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Old 05-08-2014, 05:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dealing with older parents

My mom will be seventy next week, and my dad is 2 years older.

Mom is a cancer survivor, and she got Cujo, and Dad came to love Cujo, but since he as passed, he doesn't want any more dogs. Mom's eye has been having trouble for the last couple of years, and she has had a couple of operations.

Mom loves dogs. Rarely, I will bring puppies over for mom to pet and hold, and as rarely, I will bring an adult dog or an older pup for her to pet for a few minutes.

Mom enjoys this.

Dad gets crazy. Today I let her see Karma for less than 5 minutes. Dad says not to bring any dog over ever. They are worried about her eye getting re-infected.

So, would you listen to your dad and cut your mom off? It is seriously about 3 to 5 times a year I bring a dog or pup over.

Mom wants a dog. Dad does not. Until mom's eye gets better I think it is unlikely.

How do you measure both people and respect both people's wishes?
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When you mean 'cut your mom off' do you mean completely or just from the pups? Can't you go alone to visit them (without the pups)?

I personally think that your father is right. If hygiene issues can cause physical stress on a 70 year old, then I wouldn't risk taking the pups over there even if it's only a few times a year. Do you feel like the pups may cause your mom's eye problem to worsen?

As far as respecting both people's wishes, sometimes you can't. Taking sides with parents is hurtful to the parent that is on the opposite side and a pride boost to the one whose side you're on, but when there's a right and a wrong, you do have to make a choice...

But you can be diplomatic about it. Maybe saying something as simple as 'I love you and I'd feel guilty if my pups caused your eye problems to flare up' might do. So instead of making it seem like you're taking a side, you present the solution in such a way that you're feelings are the center of attention...

I dunno...that's JMO.

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sue, how are your parents doing mental health-wise? Does your mother speak up and voice her opinion? Does she express to your father that she wants the dogs to visit? If possible, I would try to not get in the middle and see if the two of them can work it out. It seems unfair to deprive your mother of something she loves. I don't see where a dog puts her at greater risk of infection. Could you speak to her doctor about this? Perhaps your father would be convinced that a dog is safe. I actually think it would be beneficial for your Mom to see the dogs.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If there is some medical evidence that the dogs are causing her eye infections, then it is not something that should happen anymore.

But I'm skeptical that this is the case, especially if you are helping your mom wash her hands after handling the dogs. There are so many studies that show dogs have a calming effect on people that are ailing.

My dear departed grandmother was a semi-invalid for about a decade due to a stroke, broken hip and several other aliments before she passed. My grandfather very much wanted to limit her activities because she was hard to maneuver around and in a fragile state. But grandma loved social interaction. She loved going to family parties, her grandkids soccer games, out to lunch and dinner etc. To limit her in these things ate at her soul and killed her by inches.

If your mom is a dog person, being limited from interacting with dogs might be slowly killing her spirit. I suppose the only way to truly figure it out is to sit your parents down individually and see if you can figure out what is really going on. Maybe what is happening is your mom pines for a dog after you leave and it causes friction between your parents. Or maybe your dad is just so worried that she is fragile and he could lose her that he is being irrational.

I know I very much worry about a time when I might be elderly and not able to fully care for a dog. How sad will that be for me when I don't have a furry companion. I hope at that point someone will let me regularly love on their dog.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Even though I think seeing the dogs would benefit your mom, the stress caused by your disagreement with your dad over the dogs might be harder on her. We all know how stress can effect the immune system and recurring infections. Even though your dad may be the one in the wrong here it might be up to you to suck it up for your moms health and not take the dogs to visit for now. So I gotta agree with Zeeva. Hope your mom gets better soon.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you sit with your mom as she is petting the puppies and then help her use hand sanitizer right in front of your dad so he knows that she has nothing pathogenic on her hands, maybe that will help calm his fears. In some facilities that our Therapy Dogs visit, they ask us to carry sanitizer and help the residents use it at the end of a visit.
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ask your mom's doctor.

can't you bring your mom to your place to enjoy your dogs?

There are plenty of folks your parents age enjoying GSDs.
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks all. I was upset earlier because, well, I don't bring them over often, but my mother loves baby puppies, and I do like her to see them. I don't have them all the time.

But Mom's eye has been awful with this crazy evil disease that basically ate two corneas already. So it isn't anything lame on my father's part. It is a nasty problem. I don't think my dogs are any more likely to cause her an infection than my sister's kids. I mean, as for diseases, it has to be a zoonotic disease. As for bacteria, well, kids have bacteria too. My dogs aren't filthy. My sister's baby has MRSA for heaven's sake. I don't know.

I took it personally. I know my dad is worried about my mom. But it was Cujo as much as any of the rest of us that helped my mother beat cancer. She wants another dog, and I think that is mainly what my dad is worried about. He doesn't want to go through the heartache again. We lost Pippy and then Cujo, and he doesn't want another dog. Mom does.

Mom doesn't ask me to bring the pups over. She doesn't. She enjoys them when I do. And I am for the most part talking about 2-4 week old puppies. I only bring them out if I am going to vet for something to do with the dam, and then I will stop by for a few moments for her to see them.

As for the couple of times in the last 2+ years that I brought and older pup or dog over, well, I dunno. I think I am more likely to spread an infection than they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinnsmom View Post
If you sit with your mom as she is petting the puppies and then help her use hand sanitizer right in front of your dad so he knows that she has nothing pathogenic on her hands, maybe that will help calm his fears. In some facilities that our Therapy Dogs visit, they ask us to carry sanitizer and help the residents use it at the end of a visit.
Ah well, Dad runs and gets the antibacterial soap and waits for me to get done, yelling at the pup to stay away from him. That was today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyppi View Post
Ask your mom's doctor.

can't you bring your mom to your place to enjoy your dogs?

There are plenty of folks your parents age enjoying GSDs.
No, it is hard but my dad doesn't want her around dogs because he is afraid for her eyeball. It just wouldn't fly for her to come over to my place.

Dad's a good guy. He has taken care of my critters when I have been in the hospital or if I have spent the night elsewhere a few times a year. I don't want to tick him off either. I think his frustration and flat out anger about this today was off the scale though. He's going to get a stroke over all this crap. He isn't any more healthy than my mother.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
.
Dad's a good guy. He has taken care of my critters when I have been in the hospital or if I have spent the night elsewhere a few times a year. I don't want to tick him off either. I think his frustration and flat out anger about this today was off the scale though. He's going to get a stroke over all this crap. He isn't any more healthy than my mother.
I wonder if something else was bothering him and you just got the short end of the stick?
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My mother has had 2 eye operations, has to put numerous drops in daily, and it looks so bad, all the specialists really don't know what to do for it. Now she is blind in that eye, but I do bring lexie with me when I visit. she adores her (of course she purchased her for me as a present). Now you could just say to your dad that your bringing pups to make your mom happy, just have her wash her hands or you could put sterile gloves on for protection.
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