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Old 04-21-2017, 04:17 AM   #4103
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With the Therapy work our dogs do weekly we have seen every stage of Dementia and honestly it is one of the few things in this world that sets me back and frightens me. We knew very little of it until we started these visits when I retired, the progression can take years or in several cases only months. But, what is truly amazing is the reaction of even the last stage people is their reaction to the dogs, their heads often come up and some even have come to recognize and name each dog. The doctors say that good Therapy Dogs can do more than any medicine or treatments they have. Another surprise for us was the impact our dogs have on the staff at these residences, some days they simply cannot take their hands off the dogs.

We would do more when we travel but the background checks on us are extensive, rightfully so, the dogs have all their International Certifications, but these facilities by law must do all kinds of checks on us and will not accept the TSA or Homeland Security Certifications we secured for one facility.

Be Well

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Old 04-21-2017, 05:25 AM   #4104
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There's something about dogs....
I have a 92 year old neighbor here who is in the early stages of dementia. Blackie and I usually stop by his place as we come back from our evening walks. He seems to enjoy her visits very much.

He has recently been diagnosed with cancer, and the news he got from the oncologist is not good. Yesterday, our first walk after his doctor visit, Blackie would not go past his place on the "outbound" leg of our walk. She insisted on visiting with him right then. Somehow, I think she knows.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:26 AM   #4105
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Mimi "dogs know".
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:34 AM   #4106
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This one certainly does--with no therapy training whatsoever.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:58 AM   #4107
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Mimi, I like to think that Blackie provided some small bit of solace to your neighbor, and was being sure she had an opportunity to say goodbye.

Doug would say .... "death is a part of life" .... but those words so simplify death's impact on the living as to be of no real comfort, in my opinion.

Doug dealt with so much death of loved ones over his lifetime, that a soothing mantra may have been required for him to accept and move on...if he ever did, certainly not from the loss of his own father just shy of his 4th birthday.

The speed with which this otherwise active and well-functioning man has declined has been striking, and traumatic for the family.

Not really knowing, of course, but my feel is that he is actively dying.

Just my feeling...it has come too quickly for the decline to just halt at some point short of death.


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Old 04-21-2017, 11:07 AM   #4108
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Even though death is a part of the circle of life, it is , nonetheless, traumatic for everyone .... The dying and the living. There is no softening the end unfortunately. Sad but true.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:41 PM   #4109
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My brother had 3 dogs. a Cockapoo and 2 Munsterlanders. (like German shorthaired pointers but with long feathery coats) One of the Munsterlanders had a heart attack and died 2 months ago and the Cockapoo is still searching for him. Even pets feel bereaved.
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:37 PM   #4110
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Yep, Lily looked for Doug for months, and still goes into the back bedroom..his man cave.. to check it out and sniff around after we have been gone from the house

Has he come back?

Little house is cleaned, kitchen appliances moved , and got English ivy planted in the front beds under my dense yews....lots of crawling around on hands and knees today, reaching and doing whatever, and my back is complaining a bit.

Working the past couple of years on self-sustaining ground cover around the house, where we/I have previously always done cedar mulch...and it is coming along, but not there yet.

Like so many things...a process, not an event.

Planted periwinkle on the north side earlier in the week, hoping it will cohabitate and play nicely with the Lily of the Valley I have been cultivating there...no grass will grow, only moss, so why not nice dark greens with pretty purple flowers covering the ground.

And soon...rock border.

My yard guy submitted a very reasonable estimate for materials and labor, and I am excited about getting that done...also permanent, replacing rotting landscape timbers not replaced since before Doug died.

I'm not getting any younger, and anything I can do that won't have to be done again in the near future is a good thing, right?

To do list is getting shorter...


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Old 04-22-2017, 01:41 AM   #4111
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Maggie, as I have never meet you in person I feel that I meet you though your blog over the years and I need to say something. Thank you for giving me the guts to do the solo camping by myself. If it wasn't for reading your blog over these past years I would never gone out and did this. I have gone to WV last year and the other day Thursday I took my trailer out for the 1st time this season. I also hooked up all by myself in 20 minutes! That was a big step for me! My trailer is still being worked on and I still work full time but when I can I will take my trailer out for camping for fun!!
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:43 AM   #4112
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Good for you, Rachel!

We go by ourselves, or we stay home.

I choose to go.


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Old 04-22-2017, 05:27 AM   #4113
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My neighbor told me his docs have given him about a year. He's still able to get around, with portable oxygen, so we have many visits yet to come before he goes. Blackie enjoys them as much as he does, I think.

Maggie, when all that blooms, post some pictures. It sound beautiful in words.
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Old 04-22-2017, 05:45 AM   #4114
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A year is a good long time to reflect back on ones life, and give/receive a lot of love.

May he have much.

I will post pictures, Mimi.

I have a lot of green, and shades of pink/purple around my house...it's what I like.

The lilacs Doug and I planted the last fall he was alive will soon be blooming, and are doing well. A lot of them will find their way into vases in the little house.

I don't have at all a green thumb, but like to find plants I like that are relatively hardy and can tolerate some ignorance in handling.

Speaking of which...my many-times-replanted wild geraniums are doing well in the pot inside, tho the ones I put directly into the ground have yet to show a thing.

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Old 04-22-2017, 05:51 AM   #4115
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I plan a similar planting/landscaping style at my new house. Native, drought-tolerant plants as much as possible. Then they'll survive if I go traveling during the hot summer, as I probably will. That part of Texas is a lot more humid than the desert end of the state where I grew up. The summers get pretty sticky, so I plan good air conditioning and lots of travel.
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:27 AM   #4116
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You'll have to come north during the Texas summers, Mimi.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a favorite of ours...beautiful Lake Superior, and much cooler temps.

How is the house and hangar build coming?

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