a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Monday, June 30, 2014

accommodations


One of the special things that Koda and my husband shared were their popcorn eating times.  Hubby would make a bag of microwave popcorn, put it in a bowl and go over to where he sat and Koda would follow rapidly behind him, sitting, waiting for the nibble thrown to him.  I wrote about his determination in catching the popcorn before.  At his best, he was 99.99% accurate in catching the popcorn thrown to him. He had excellent eye-mouth coordination.

Then he started losing his vision and hubby tried to accommodate for it and at times he was 95%.  Hubby always felt bad the times he missed it and Koda would scramble around looking for the popcorn (he always found it, corgis are food driven, they will do whatever they can to get that food).

Then he went blind and he was missing 100% of the popcorn thrown to him. It was sad to see that and for him to search around until he found it. 

But the ever resourceful man that my husband is, he found a way to let Koda have success in finding the popcorn and still enjoy that treat with him.

He would put popcorn in a plastic container as illustrated above (not the best picture, but Koda kept moving with eating as I was trying to snap pictures).  Hubby would drop the popcorn in there, making a sound that Koda got used to listening to and he would then eat the popcorn.  He caught on pretty darn quick to it and they still could share a favorite treat together.

Hubby accommodated.

We're doing a lot of accommodating these days. I think finally this week Koda completely lost his vision.  He bumps into walls.  He kind of knows where he is, sometimes get a bit confused and totally disoriented. Tentative at times, confident at other times.

He's not the pup that used to wait at the front door when he heard hubby come home and then run to the back door barking with excitement that his buddy was home.

He barks at the other dogs he hears in the neighborhood and the cats, but he doesn't go to the back door to try to find them.

He would bark at motorcycles or buses or trucks when we took him for car rides, now he rarely does unless he can hear their engines.

We continue to accommodate. Walk him still because he does enjoy it though he sometimes gets confused and will just stop and not want to move on until coaxed. We keep where we walk him to one central place he's familiar with and he's doing better with the walking.  We keep a pretty close eye on him as we can.

We always crated him when we would go places (never longer than 5-6 hours) and now am grateful that he got used to being crated since right now it is safer for him to be contained than roaming free in the house.

It got me thinking.  I do miss that little spunky dog we had.  But he is aging, he had this disability happen to him. Just like can happen to anyone in their life. An auto accident that leaves someone paralyzed, a cancer diagnosis, dementia that robs a family member of their memory, etc.

And we accommodate. 

Carol accommodated her husband's Alzheimer's diagnosis and had to make some hard decisions about hospice and end of life issues and said goodbye to her husband at a memorial service this past Saturday.

Paula is accommodating her husband's failing health, also on hospice, trying to respect his wishes and keep him comfortable.

Its part of the cycle of life.  As much as we don't like to do it, we accommodate the best we can.

One day we will have to make that hard decision about Koda.

One day I might have to make that decision about hubby, or hubby for me.

One day we might have to accommodate and put aside what we knew before and accept our new "normal" whether we might like it or not.

But we'll do the best we can with what we have to work with.

And that's where we are at with Koda.

As hard as it is.

We will accommodate........

40 comments:

TARYTERRE said...

I can identify with this. I know how important Koda is to you. Our pets are family members and we do what we have to make them comfortable. I had a paralyzed cat that we did accommodate until she passed on.

lyndagrace said...

Our pup is 13 years old. He is slowing down. Instead of tugging on the leash when we walk him, we have to coax him along. Every once in a while, he will perk up for another dog or a truck whizzing by, but his energy does not hold up for very long. We accommodate now by taking a stroll with him instead of the brisk walks we used to do.
It’s interesting that I also have thought about how Rico’s aging has reminded me of what the future may have in store for my husband and me.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love how you and your husband accommodate Koda. My mom and dad just lost their dog of 17 years, and they really accommodated him the last 6-7 years of his life. Our pets touch us so :)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You are so right, we do accommodate those we love. We want them to be as comfortable as possible. Nothing ever stays the same and changes can happen at any time. The important thing is that when those changes happen we do make the best of what we have. Just like you are doing with Koda. Glad he has his comfy safe place.

