As this little video shows, Rolf is taking pleasure in often feeding Jiyu, either in the house in his bowl or outside in the Kong (much to Jiyu’s delight). Rolf needs prompting through the sequence of events, but both enjoy the interaction, and Jiyu fixes his gaze onto Rolf’s eyes just as steadfastly as he does to mine (that puts me in my place!).
Jiyu thrived at several Xmas events and a family reunion, always attracting admiring comments including from people who claim to have either stupid or out-of-control dogs, including labradors. I was impressed when Jiyu was thrown his carrot treat across a large lawn, and returned with it, only to give it up twice on command so that it could be thrown twice more (it was shorter each time, of course, because he chomps it in seconds).
A very special moment: I was trundling along with my walker behind Rolf and Jiyu, on a daily walk, when I was suddenly and unexpectedly swept up by a feeling of euphoria – a strong sense that this is how it should be; Rolf on his journey through Alzheimer’s accompanied by his canine friend, who is always by his side when we are out. In a sense, the two have become one, and to me the journey is shared and softened. Although the journey is clearly in no way easy, I just had the momentary feeling that all is right with the world! Thanks Jiyu!
And another special time: I recently went off to have a routine annual infusion in a hospital. I left home at 10 am, expecting to be back by 4 pm. By good management, Sue Overton, our wonderful helper from Hammond Care, was able to visit Rolf for maybe 2 hours over lunch. Our house was temporarily without internet or landline, and even Rolf’s mobile was playing up, so although I was able to speak to Sue before she left, I couldn’t contact Rolf to let him know how I was progressing time-wise. As it happened, I had to wait a long time before I could be fitted in, and didn’t get home until 5.30 pm. By then, I was anxious that Rolf would be anxious, possibly even pacing the footpath looking out for me. So what a feeling of relief and happiness to be greeted by a perfectly calm, happy husband! Again, I have no doubt this was thanks to Jiyu’s presence!
The views expressed in these blogs are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily the views of HammondCare or the Australian Government.