- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Hello. My name is Rusty and I'm eight years old. I'm a mixed-breed dog, part cocker spaniel and part retriever. I've lived with Mr. Earlie, a ninety-seven-year-old World War II veteran, for four years. We're best friends, and I enjoy spending time with him every day, but sometimes he forgets my name.
Mr. Earlie has an illness called dementia. This means that he can't remember everything. He's very forgetful, and he's very sleepy a lot of the time. Sometimes he doesn't remember things like where he lives or people's names, even though he's known them for a long time.
"What time is it?" Mr. Earlie says. "It's time to go to bed, but you're giving me breakfast."
Sometimes Mr. Earlie gets confused and thinks it's evening when it's daytime. He has a caregiver that stays with him all the time. She is very patient with him. She understands that Mr. Earlie gets confused about a lot of things, including where he is, how old he is, whether it's cold or hot outside, and whether it's the year 2010 or 1962. She helps feed him, wash him, and dress him, and she cleans his clothes. She helps me too by giving me my dinner and letting me go outside in the backyard. I like being with them every day.
Mr. Earlie explains, "I can change my clothes myself. I'm not a baby."
When Mr. Earlie is ready to get out of bed, the caregiver helps him get dressed. She also gives him his medicine for the day. Most of the time, Mr. Earlie is very cooperative, but sometimes he gets upset and tells the caregiver that he can get dressed by himself without any help.
"Look at those animals on the TV!" Mr. Earlie shouts.
After Mr. Earlie is up and ready for the day, he eats his breakfast and then goes to enjoy his favorite recliner chair in the living room. During this time, he loves to have visitors and watch television, especially action movies and shows about animals. I love to greet the visitors that come to see Mr. Earlie, and I love to watch him as he smiles at the television screen.
Mr. Earlie often says, "It's time for me to go. I need to go home. This isn't my home."
Sometimes the dementia makes him wander through the house, and he gets very confused. He doesn't understand where he is and wants to leave. When this happens, we need to be patient and understanding with Mr. Earlie until he calms down.
During the day, we love to look out the front door at all of the birds and bugs that fly by. While I'm looking out, I sometimes hear, "Stryker! Stryker! Come here!" Mr. Earlie calls me his old dog's name a lot. He can't remember that I'm a new dog and his other dog is no longer with us. I don't mind this because I know he loves me, and when someone gently reminds him what my name is, he says, "Oh, I'm sorry. Come here, Rusty boy."
Mr. Earlie loves for me to sit next to him at the dinner table while he enjoys his meal, especially dessert. Sometimes he remembers my name and says, "Rusty, are you ready to eat?" He often doesn't remember that he just fed me, so I usually get a treat from his plate and a pat on the head.
When a person has dementia, he doesn't remember a lot of the things that have happened. Mr. Earlie's wife died a long time ago, but sometimes he forgets that she isn't with us anymore and asks for her while he's eating his dinner. "Catherine! Catherine! Where is she?" His caregiver gently reminds him that she's not here, and then he's fine.
Excerpted from RUSTY and Mr. Earlie by PERSHAIL CATHERINE YOUNG Copyright © 2010 by Pershail Catherine Young. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.