December 31st 2014 7:19 am
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Today Reka is 14. She woke up with a special deportment, as she knew this was her day. She waded through the sea of boys and stepped right up and demanded to be respected. She's not a pushy dog. It's as if she knows. She handed me my socks, so I would get up and feed her breakfast.
[wind back one year today] Dog licenses must be purchased before Jan 31 to avoid a fine. I knew Reka was not going to be here by that date, so when buying family dog licenses, I did not buy her one. . Her dementia was so advanced, she was mere days away from euthanasia. I was putting food in her mouth, because she had forgotten how to eat. She would get into a corner and scream because she was trapped and could not get out. It made you realize just how painful dementia truly is. My dad, with Alzheimer's would spend a half hour or so trying to walk through walls, continuing to try to crash through the barrier until gently led away. So my experience with dementia is, it's not species specific. I have seen the pain. It's real. Reka would go out in her fenced yard.. and have to be rescued because she got lost and could not get home. She was lost in her own house. I did not mind taking care of her, but the anxiety of her confusion caused immeasurable stress to her. This experience juxtaposed with my dad's experiences with alzheimers induced anxiety drove home that mental pain is just as real as physical pain.
I took Reka to the vet to have her euthanized, when the vet suggested a prescription food that he was having success with. He suggested I try this. I was a little miffed, because this dog was obviously a dog too far gone to be helped. But guilt set in, and thought, ok I'll give it a try.
Within 2 weeks on Science diet BD (Brain diet) Rekas clock turned back and showed definite improvement. Within 2 months, her clock turned back 1 1/2 years. I was no longer hand feeding her so she could eat. She was no longer getting lost in the yard.
Today is her birthday. 14. A benchmark. Because on this date a year ago, I made up my mind, it was time and would make her date with destiny at the vets after the holidays. On this date today, You would not know Reka had dementia. She wants to work. She picks up things of value and barters for biscuits. Watching her push through the crowd of boys so she could be recognized was out of character for her, and another sign of her mental health.
Yesterday I bought dog licenses. I bought Reka one too. Happy birthday Reka. Here's to another year. Thank you Science Diet. And thank you to al those dogs who live in labs doing feeding trials who helped make this all possible.
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