Assisted Living

Is it a choice?  Would you opt for it?  My dad is 93 and has refused to come and live with me and is getting to the point where he is not doing too well on his own.  My brothers and I are dragging our feet about making a decision because it is difficult at any of our advanced ages to change the status quo, but let me tell you, the experience I have had this past week tells me it is going to be a rough road.

I have a cocker spaniel.  He is twelve and a half.  He is deaf as a post.  He has dislocated vertebrae.  He had to be treated with steroids and has been nutso ever since.  He has  the usual Cocker Spaniel problem with “submissive urination”.  Don’t ever get a Cocker.  They suck up love and piss all over your house.  We had to put in hardwood floors because of him  They are nice floors, tho.

He has huge problems with anxiety and elavil made him a mad man.  He has chewed through every type of gate we have tried.  He has chewed through thick bungee cords we have used to make furniture unmovable,  Wouldn’t that sting when it lets go?  He will pee everywhere, usually on my wool dining room rug, always by the leg of my chair or my husband’s, if he is not restrained.  I have given him xanax and lunesta and benedryl.  Just makes him superdog.  He is so old and looks so gray and  feeble but has moved tables and chairs and cedar chests when confined.

 I was doing nothing but putting up and taking down barricading every day and night doing the three step treatment on the new urine spots and vacuuming the one from two days ago that was finally dry.  I was at my wits end. (Yeah.  We tried diapers.  You do not want to hear that story.)  I said to my daughter, I cannot do it, but if you or dad takes him to the happy place, I know it has to be done.  Just don’t tell me or ask me.  Immediately she calls and says, but it cost $300.  So we get that straightened out and she comes to get him when I am home and have to say good by.  Then she calls later and says she couldn’t do it.  She said it was what I said about our 16 year old lab.  You KNEW when it was time, and we didn’t feel that way about Henry yet.  Just sad.  Not even mad.  Although a few curse words were uttered at the sight of a new urine puddle.  Always checking no food around, no chairs to climb on, no doors to bedrooms left open.  We were living like prisoners of this poor dog who was just deaf and nuts and none of it was his fault.

So she says there is a nanny who fosters only elderly cockers and if she can’t take him  he can go to sav a pet because Fran’s pal works there.  Oh, God.  When will I stop crying about this?  It is a good thing I don’t have my driver’s license because I would have gone to get him three times just today.  What is wrong with us that we put ourselves through such suffering for creatures that don’t recognize our suffering, human or animal.  My dad has no clue how we agonize over his life station.  And now that my daughter is married and a mom and a home owner, I see myself reduced to that station. 

Assisted living is not really living.  Think about this while you are still your own master.

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