I continue to adjust to the fact that I am now pivoting through life with a senior pup – one with cognition issues.
My plan is to –
- adapt when necessary
- swivel when required
- and share what’s proven beneficial while living in Harley’s aging world
As our journey called “aging” continues – so will my occasional posts.
The last post I wrote regarding Harley’s aging journey
addressed confessed my fear of watching the progression of his physical decline. It is still a struggle for me, and probably always will be. My acceptance of where we are presently has arrived and like a roommate, she’s unpacked and completely moved in.
“Acceptance” has cleared a path for me emotionally and helps tremendously as the decline continues.
However…. lately, Harley’s been airing new behavioral habits – and they are some what peculiar. He seems increasingly restless. Lot’s of roaming from room to room, or pacing around in a circle wherever we are all in.
His vision and hearing are very good for his age. #soImtold When I call his name to ensure he can hear me (and recognize my voice), he will often respond with a bothersome glare. If I speak softly (above a whisper) he tosses his head in my direction with a sarcastic glance as if to say –
Yes, I can still hear you#smartass
CANINE COGNITION – WHAT TO KNOW?
Concerned and curious about an aging dogs declining cognition, I sat down with my man Greg Google to learn more about –
- cognitive behavior
- cognitive dysfunction
- the difference between the two and dog dementia
This was a deep rabbit hole to dive into…
- Cognitive behavior gives a dog the ability to make inferences, understand human gestures, read intentions and be sensitive to human attentional and emotional states. Helps them understand easy words, imitate human physical language, emphasize with our emotions and develop a unique way to bond with us.
- Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) shows behavioral alterations in older dogs such as disorientation, altered interactions with family members and pets, their environment, sleep-wake cycles, potty accidents and changes in activities.
- CCD is just another name for canine dementia or senility. #basically
CANINE COGNITION – WHAT TO DO?
Some experts call it cognitive enrichment – they suggest –
- providing puzzles, toys and activities that stimulate the brain, improve function and reduce boredom.
Those suggestions would never work for Harley – hell – he didn’t like puzzles, toys or even balls when he was younger LOL…
I am so grateful to have Jaxson around to help with interaction, and attention.
SPEAKING OF JAXSON –
he has become my sensei as I continue to pivot with a senior dog. By watching him, I’m learning how to better accommodate Harley.
Jaxson has taught me (through observation) how to follow his lead and adapt to Harley’s new pace/outlook on life. Jaxson never flinches or moves abruptly when Harley steps all over him, (literally) vs. around.
Now when Harley starts pacing in circles around a chair, stool or end table, I just slide the objects over and out of the way. Everyday I am better understanding how to “gift” Harley another great – uncomplicated, low stress kind of day!…
MY BIG GIRL PANTIES –
are all the way up! I’ve reached out to Doodle Doc and made a “quality of life assessment” appointment for Harley at the end of this month. NOTHING is going to happen other than a full cognitive evaluation and much discussion with me about all of this. #Ineedtalkingto
Harley Darley is my first dog, I want to know everything and do everything I can – but it must be done correctly. I rely on Dr. Pruitt’s holistic and scientific approach to veterinarian care. She will take the necessary time to observe and examine him as well as educate me.
I also want to talk with her about Coco Therapy’s new product (new to me!) called TriPlex MCT-3 Oil.
A human-grade MCT Oil for pets. Beneficial for brain health and to increase energy levels. Stops yeast infections on skin and in ears, Helps with seizures and Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.
I started adding it to Harley’s breakfast last month. More to come on that.
Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog ❤️