Write Your Way Through Doggy Dementia?



Zoie, my eighteen-year-old Yorkshire terrier, suffers from dementia.  Who knew dogs could have people diseases?  She’s deaf and blind, so when we pet her, we place our hand in front of her nose first, so she won’t be shocked when we give her “good scritches.”

On good days, Zoie walks without bumping into walls and furniture, goes to her newspapers to wait, showing us she’s ready to go outside.  On a walk through the neighborhood, she begins slowly, but picks up speed until those sniffs require her attention.

On bad days, Zoie bangs into walls, loses her balance and looks puzzled as if to say, “Why am I here?”  She’ll stand in a corner, forgetting how to back out of it.  She’ll awake from a nap and lose control of her bladder and bowels, not knowing she’s had accidents.

My heart aches for her physical and mental losses.  I already miss her knowing her time on earth is limited.  So I’m learning to appreciate each moment Zoie is in our lives, giving kisses, cuddles, pushing her nose into our hands for treats.

I’ve got one ear listening for her as I write.  She needs to go outside every two hours, except for the evening, thankfully.  I no longer write for hours at a time, forgetting where I am.  I take frequent breaks.   One friend asked how I could write with half of my usual attention.  Habit.  I now know how another friend wrote complete books on her ten minute breaks at work.

Appreciate your daily life through interruptions, work, and play.   Slow down for those good sniffs and moments of joy.

Writing Prompts:

  1.  Are you writing regularly in your life?  Creating art?  If not, make a small goal.  Write for ten or fifteen minutes a day.  Think about your creation another ten or fifteen minutes.
  2. A habit is made when you do it more than once.  How many days can you keep a good, creative habit?  Soon it will be like brushing your teeth.
  3. At the end of the day, recall three moments of sensory details you enjoyed.  What was your happiest moment?   Write about these.  You’ll soon be searching for them regularly.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.