in the normal aging process, certain things naturally happen...like...decreased hearing, decreased vision, decreased mobility, decreased stamina and strength, decreased ability to process new and unfamiliar information....to a certain extent, we become vulnerable. we compensate for this tho. we learn to rely on our past experience, our long time routines, our lifelong perceptions to help us cope. we in truth become within ourselves the very anchors to weather our elder years storms.
but what happens to the aged if they suddenly find themsleves suspended and hanging upside down over the middle of the grand canyon?
there is no reference point for them to focus on and try to make sense of where they are hanging right now. there is no longer any safe anchor keeping them from spirally down. if you are alone and don't know where you are, or why you are there or how to get out again..how do you process an escape back to safety again?
you don't..you stay frozen, suspended, unable to cope.
close your eyes and imagine how that would feel....maybe panicked and helpless and lost?
this is what happens when families take their very old dogs and surrender them to a shelter somewhere. they leave their old dog helpless without any past frame of reference to anchor their self and their sanity to again.
tomorrow saints will be welcoming Bibi, a 12 yr old arthritic shepherd/chow mix. i heard about him a couple of weeks ago when the owner sent me an email about him. i couldn't help, i didn't want to help so i buried the email and Bibi and worried about stuff around here instead.
Bibi ended up in a shelter and Bibi did not cope very well. he trembled and shook, his eyes darted around in full panic of this new upside down world, he lost control of his very loose bowels and laid in it covered in filth. seeing him hurt like that agonized the staff. they took him to the vet and got him an ear flush and some ear meds, they started him on flagyl for his very loose bowels and Bibi continued to panic, barking and circling in mindless terror.
i had already told the shelters this week that we are full again so don't call. the staff did not want to have to put down this old and suffering dog but they couldn't leave him suffering like that either.
so they called the owner and said that bibi was really suffering, they could not find him a foster home and if he stayed with them, they would have to euthanize. the owner then sent me another email asking for help for Bibi again.
this time i answered...what was he like? would he get along with the animals here? the shelter staff then called and apologised for dragging saints in, they did not know the owner had contacted me before or again. they gave me the scoop on this poor old dog's trauma and i said that IF gwen passed her vet check tomorrow and IF one of the 2 possible homes for bailey panned out (i am not hopeful about this,) i might consider him.
the owner took this to mean that Bibi could probably come in thursday or friday this week. he went and got Bibi and took him home and thn called me to tell me he was leaving on a business trip on saturday and had no one to care for the dog.
there are lots of reasons why Bibi is in the eye of this storm...family break up, allergies, busy work schedule and an outside old arthritic bored and lonely dog barking and bugging the neighbors.
this would be why i ignore certain emails and phone messages....they if answered will paint me into a corner that i am trying to get out of if i possibly can.
anyway...Bibi arrives here tomorrow...i will test him out with the other dogs...if he passes, he can stay and if not, i told the owner, he goes straight to the vet to be euthanized...no more messing with that poor old dog's brain.
i don't want him (i don't want anybody right now,) but i actually do hope he passes the dog test and i hope he can look to me to be his anchor for awhile til he finds one for himself somewhere inside.
i suppose....hope floats for Bibi....but it sure as hell is sinking for me.