Father in Law (Alzheimer’s) kicked one of the girls. - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-17-2013, 08:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Father in Law (Alzheimer’s) kicked one of the girls.

Just sharing this experience.

My Father in law has Alzheimer’s and is living with us. Won’t describe all symptoms, suffices to say they are severe, but the other day he kicked Kana! (She is the Black and Red four year old. 90lbs)
I was enraged and was in the process of lashing out when I realized it would do no good.
What has amazed me is the change in not only her, but in both dogs behavior. Neither dog will come within 8 feet of him. They avoid him even if it means walking into another room. They stay closer to me and my lovely bride than before! (Didn’t think that was even possible) They have absolutely nothing to do with him. Even when he calls them they won’t come. They absolutely ignore him, and they obey almost every adult friend we have that is a regular visitor.
While thinking about this I realized something. It was the first time in their lives that anyone had intentionally inflicted any kind of pain on them! When it happened, Kana abruptly got up, stepped away, tilted her head and looked at him, than braced herself, came to me and sat erect in front of me facing him.
He is going into a home very soon, so there is no chance of it happening again, but I have been fascinated by the behavior.
No, Kana was not hurt.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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sorry about your father inlaw, the dogs know, that's why they steer clear of him
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Both of my parents had Alzheimers before they passed away, so I can relate. Even though you know, in the logical part of your mind that he can't help it, that he isn't the person you knew, it is hard not to get furious. Good for the dogs to know just to stay away. Take care.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So very sorry. Alzheimers is tough.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am so sorry.

We care for my mom in the home but she is stroke not Alzheimer and unless you can have around the clock direct supervision for him.....yes.....it is one place where it seems the best approach. A lot of our calls are for folks with dementia who wander.

Hopefully the home you find has a good system for that. Good that the dogs have figured out to simply avoid him.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Many of us either have or will be dealing with our parents who have this disease. You have some smart, intuitive dogs.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for sharing.
I will be moving back in with my parents with Veda (11wks) after Christmas for a bit. My grandpa has been living with them for the last 3 years or so and on more than one occasion I've seen him kick my parents GSD mix, Jack (8yrs). He hasn't been diagnosed with Alzheimer's but has been battling cancer on and off the past few years. Jack does the same now, avoiding him as much as possible, but I'm worried about Veda since she is so young and I will have to leave her home while I'm at school. She will be crated but I'm afraid he'll let her out for some reason or another :/


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Old 12-17-2013, 02:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is why Im leery about GSDs or other working breeds going to Nursing homes.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Alzheimers is a terrible thing, the dogs are doing the right thing by avoiding, you did the right thing by not losing your mind on him, he is going to be less and less responsible for his actions the more this disease takes its toll.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry you are experiencing this. My aunt (Mother's sister) is in the later stage of Alzheimer's. It is a terrible disease. I know your dogs understand because they immediately come to you instead of attacking. My aunt sometimes doesn't even remember her husband passed several years ago and gets violent at times because he doesn't come to see her. Even after reminding her that he passed, she only remembers for a short time. She is in a home now where she has to wear an ankle monitor. She can't go out the door without the alarm going off but is able to leave with a family member to walk down the block to a restaurant. My cousin tries as much as she can and my mom made a photo album of all the family members with their names written under the photos. My cousin says my aunt looks at it every day and enjoys the pictures but then can forget you just visited her an hour ago. Bless you for what you are going through. Unfortunately I can't say it gets easier. Your dogs probably don't understand what happened but they do understand when a person is sick I believe. Hugs to you, your dogs, and your family this holiday season.
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