to move, whether we wanted to or not! So one evening I told Hunny that we were moving. The next day I took pictures off the wall and started packing boxes. Hunny wasn’t very happy with my edict, since he’d finally wrapped his head around staying put, but eventually he got on board, so now we’re really doing it. We’re going to move to the country.
What Remodeling Means for Our Senior Dogs
In the midst of all of this, we have four dogs. Two of them, as most of you know, are 60 pound seniors with bad joint issues. They’re still relatively healthy for their age and size, and the vet gives them a shot once a month for their joints. They also take Rimadyl daily, and Synovi G4 joint supplements and Windees from Jones Natural Chews (natural glucosamine and chondroitin). Just yesterday I started them on CBD oil treats, too, for the anxiety. Remodeling causes anxiety in dogs, as well as humans.
We’ve moved nearly all of our furniture out of the house. In the last three months, the last two of our three adult children have moved out. We’ve painted, inside and out. We’ve been making major and minor repairs. And finally – FINALLY – we’ve been replacing all of the floors downstairs. The new floors are lovely so far. But all of this means that the dogs are unsettled and confused.
See, Flash and Patches are in the early stages of doggy dementia. The changes are tough on them. All the things gone from their house and moving around the house are rough for their brains. On top of their people moving away, and the cancer last year changing their routines so dramatically. Add the floors, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Their joints are already bad, but going from carpet, where they had traction, to laminate, has been difficult for them.
How We’re Treating Them Now
I mentioned all of the drugs and supplements above. The Rimadyl is a pain killer. They each get one every morning. In the evening, before bed, they get a joint supplement. Sometimes they get a second supplement, depending on the weather – it’s been storming a lot lately. Last, we’ve just added the CBD oil treats because the dementia has increased with the chaos and they just can’t handle the stress. So far it seems to help.
Also, I have little rugs with rubber nonslip backing from their resting spots to the back door. Getting up and down is tough, so I try to make that easier. Also, I try to get them outside more frequently. What I’ve found this last week is that if I leave them in one spot too long, their joints seize up and it’s tougher for them to get up and down. I keep them moving and they do better. Much like humans. Too, they get extra loving from me and Hunny.
Last, because I know you’re curious, it’s not yet their time. Yes, the dementia is increasing. We can see it in their faces and movements. But they still navigate the house and yard fairly well. They still come back into the house when they’re done outside. Sometimes Patches stands half in and half out of the house, unsure, but I just tap her rear and she gets moving again. They aren’t having accidents in the house, though. They still potty in the yard. And their tongues and gums are still a healthy pink. We seem to be managing their pain. At the first sign of panting (pain), they get a supplement. So far I’m not giving them more than I should. Adding the CBD oil treats, though, is a sign that we’re getting closer, I think.
Have You Been Through Remodeling with Senior Dogs?
If you’ve been through remodeling with senior dogs, please tell me what you did that worked? Or what you would have done differently? I’m feeling a little lost with my babies. They’ve been the very best dogs ever. We want only the best for them. I feel as though we’ve been terribly unfair to them in some ways, but we’re doing the best we can for them. I think. Tell me what I’m missing? And thank you. I appreciate your love and support for them.
Because you so patiently read through my story about remodeling with senior dogs, I feel I must reward you. So I’m reminding you that Jones Natural Chews has an open giveaway, for our Heart Breakers, or pork heart strips. They’re baked to perfection and your dog will go nuts for them. But don’t wait! The giveaway ends Sunday night. In fact, now, while you’re thinking about it, just click this sentence and use the new post that opens to enter the giveaway. Your dog will thank you.
Now go give your dog a Jones Natural Chew. Treat your dog to happiness.
Spreading the good chews …