Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dog Day Afternoon

Walt and I decided to go to Atria in the afternoon.  I thought I would bring Lizzie with us so she could distract my mother while Walt was in her bedroom measuring furniture.  As it turned out, no sneaking was necessary since she was sitting in the lobby across from the dining room, so I just took Lizzie down to visit her while Walt went off with his tape measure to the apartment.

My mother has always loved dogs and she was happy to see Lizzie, who was just so good, so gentle and so happy to have someone make a fuss over her.

I lost track of how many times my mother asked if Lizzie was our dog or not and how long we'd had her, but it was nice to have her distracted and to have something to talk about.

There are a lot of dogs who live at Atria and I've gotten to know many of them.  There is, for example, a Boston Bull terrier named,  think, Molly, who lives across the hall.  There is a sign on the door of that apartment letting people know that there is a dog inside and what the dog's name is.
Dogs always attract attention and having Lizzie in the lobby was a great magnet for lots of people who wanted to pet her.  One woman told us about her dog, who had lived at Atria for a few years and now lives with her daughter, but the woman keeps a fenced in yard for when the dog comes to visit.

What was strange about the day was that I swear almost every dog who lives in Atria came by while we were sitting there.

Elizabeth is my favorite.  She's a lovely Dalmatian and everybody loves her, including, apparently, Lizzie.

There was little Chita, a long-haired Chihuahua looking dog who was as energetic was Polly but didn't bark.

There was also the dog I have called a mini-Lizzie because she looks exactly like Lizzie if Lizzie had been bleached and shrunk.  The two dogs' tails wags furiously and they really wanted to play with each other.

My favorite King Charles spanial walked by and both dgs wagged at each other from across the hall, but the person on the other end of her leash didn't let her come over to sniff butts.

Walt finally joined us, having finished measuring everything.  My mother didn't recognize him and I'm not 100% sure she ever knew who he was.  She also looked confused when I talked about Ned and didn't have a clue who that was, and when I explained he was her grandson, she waved her hand and let me know she didn't know what I was talking about (Ned is meeting us at a rose garden in Sacramento tomorrow so we can take her to lunch there and let her enjoy being surrounded by roses).

She did, however, enjoy looking at the picture of Brianna carrying the foodball that I posted yesterday.  Usually when I show her pictures like that she says 'who is that?' but today she just talked about the photo as if she knew who I was talking about.  You just never know from minute to minute who she is going to remember and who she is not.

But the best part of the day was just watching my mother interact with Lizzie and Lizzie seeming to enjoy it.

I don't know if dogs can visit in memory care, but if they can, I think I need to bring Lizzie more regularly.  It's not only good for my mother, but for the people around her as well...and Lizzie's a great dog to do it because she's so calm and loving

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