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I have a dilemma...

Flobo

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I'm putting this in the senior section as it relates to one of my oldies...

I've been looking after(boarding and walks) this little dog in question for almost 10 years now and she is around 16 years old. (She was adopted by her owner a little while before, with her doggy friend who has since passed.) Her eyesight is really poor, hearing going, heart murmur, occasional incontinence and showing signs of dementia but is super sweet... her owner picked her up from me yesterday and said she had a problem... she is moving to a flat with no garden and is concerned how she'll manage with this little dogs issues and was asking my advice. My first response(maybe not tactful!) was to ask if what she was saying was that she was considering euthanasia? She said no, but doesn't know what to do, re home maybe. In our conversation I did say it's doable with no garden, you just take them out regularly and I said I'd done it before with my old yorkie pretty successfully, it just takes time and effort and acceptance that accidents will happen... the owner has quite a busy lifestyle and enjoys an active social life and going away etc, and the level of care this little dog needs (which isn't huge at the moment but it is some extra work of course) I get the feeling, is not something she really wants sadly...

Rehoming at this stage of her life I felt was not an option, when she comes to me it usually takes the first 24hours for her to settle and not wander around or follow me, after this period she is fine, everything is familiar to her and she's quite happy, it just takes her the first day to re adjust. Putting her in a brand you environment would totally throw her and I know she would find it incredibly distressing. And now to my dilemma... I would have her in a heartbeat but for my other boarders. I've made a commitment to them all, now that they are all elderly too, to see this licence out which is until Dec 25.
None of them cope well with other dogs and this little dog really can't cope with others, she is very fearful...
I feel heartbroken over this situation, I understand the owner but at the same time I'm cross because this is the stage of life her little dog needs her most...

What to do? My only thoughts at the moment are to maybe suggest I have her but when I have a boarder she takes her back for that period, so kind of reversal of roles... Any thoughts, suggestions etc would be gratefully received! Sorry for the usual rambling effort!!
 
Wow, that's a tough one. I suppose in an ideal world she'd come to you but I think your last idea about reversing roles is great. It's so sad to read about a little dog who is now most in need and might have some upheaval ahead, albeit you're doing your best to hep with that.
 
Thankyou, it is making me feel so sad... the owner would love her to come to me but she also recognises that with my business it's difficult... : (
 
I think the role reversal sounds like it might be workable. Unless you could block off part of your home when other boarders are there?

Sorry you are having to make such a tough decision though.
 
So sad ....but with all of her issues if she cannot come to you maybe her being put to sleep at home is the kindest thing for her ....😩
 
How often would she have to switch homes? I'm concerned that as she gets older she would find this increasingly stressful.

I think my first step might be to try to guilt-trip the owner into taking her with her and reconciling herself to putting in the extra effort, including cutting down on her social life if necessary. This may sound harsh, and I don't know the owner's full circumstances, but you don't just abandon (not literally, obviously) a dog when it becomes inconvenient.
 
I think she was aware of my feelings about what she was saying and I hope as she was verbalising it she realised how selfish she was sounding... It's going to take effort, at the moment she can just open, or leave her back door open, for her, though at night she still has to go downstairs to let her out if she needs it.. in the flat(which is going to be right opposite a park btw!), it's going to take a little bit more time/effort to accommodate her needs... also you are right @JudyN , this little dog sadly has become inconvenient with her elderly issues, now a lovely new flat is imminent.

@Tinytom I actually cried when I read your response because there is a part of me that feels you may be right... I don't know if going back and forth between our homes will work but she is still really lively at times, get's the zoomies, eats well and enjoys her little walks as well as enjoying her snoozes. I'm just scared if she does make that decision that she won't stay with her, this little dog's friend went in on his own and she left him there and he only trusted and loved about 5 people in his whole life. If I'd known I would of gone in with him and brought him home...this is so hard because at the end of the day he wasn't my dog and nor is this little one... My heart broke when she told me he'd been alone at the end... I think if it did come to that I would ask her if I could be with her, hopefully she'd let me and if I'm over stepping the mark, hey ho, at least I know I tried for her..

@JoanneF Blocking off part of my home for her wouldn't work because she'd be confined to a room and she needs to go in and out sometimes. I had to do this once when I already had a dog here and the owner brought her earlier than we'd arranged. Both dogs found it really stressful and that was just for a few hours!

I'm hoping after our chat yesterday she'll at least move in and give it a go for a bit before making any decisions. The little one is back with me next week for a couple of days so we'll see. In theory I'm pretty quiet with my bookings from July but before that I couldn't take her as she'd only be here for an odd 2 or 3 days at a time, which I don't feel would be helpful... Ahhhh it's just such a horrible thing!!
 
