On being antisocial
I have been pondering upon our Penny.
I’m not sure if that sounds quite right but you know what I mean. I have been giving Penny some thought.
She has been with us now for nearly eleven years. Naturally she has changed quite a lot over the years. I know what that feels like as I have changed a bit myself. It’s called getting old.
She used to be an extremely lively dog. She used to trip me up frequently by dodging in front of me and crashing on her back for a tummy tickle. When she was really wound up I would let her loose in the garden whereupon she would tear around in circles before dashing into the house and crashing onto her couch.
Over the years she has slowed down and lately has been suffering from arthritis. She also has a suspicious lump on her leg which I think hurts her occasionally. She’s down for an operation tomorrow week to have it removed.
One thing I have noticed over the last couple of years is that she is becoming somewhat distant, while at the same time she has become more focused. Her primary focus is on treats; by treats I mean little biscuits, bit of chicken or in fact anything she can scrounge especially when we are having dinner.
I have noticed for a while that she has no interest now in other dogs. No matter how much they yap at her and try to get he attention, she will stroll past them without so much as a glance and her nose in the air. The same goes for cats. If someone wants to pet her [as they do nearly every time we’re in the village] she’ll stand there staring into the distance while they tell her what a lovely dog she is. I can read her thoughts – Yeah. I’ve heard it all before. Just get it over with and fuck off.
At home we are essentially ignored. She does regular patrols around the house where she gives each room a quick check, presumably to ensure we haven’t snuck in another dog. She passes by us with her nose in the air. completely ignoring our existence. The only time she acknowledges us is when she’s hoping for a snack off our plates. The only exception is when it’s her dinner time when she will poke me with her nose and throw silent snaps at me until I fill up her dinner bowl.
So basically she is now interested only in sleep and food. Sometimes she’ll just lie at the garden door staring out at whatever isn’t there. Nothing else is of any interest whatsoever. My function in life is to mop up her puddles, chuck her turds out the door and to provide her with food. She’ll tolerate a drive in the car but only if it means a trip to the coffee shop [more chicken!].
I don’t know if it’s some kind of dementia,
or if she just doesn’t give a fuck.
“I don’t know if it’s some kind of dementia, or if she just doesn’t give a fuck.”
Well, when you get right down to it; is there actually a difference?
Fair point. As time progresses the amount of fuck she gives is slowly diminishing.
My 15 year old cat is much the same, he has lost loads of weight, blood tests didn’t show a cause. Still eating but what he eats varies from one day to the next, costing me a fortune! I know his time is running out but I don’t want to let him go, he doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort. Going by past experience when they stop eating it’s time. Hope Penny is ok, could be a kind of dementia my 21 year Siamese got it, she became incontinent but I didn’t mind cleaning up but eventually she forgot to eat, just stared at her food but didn’t know what to do with it! Good luck with Penny it’s heartbreaking when a much loved pet gets old.
One thing Penny still loves is her food. She’s a grazer so every now and then she grabs a mouthful of dry food and brings it up to her couch. She then spits it out and slowly crunches each piece,
I’m not sure the keen awareness of the potential for chicken would be consistent with dementia. I think it’s more likely to be a cultivated sense of detachment from the triviality of humans.
You have reading those philosophy books again!
I think Penny is an existentialist, agreeing with Sartre that hell is other people.
The distance could also come from the meds Penny is on? Perhaps she is simply stoned and constantly looking for munchies?
Our dog, Tilly is 14 years old and behaves fairly similarly. She has been on Librella jags for a couple of years but stopped playing with her squeaky toys a long time back (except for occasional short periods), ignores other dogs, preferring to sniff their scents rather than interact with the actual dogs. She still loves her grub, but now seems to be getting smart and holds back until treats are added to it before eating (except if offered a walk, when she suddenly wolfs the lot before we go out). She still loves long tummy tickles, but the choice of time for this is hers.
She still has a passionate hatred for cats, squirrels and small furry creatures generally. If that and her desire to walk go, then we will know that she is nearing her end. 🙁
Try the Youmove dietary supplement as a cure for her accidents. It worked well for Tilly. One tablet per day should suffice.
Thanks very much for that Ian. I did further research to try to find a link between aloofness and Librella but every result came up with the same thing – no side effects except maybe some irritation around the injection site. However….. I did find a few sites on the subject of osteoarthritis in dogs and they say that one of the symptoms is “temperament changes” which could cover it? Sadly, Penny is still showing a lot of the symptoms, such as stiff gait, reluctance to jump in or out of the car or onto the couch, and this is after her third treatment. She”s in for her operation next Wednesday so I’ll have a word with the vet then. I;ll ask him about YuMove too.
I hope it works for her, and for you.