FeatureJune 18, 2024
Discover the hidden dangers of feeding pets human food and the struggles of managing pet health as a senior. Learn why certain foods can be toxic and how to keep both pets and owners safe.
This is one of two females born on Valentine's Day. Both are said to be good-natured, but they like to jump on their owner, a disabled diabetic. And it's not going well for this senior owner. Call Marilyn at (573) 321-0050 if you would like to adopt one.
This is one of two females born on Valentine's Day. Both are said to be good-natured, but they like to jump on their owner, a disabled diabetic. And it's not going well for this senior owner. Call Marilyn at (573) 321-0050 if you would like to adopt one. Courtesy of Marilyn Neville

June 9 to 12

Now that my husband is 88 and suffering from dementia, I can understand why so many dogs from seniors are obese. I ask, then I beg, and eventually I get angry with Michael as he feeds our dogs his food from his plate while he is eating. He asks me at every meal, “Have you fed the dogs yet? They are so hungry.”

Well, yes, they will act hungry if you have trained them to beg to get fed (from your plate). I know it doesn’t help for me to get angry with him for giving them his food, so it is really stressful for me knowing too that some foods are especially unhealthy for the dogs.

Especially upsetting for me is his breakfast. Michael loves cinnamon and raisin bread toasted with peanut butter and fresh grapes on the side. Both raisins and grapes are potentially toxic for your dogs. I lock them out of the dining area and they cry or whine. It is a frustrating routine.

One day last week, he ate only half of a cinnamon roll with peanut butter. He asked me to save the rest for a snack at lunch. I went outside to do my morning chores. And when I came back in at lunch to uncover his remaining cinnamon roll, it was gone. Muddy, smudgy foot marks were evident on the table. I immediately thought the large rottie-mix did it. He has a nose and the height to have been the culprit. I cleaned the table ledge and warmed up some leftovers.

I brought him the warmed food and went to the office to answer the phone. When I walked back in, his white, 12-pound dog was on the table beside him, eating with him, I think off his plate. I screamed at the dog to scold her and scared the crap out of Michael. Do you think I was angry? Do you think he was upset with me for being angry? He then told me he lets her do it all the time. I said, “No you don't! I have never seen you do that before!"

This little dog is getting fat and soon will be obese if he doesn't stop overfeeding her. Now that is only part of the problem, because she may give him intestinal worms or make him very sick from her mouth touching his plate or her dirty feet spreading some type of intestinal condition to Michael.

A year ago this month, he was in the hospital with pneumonia for eight days, and the doctors said it could have been from something like what I saw him doing with the dog that started it all. This is not the fussy, clean guy I used to know. Keeping him safe and healthy is a full-time job.

I understand how seniors with pets have so many challenges taking care of their pets like they once did, while trying to take care of themselves.

Dogs held for other rescues:

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  • Two Aussie/Great Pyrenees-type mixed pups, abandoned in Bollinger County, are now about 7 months old.

Returned to owner, placed in other rescues, foster or adopted:

  • The three pups that needed homes (last week’s pets of the week), were given away at the Petco parking lot. Absolutely no calls and no rescues offered to adopt or take them.

Dogs with erlichia, special needs or euthanized:

  • None.

Lost, found, and pets needing homes:

  • Five or six adult cats from Advance need homes.
  • Several dogs that are found or missing are listed on our Facebook page and also the two Bollinger County “What’s Happening” pages. If you don’t have FB, call us so we can try to match lost pets.

Miscellaneous and contact information:

We were caring for 18 dogs and pups at our home June 12. If you have a stray camping out in the yard, don’t wait. Call us at (573) 722-3035 or (573) 321-0050.

MARILYN NEVILLE is director of Bollinger County Stray Project.

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