Kids, Dogs, and Dementia

What’s the difference between 4 boys under 5 and a 62 year old man with dementia?

When you say something, the boys understand!  Kids these days are incredible.  I mean, do you know who Megatron and Deceptitron are?  They do.

These boys have been so good.  This morning they were so anxious to go outside, but I told them I’d have to get “Papa” dressed first.  So we all went up stairs and put our shorts on so we could go out to the beach.  Both boys dressed themselves, but we all helped get Jerry dressed.  We all brushed our teeth together and Granville (our 5 year old) poured Smart Rinse kids Listerene into a little cup for Papa.  Too cute.  Fletcher told him, “don’t swallow it because you’ll get berry, berry sick.”  We got Jerry's shorts on him and Granville helped thread his belt through the loops.  There!  We were ready to go!

Off we went; 1 boy on a scooter, a mommie, a yellow lab, and 2 little boys on a golf cart, Jerry on his yellow bike, me on my cool orange bike with flowers, holding Montana, and another daughter with an infant in a jogging stroller.  Yes, Jerry can still ride a bike; he just can’t button his shorts.  Go figure!  Seems all those muscle memories haven’t left yet.  Just don’t ask him to think!

As we all headed out to the beach I grumbled that Gracie Jo, (the lab) did not have her leash.  NOT GOOD! We are way laid back and love our puppy dogs, but not every one feels the way we do.  Gracie is a dream girl dog and doesn’t bother a soul.  Really! Course, as we parked ourselves on the sand, Gracie decided to visit every family; all of whom had their dogs on leashes.  Yikes!  Not that they ever said anything, but Jerry and I both had the “anxious jitters” that we would begin to receive nasty scowls.  Then, I had an “aha!” moment.   There’s more than one way to skin a “dog”, so I threaded Montana’s leash through Gracie’s collar and hooked both dogs together. I walked Jerry and the dogs over to the water, where little McCauley was digging in the sand.  They were all having the best time.  However, Jerry, not wanting his best friend, Montana, to be inconvenienced in any way, was not too happy about it.  The dogs were totally cool.

Considering it is completely futile to argue or “win” with a dementia person, I realized Jerry was not going to rest easy about these dogs being leashed together.   It was pointless, so I asked if he wanted to take them back to the house.  (He still knows how to get back to the house.) I guided him towards the walkway and pointed him away from the beach.  DUH, me! I must have been dreaming!  There was no way he could control the dogs (no matter how gentle they were).  So, they controlled him.....right onto someone’s blanket where they proceeded to eat their apples and drink their Capri suns.

I feverishly apologized to the little mommie with her 3 children and offered to bring them something special, but they graciously said it was ok.  Then, I had another “aha!”  moment and took the dogs AND Jerry home.  All is good now.  Jerry is sleeping, the babies are sleeping, the dogs are sleeping, and the parents and the older boys are now back at the beach.    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!