Enrichment is a win/win situation. Studies say that we **may** be able to slow the onset and progress of canine cognitive dysfunction by enriching our dogs’ lives. But even if we don’t, we certainly are helping them in the moment.
I have gotten to know Jennifer Fearing and her lovely dog Yoda through my book and this page. She read my book and prompted the Sacramento Bee to mention it in a feature article about aging pets. I’ve linked the article below.
What I want to highlight from the article is the movie Sue Morrow of the Sacramento Bee created of Jennifer and Yoda. It is a beautiful example of caring for a dog with cognitive dysfunction and keeping him active and engaged. It shows the power of enrichment.
Jennifer has loved and cared for Yoda since he was an abandoned pup, four weeks old. Even with the slight standoffishness that has accompanied his dementia, you can see how strong the bond is between them. The movie gives me goosebumps. Jennifer speaks so frankly of their relationship, the ways she helps him. Jennifer is working with board certified veterinary behaviorists at U.C. Davis to give Yoda the best life possible for his remaining time, and speaks about the importance of recordkeeping to track his condition and quality of life.
Jennifer told me that Yoda has had no small part in shaping the person she has become., and that she feels it is her privilege to care for Yoda. We should all be so lucky as he.
- Our pets are living longer–and developing aging issues common to humans–by Sacramento Bee reporter Cynthia Hubert
- Teaching an Old Dog How to Play with a Food Toy