Liked for how much you clearly care, not for some of the back story about the other little dog being alone at the end :(
 
Dogs can have months, maybe longer, of quality life after developing the conditions you mentioned, including dementia. You're in a horrible position and I hope the owner makes the right decision.
 
she is still really lively at times, get's the zoomies, eats well and enjoys her little walks as well as enjoying her snoozes
Reason enough IMHO to sort something out for her. The other bit about the dog being alone at the end is just so upsetting.
 
I suspect that this was a not-very-veiled attempt to guilt you into having the dog. I am NOT impressed with the woman's behaviour.

You do as you see fit, but if it were me (and I often get people trying to stitch me up into taking their dog on, even now) I would offer (in my case. fake) oh-dears, and bland comments on the lines of I'm sure you'll manage in your flat/find some sucker to take her on, but no solutions. This is not your problem to solve. I am SO sad for this little dog. IMO euthanasia is the best of the worst - dead dogs don't suffer - but I wouldn't actually suggest that because if the woman runs true to form she'll be trying to push her feelings on to you, and doggie will become the centre of comments relating to YOUR insistence that she is euthanised (the dog not the owner - oh, I dunno) for evermore.
 
Thank you everyone, I do value being able to share and really appreciate all feedback.

I'll see where she's at on Thursday, I think at the mo I'll play by ear and encourage her to at least try and make it work rather than as you say @Hemlock to offer solutions... Having attachments to other peoples dogs, as much as I love my work, brings about dilemmas and heart aches all the same eh... :(
 
I really feel for you...we have taken on 2 very elderly terriers for the last few months of their lives in the past and we gave them a good life but in all honesty it would have been kinder for their previous people to have had them put to sleep at home ...people may think that is harsh but you have to look at things sometimes from a dogs point of view and not a human....
Sending you a virtual hug xxx
 
@Tinytom I purposefully hadn't brought the subject up with her, but a couple of times she has. Her little dog has been on really good form at the mo, all things considered, and she is going to see how it goes post move. The last time she mentioned it I did ask if she had a balcony in the new place, which she does, so I did suggest maybe putting turf out there or something else and have that as the emergency 'I need a wee now!' spot. The dog is only little, so a balcony 'garden' I feel, would suit perfectly for her. She never wants to hang around for long outside anyway, a quick wee and back to bed usually! It seems like she's going to give this a go, (I think), so fingers crossed! I know she does care well for her, I think she just didn't anticipate her still being around...( which to me is odd because I, like most, want their dogs to be around for as long as possible eh...but there we go, she's just quite a matter of fact type person seemingly...)
 
I'm putting this in the senior section as it relates to one of my oldies...

I've been looking after(boarding and walks) this little dog in question for almost 10 years now and she is around 16 years old. (She was adopted by her owner a little while before, with her doggy friend who has since passed.) Her eyesight is really poor, hearing going, heart murmur, occasional incontinence and showing signs of dementia but is super sweet... her owner picked her up from me yesterday and said she had a problem... she is moving to a flat with no garden and is concerned how she'll manage with this little dogs issues and was asking my advice. My first response(maybe not tactful!) was to ask if what she was saying was that she was considering euthanasia? She said no, but doesn't know what to do, re home maybe. In our conversation I did say it's doable with no garden, you just take them out regularly and I said I'd done it before with my old yorkie pretty successfully, it just takes time and effort and acceptance that accidents will happen... the owner has quite a busy lifestyle and enjoys an active social life and going away etc, and the level of care this little dog needs (which isn't huge at the moment but it is some extra work of course) I get the feeling, is not something she really wants sadly...

Rehoming at this stage of her life I felt was not an option, when she comes to me it usually takes the first 24hours for her to settle and not wander around or follow me, after this period she is fine, everything is familiar to her and she's quite happy, it just takes her the first day to re adjust. Putting her in a brand you environment would totally throw her and I know she would find it incredibly distressing. And now to my dilemma... I would have her in a heartbeat but for my other boarders. I've made a commitment to them all, now that they are all elderly too, to see this licence out which is until Dec 25.
None of them cope well with other dogs and this little dog really can't cope with others, she is very fearful...
I feel heartbroken over this situation, I understand the owner but at the same time I'm cross because this is the stage of life her little dog needs her most...

What to do? My only thoughts at the moment are to maybe suggest I have her but when I have a boarder she takes her back for that period, so kind of reversal of roles... Any thoughts, suggestions etc would be gratefully received! Sorry for the usual rambling effort!!
Your compassion for this sweet old dog shines through, and it's clear you're doing your best to find a solution. It's a tough situation, but your idea of temporarily caring for her when you don't have other boarders sounds like a good compromise. Perhaps you could also reach out to local rescues or senior dog organizations for advice and support. Hang in there, and thank you for caring so deeply for these furry friends in their golden years.
 

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