I didn’t realize how many rules I have for the care and feeding of my 12 year-old, blind, arthritic basset hound in the early stages of doggy dementia (canine cognitive dysfunction – CCD), until I had to document them. I have to be gone overnight, and my neighbor volunteered to look after her for 30 hours.
Blind Dog Rules
Don’t leave clutter on the floor.
If you need her to get up, making the kissy sound or the clicky sound with your mouth or saying, “Up up” in a high voice is your best bet.
If Rosie’s going to walk into a wall or other stationary object and you can’t reach her in time to stop her, warn her by saying, “Bump.”
If the skin tag on her nose bleeds after she bumps into a wall, it’s not a big deal.
You can use your legs to help guide where you want her to go – acting as a bumper for her.
All pills and treats are offered from the left side of her face.
Be careful she doesn’t walk off the curb or into cars during walkies. She prefers to walk on your right side.
If you need better control over her during walks, pull directly upwards from her harness and walk her like a marionette puppet.
Arthritic Dog Rules
Arthritic bassets can’t scratch their ears, necks, or noses. You have to do it for them. Bonus if she makes happy mumble-grumble sounds.
Morning meds (3 pills) are given on a spoon with peanut butter. If the peanut butter drips, try to get it to land on her paw so she can lick it up.
Her CBD tincture is squirted into the left side of her mouth. Stand just behind her shoulder blades, one foot on each side when giving her this.
Sometimes Rosie gets “stuck” temporarily in the downward dog position when trying to lay down. Resist the urge to push her butt down. She’ll do it on her own as her muscles are ready.
If Rosie picks up one of her back paws and holds it in the air, she has a cramp in that butt muscle. Give it a good scratch to relax it.
Dementia Dog Rules
If Rosie walks in the wrong direction at mealtime, slide two fingers under her collar to guide her to her bowl.
If Rosie starts pacing as if she’s lost in the house, give reassuring pets and tell her she’s a “good girl.”
If she has an accident in the house, it happens. Towels are in the kitchen. Rug cleaner is above the washing machine. Hopefully it happens on the concrete.
Before bedtime, dip the end of a treat in peanut butter, top with half of a puppy sleeping pill, and give it to her. Otherwise she could be up-and-down all night.
So many rules for a dog who sleeps 18 hours a day!
I’m also going to sleep in the same shirt for three nights and leave it behind in Rosie’s bed, so she has something that smells like her hooman.