Linda said...

Wise post. I'm not happy about what's happening with Koda, but am about your accommodation and attitude of acceptance. I like the Helen Keller quote, "What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love becomes a part of us." Enjoy the new popcorn game and new normal walks while working with the circumstances of life.

Bijoux said...

Accommodation is a much used word in the world of disabilities. Accommodations are put in place to make someone's life easier. I'm glad you have found ways to accommodate Koda.

joeh said...

When it is time to quit, Koda will let you know, for now I suspect he is still very happy.

Enjoy him!

Well I didn't have to tell you that did I.

Cindi said...

Sounds to me Koda & hubby found one lucky lady ...(((hugs)))

Pat Hatt said...

Very true, we have to accommodate what happens to them and ourselves, there are many ways to do things, we just have to accept change and be willing to look for other alternatives, even if the change is crummy.

Jeanie said...

Koda has not given up and neither have you. I have no doubt that you will do all that you can to make his life as good as possible for as long as possible just like we do for anyone we love.

Intense Guy said...

Part of the beauty in life comes from knowing you have someone that you can "accommodate" and trust to do the same for you. That is a level of profound love.

Koda knows this.

Dana said...

I know what you're going through. My dog lost her vision as well, and it was so hard to watch her life change. We did everything we could for her. How could we not? She was part of the family. I miss her.

susie said...

We had a dog who tumbled in the surf at Lugana Beach and messed up her back. Her leg didn't work correctly. I didn't know animals could get depressed, but this one did. (Thirty years ago.) I took her outside, put a scarf around her leg and attempted physical therapy. It didn't work, but being outside perked her up and eventually we stopped feeling sorry for her, and her pesonality came back. She just walked funny. I'm famous for short comments....hope this fits.

Megan Lee said...

It is heart-breaking to see dogs aging. I think it's worse for us than them. They simply accept their life as it is; we feel pain and guilt and anxiety over their failing conditions. But I have done, and will do, exactly what you guys are doing for Koda. When our dachshund mix, Tessa, got Lymphoma last year, we did everything we could to accommodate her. My Italian Grey is young, but my retired racer greyhound is 7 now, middle aged. We will do everything we can for these dogs to accommodate their aging process and make them comfortable and happy for as long as possible.

The Brown Recluse said...

((((Betty))))) I'm so sorry...I do know it's hard on you.

As you accommodate, he will adapt. As long as everything stays in the same place, I understand blind dogs can do pretty well.

You're a good Doggy Mama.

Birgit said...

These are the hard times in a person's life. Koda gets alot of love and that keeps him going too. When we love, we love the good and the bad because love encompasses all. My doggie was 13 when we had no choice but to put her down (hate that term). I miss her every day and laugh at some funny times. My mom has dementia and she lived with me until she went to long term care. That was the most difficult time as one feels one is betraying them but one must make these decisions for the good of the person or animal and for the good of oneself. This is tough for you but your friends and blogger buddies are here

Joanne Noragon said...

Good for you. When my standard collie was totally blind from cataracts he walked the furniture and the walls. I didn't move any furniture the entire time he was blind.

Liz A. said...

Ah, the circle of life...

Juli said...

My mom carried our dog Kelley up and down the stairs every day for three years when she didn't have the leg coordination for it. She was 18 when we let her go. (Springers only live to 12 or 13) Koda will let you know when it's time...

(((HUGS)))

Bobbi and Gracie said...

Sometimes we complain because Gracie will see her least favorite german shepherd walking down the road and she will go wild with her barking. I try to remind myself how wonderful it is that a dog passing by her window still gets a rise out of her. She still can see, and for that I am grateful. It must be so painful watching Koda go blind. But what wonderful parents he has to accommodate him in every way. Give him a hug for Gracie and me. And one for you too (((HUG)))!

Paula Kaye said...

That is what I am doing right now...accommodating!

Lisa notes... said...

"As hard as it is. We will accommodate."

That's love. We had to accommodate for my mom when dementia stole her personality from us, but it was okay because we loved her. I thank God that he helps us both when we have to accommodate others and when we need accommodating ourselves. Sorry about Koda. :(

yaya said...

