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Puppy Love

November 28, 2015

Puppies and dogs are wonderful companions. At first they can be a lot of work, but as the grow they become easier. Last year we added Rosie to our crew. Rosie is a mix of King Charles Cavalier and Poodle. Boy does she have a lot of energy. It took Rooney (our King Charles Cavalier and Cocker Spaniel mix) a little bit of time to adjust. Now they are inseparable.
The thing that amazes me about dogs is how sensitive they are. They easily pick up on humans emotions. I see it with Rooney and Rosie. When my mother is more anxious then usual, one of the dogs (usually Rooney) will sit next to her to calm her. Even Rosie in her puppy craziness will let my mom pet her. The power of touch can change a persons mood. Its so wonderful how therapy dogs go to hospitals and nursing homes. At my children’s colleges during finals and midterms puppies are brought on campus to help relieve students stress.
For the times that I’ve been frustrated with the dogs (maybe they got into the garbage) it quickly goes away when I see the positive effect on my Mom. She talks about my dogs more then my children. They bring her peace and comfort when her mind doesn’t. Nothing sweeter then puppy love.
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Alzheimer’s is Like an Ikea Manual

You know when you get a new piece of furniture and you have to put it together? Many brands give you detailed written instructions. You follow each step, refer back to photos and written word until eventually your furniture is built! That is not what happens when you get a piece of furniture at Ikea. There is a manual included, but its like playing Pictionary. Black line drawn pictures for each part, with arrows telling you which way to go. You have to figure out through trial an error that its the short plastic screw that goes in, not the longer metal screw. It usually takes longer than expected to put a simple piece of furniture together. While doing so, there is plenty of frustration to go around. That sums up Alzheimer’s.

Many days I feel like I am playing Pictionary or Charades with my Mom. She is searching for words and I am calling out (often in my head), “blanket, bed, … ” to fill in the blank. There is no manual that tells me what steps to take next, which “screw” is the right one. Sometimes full pages of the “manual” are missing. We have to guess and guess and through trial and error still have a 50/50 shot that we get it right. Each time there is something to put together with my Mom it’s a different “manual.” You never know what you are going to get with Mom and you need manuals or guidance through out the day. So for the person “building” the furniture it is frustrating, for the person assisting with the build it’s devastating to never get it put together the way it once was.

As much as I search for answers to the daily and ever changing questions I have with my Mom, I can’t find them.  I realize that it is in part due to the fact that there is not one answer. An answer that would fit today, may not next week or may not even fit the same from morning to night. For now, I will keep searching for answers and hope to be able to put it together.