Ray Update.

We are still working on Ray’s issues but, as is usually the case in life (at least based on my experiences), there is rarely a “black and white” answer to anything.

Ray’s unrest during the night could be the onset of “doggy dementia” where he is imagining things that really aren’t there. Perhaps he whimpers at night because he does not like being left on his own. Perhaps he is simply hungry, or perhaps his food is giving him a problem.  Perhaps he has a medical condition?  Perhaps he has more than one of  the above.

The easiest one for us to address was his food so, after consulting with his vet and a dog trainer friend, we have switched his food to one apparently more suitable for a senior dog. Also, instead of giving him two meals a day, we now give him four (reduced quantity of course!). If digestion was the problem, then we should have resolved it. If hunger was the problem, then his fourth meal of the day should now resolve that.

The result? An improvement in a number of areas. He has not been sick for a while now. He is more alert on his walks, and has his silly moments which we hadn’t seen for a while, so we are concluding that things have improved for him. However, we are not “there” yet as he is still active (seemingly at a reduced level) throughout the night.

This seems to be associated with nocturnal “house sounds”, but he has lived here for almost 9 years so perhaps that is the “doggy dementia” possibility. It could also be that he does not like us two going to  sleep and leaving him alone because he is very attached to us. It could also be that he is taking his guarding tendencies too seriously as he gets older. We are currently trying him out with some music throughout the night. So far we have tried music by Libera, Enya, Leonard Cohen, Stan Rogers and an Environmental recording. We’re still working on it!

Stay tuned!

39 thoughts on “Ray Update.

  1. Don’t you wish dogs could speak our language so they could tell us exactly what is wrong? But it sounds as if you are on the right track with changing his feeding schedule. And sadly, doggie dementia is very real….our daughter’s dog is beginning to suffer from it, in addition to loss of eyesight. The result is a real problem, as she insists on moving ahead at high speeds, usually straight into a wall. (Most blind or partially blind dogs learn to move cautiously and memorize where the hazards are. Not Harley.) But all we can do is our best, and you are doing very well with Ray!

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  2. So glad you have observed some success Colin. As is often the case, there could be more then one thing going on, and the exploratory efforts normally exhibit more disappointments then improvements. But you’re a good Dad. I think your dedication to the issues at hand will, to the degree possible, result in Ray’s comfort. Hang in there.

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  3. Hi Colin I think you are doing all you can for Ray. We have Ruby on four meals of special senior diet food ba day and it suits her much better . Have you tried a talk station we have one on most of day and Ruby seems to like the sound of voices . So keep safe well and happy, wishing you and all the family and Ray of course a very happy New Year 💜🎆🎆

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  4. He looks so sweet with the blanket over him.
    Glad to know that the change in food has helped him, now hopefully more answers will come, before too long. I don’t think you will run out of music selections to try. 🙂

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  5. Glad to know Ray is doing better! As you know we give two of our girls CBD oil mostly for their hip displaysia. But it is also effective and natural for so many other health and emotional issues with no side effects. Have you considered trying a dose of CBD oil at night. You can also get the edibles but with the oil you can control the doses and titrate up or down as needed for maximum effectiveness. If Ray is getting an onset of dementia I bet the CBD could be an effective treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve been contemplating a number of options Michael, but CBD appears to be a controversial topic here due to some degree to a lack of long term side effects testing, and the absence of a legislated quality control directive. Presumably it s a little different where you are.

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      • In the US it is widely sold over the counter. A close friend of mine is a 25 year pet shop owner with deep knowledge of CBD and helped me to get educated on it when we first began a few years ago with Kali. It helped her get off meds that would affect her organs onto a natural remedy with as good if not better results.
        I have not read or heard of any issues with side effects but to that point perhaps a lot of testing has not been done in that regard?… I use Pet Relief product and buy it directly from my friends shop. But this is the link to the company website and product I use: https://petreleaf.com/product/hemp-oil-500. If you are interested please feel free to reach out directly to me with any questions. I think you have my email address. If not let me know…

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  6. Glad to hear the change of food and meal times have helped. It could be the beginnings of dementia, or just a sign of old age, changes in hearing, vision, even sense of smell etc. I would think if it was some form of anxiety he would want to be with you or Carol all the time. Maggie always slept with me, putting herself to (my) bed around 9pm regardless. As for music, she was brought up on modern classical, and one particular CD would see her fast asleep by track 3. Hugs and treats by proxy.

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  7. My old cat Jake got restless and then he started wailing and would only calm down if I got up to soothe him. We all concluded it was a form of dementia when he started getting fearful and imagining things. It’s so sad to see our companions age. I think of Ray as that youngster you adopted many years ago.

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    • Yes the old saying (?) “Time flies when you’re having fun” is so true. I cannot believe that Ray has been here approaching 9 years. Our lives changed quite dramatically in March 2013! Our bicycles have hardly been out, and my running that I used to do went dormant … but I wouldn’t change anything!

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  8. As the years pass, his personality will change some. Just an adjustment for you both. We have one that began to pout and look sad and listless. She got grump with the other animals in the house which wasn’t like her at all. We finally gave in and put a giant dog pillow/bed in our room. She has perked up and seems to be her old self again. Just felt left out I guess, after being so close pre-Covid era.

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    • Hi Ron. That is what I would have expected from Ray but, as much as he loves my bed during the day, he will only come into my room at night to nudge me with his nose. He could be “telling” me any number of things, and what it might have been (because he has stopped doing that) was “Wake up Colin. I am hungry.” I usually give him his breakfast. So although now I sometimes hear him at night, I only see him if I get up and go to look for him!

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