It's so hard to watch our dear pets get older and go through all these things. They love so unconditionally and give so much that we just want to give them the best...atleast I hope owners do! You and your hubby sound like the best and I know Koda has had a good life and I hope what remaining years he has are happy ones. Popcorn must be the universal dog treat! Our Eddy loves it!

Stephanie Faris said...

Aww, I'm so sorry. I'd do just about anything for my little Shelby. She's 6...so I know that day is coming in a while. I think it's important to just be there for them and try to make each day as pleasant as possible. They're like our children, so it's heartbreaking.

Mevely317 said...

G'evening Betty. In the short time I've 'known' you, (I think) this is the best post ever!
You and your hubby's love for Koda is so precious; yet, you allow him his dignity.
I'm so reluctant to change. This was a lesson I needed to read. Thank you!

Sharon said...

Though this kinda makes me sad, there's still something sweet about the love between an older dog and his people. I am touched by this.

Koda, it's OK. You are still a wonderful old(er) man!

GOD BLESS!

Veronica Lee said...

It's so hard to watch the people and pets you love on the decline before your very eyes. I too, am touched by this beautiful post you shared, Betty.
Hugs to Koda and you, sweet lady!

jack69 said...

Oh sweetheart, what a touching entry and so appropriate for us now. I love to feel your love for Koda, and appreciate your insight from the Christian's standpoint. REFRESHING.

Thanks... U B SWEET!

Mary said...

Awww. It's good that you're keeping him going to the same familiar spots & that he's able to enjoy the popcorn. He's lucky to have you 2!

Jerralea said...

I'm so glad your hubby found a way to accommodate the ritual of feeding Koda popcorn. My sister's dog, Molly, also loves popcorn and loves to catch it when it is tossed to her. I never knew dogs liked popcorn until I met Molly ...

Anyway, I do understand about learning a new "normal." I had to learn that when my husband became disabled.

Life is change, I always say, and we must be flexible! Best wishes to you and your family, Betty, as you learn to accommodate.

rmslil said...

Praying for you guys.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

My heart is aching for you and with you. I will be praying for his health. Please know that I care.
((HUGS)) Debby

salemslot9 said...

How are you?

I'm doing the best I can.

Me, too.

Well, that's about all there is to it then.

Driving Miss Daisy
1989

Grammy Staffy said...

It is hard when those we love start changing and we have to accommodate... whether it is a 2 or 4 legged family member. We ourselves start changing with the years as well and we have to accommodate. It is hard for me not to be able to do the things I used to do but I am thankful for what I can do.... I accommodate.
Good luck with Koda. Hugs, Lura

Carol Noren Johnson said...

I am that Carol you wrote about above. How am I accommodating? Before my husband died, we got rid of the king-size bed and moved a hospital bed and a twin bed in our large bedroom. Now that the hubby and the hospital bed are gone, my twin bed opens up possibilities and space. I am thinking about having a sewing center in the master bedroom to accommodate my hobby and have more room in the den. After a garage sale, the workshop can accommodate exercise equipment. I guess life is change and rolling with the punches opens up new possibilities.

Hello to Koda from Ziggy who is now barking at all the fireworks in the neighborhood.

Kat said...

And this is how we show our love. It is easy to love when times are good and jolly and easy but we really show how much we love when times are hard and sad and troubled.
Poor Koda. And yet so lucky to have such a loving family.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Love requires accommodations all the time - sometimes small ones we hardly notice, sometimes bigger ones. So tough when it involves the failing health of a loved one (human or animal).

Grammy Staffy said...

Thanks for dropping by again. I always enjoy hearing from you. Tell your son that I want some of his smoked ribs... yummy

Hollie said...

I can certainly understand about Koda. It breaks my heart to hear about that sweet baby!! I know it is so devastating to you guys as well as Koda! Is there any treats that are acceptable to give a dog with diabetes? Mattie is struggling by not getting her treats!

Your right you have to do whatever you have to to accommodate those you love whether is humans or furr babies!! (((HUGS)))

netablogs said...

What a great post! I'm glad you have found ways to accommodate Koda, and that is so wonderful. The new normal for all of you.