Much Needed Advice, Please. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Much Needed Advice, Please.

Mods, if I'm in the incorrect forum, I apologize.

Let me start off by saying WHAT A WEEK. My mom, this past Saturday, broke her right femur. And because of her age and previous health status it was agreed upon to transfer her to a Rehab/nursing home for therapy for up to 4 to 8 weeks. I just want to say that the people who work there are an amazing group of folks. That being said, I had ask if pets are welcome to visit, and they said most definately, as long as they are on a leash and have gone potty before hand. Also, I questioned if they have a restricted ban on certain breeds, and thank God they do not (did I mention how awesome these folks are ). So, here is my concern....
My Kane is an awesome gentlemen I don't mean to brag, but he is a lover. Especially to elderly and kids. My concern is that in the building itself, they have a dementia ward in which I have to pass, and of course have to go through the rest of the rehab ward to get to my moms room. Should I purchase a muzzle for a "prevenative measure"? Just have it on until we get to the room? Of course, I will try to make this a positive experience for Kane, make it fun, not punishment. But, then again, I don't want all these kind folk to see me come in with a GS with a muzzle on. And get them worked up. Ug, I don't know what to do. My mom wants to see him so bad. The counselors and therapists are encouraging me to bring him because "studies show that healing excellerates when pets are around". Should I get a muzzle, or shouldn't I?

~ Jess ~

"Kane" 2-12-09
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 09:25 PM
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If it were me and I knew that my dog would be tempermentally sound going through the ward,I wouldn't get a muzzle. Have there been past experiences that would make you think Kane would need a muzzle?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 09:34 PM
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If it were me and I knew that my dog would be tempermentally sound going through the ward,I wouldn't get a muzzle. Have there been past experiences that would make you think Kane would need a muzzle?
Yes, this. If you have no concerns of this kind, I'd get a leash that has a handle on it, so the dog is literally "right" there with you.

Something like:



I really like the handle. It comes in very useful in many situations where you want the dog very close to you.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 09:38 PM
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I'm sorry about your mom(and your week!)
I wouldn't do the muzzle either unless you have already used it on several occasions in different situations. You want the rehab facility to have a good connection in Kane's brain, so he won't be wary when going. If he's only muzzled there, it may give him a reason to show some defensiveness.

The smells and sounds alone may make him edgy. I'd bring a high value toy or two and some yummy treats to distract him while you briskly walk thru the dementia area. Have a confident gait and keep it upbeat.

I hope his presence will help your mom and others he encounters!

Jane~
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 09:53 PM
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sorry to hear about your mother. i don't think your
dog is going to know someone has dementia. is
your concern a person with dementia will act
differently or have a different cadence in their
movement? do you have any other concerns
about taking your dog to a Rehab/Nursing Home?
if you think you need to muzzle your dog in
order to visit your mother don't take him.
can your mother ride in a wheel chair? if the
answer is yes maybe the staff can wheel your
mother to the lobby or outside and you can visit there.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
i don't think your
dog is going to know someone has dementia.
people may be shouting or showing some anger/agitation or sadness in that ward. Dogs pick up on emotions and the pheromones of such, way more than people. And a dog that isn't therapy certified may act out(no proofing).
Quote:
can your mother ride in a wheel chair? if the
answer is yes maybe the staff can wheel your
mother to the lobby or outside and you can visit there.
An outdoor/courtyard type visit may be best for all concerned, good idea doggiedad!

Jane~
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 10:20 PM
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People with dementia can be unpredictable. Once, while visiting my late grandmother, a woman came up to my Dad and grabbed him by the shoulders and wouldn't let go-he was shocked by how strong she was and a nurse had to come and get her off him. I would suggest a muzzle or a halti in case someone acts unpredictably with your dog.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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My concern is the unpredictableness of the dementia patients. I would do the courtyard visit, however because of other health issues my mom cannot go outside. I do have a Halti though.... I use that all the time, and he associates (going out and having fun) with it. I can use that as a modified muzzle, plus have more control over his head. Ug. I don't know where my brain is lately. Thank you all for brainstorming. Much appreciated.

~ Jess ~

"Kane" 2-12-09
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 08:51 AM
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No advice, just wanted to say I hope you have a better week.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 09:03 AM
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I did therapy work with seniors (including some dementia patients) with my first dog Alex. It's not always easy, they can be unpredictable but it helps to keep calm and just smile.

Kane will pick up your emotions so do your best to relax and just walk through that section quickly, remember there are nurses on hand so if there are issues just call for one of them. I think the halti is a great idea to help give you peace of mind and a way to control his head.

Bring very high value treats to keep his attention, and don't be surprised if people ask to pet your dog. If you're uncomfortable it's ok to say no. A quick "sorry, we're just passing through" is a appropriate response and keep him close to you.

Try it twice, if it's too uncomfortable I wouldn't push it. I think it's a great idea and it'll help your mom

Shanna

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Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
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