Some days it’s hard to believe Lexie is almost 15 years old.
Other days, I can’t deny it. She struggles.
I’ve especially noticed her doggy dementia has progressed. Recently when a friend stopped by, Lexie growled and the hair went up on her back. This was surprising, and new behavior for her.
As we were setting up the spare bedroom for our new cat Cora, Lex had wandered in. Moments later, I found her stuck in the corner, unable to simply turn herself around.
Then something truly shocking happened.
A few days ago, we started watching Matt’s mom’s dog. The house felt like a zoo (three dogs and a cat, oh my!!!) but everyone seemed to settle in. Lex seemed nonplussed by the visitor, and chose to slumber most hours of the day.
In the bustle of activity, I must confess to not keeping tabs on each animal every second of the day. But sometime last night Matt and I discovered something awry.
“Did you hear that?” Matt said. I did. It sounded like three thumps coming from the side of the couch. I looked behind my recliner into the little corner cave where the dogs love to hide out. Charlie was stretched out on a dog pillow, twitching to a good dream.
“I think Charlie kicked in his sleep,” I offered.
Matt peered over the end of the couch, down at Charlie. “Hmm.”
We went back to watching TV.
About five or 10 minutes later, we heard some muffled dog noises.
“Is Lexie stuck behind the couch???” we both cried out at the same time.
Matt jumped up, and we both took an end of the couch, frantically pulling it from the wall. Lex stood there, somewhat bewildered and blinking in the sudden shift of light.
We guessed she had only been back there about 10 minutes, but that was enough to scare us and, no doubt, our confused pup.
When Lex initially was diagnosed with dementia, the vet told us there’s a medication that might be helpful. I put it off at the time because it all seemed so quick; I hardly believed the diagnosis to be correct.
But now I think I’m changing my mind.
This morning, I found Lex sleeping on her throne, with her paws tightly pressed against her eyes … as if playing a game of hide and seek.
My sweetheart is slowing down. I reached down to rub her ears then softly ran my fingers down her back.
She needs her sleep.