I never hear it mentioned, but I’m wondering if dogs suffer from dementia as well as humans. The dogs and I took a jaunt in some Hungarian country yesterday and Jake’s actions brought to mind that question.

This year Jake slowed some, but you could always tell when he was on birds. His point was still solid except for when he had to hold point for a while and his hip’s would fail him. He’d still hold point but from the sitting position.

He’d also sneak up on an honor as I approached. I knew that was because he wanted to make sure he got some of the action. But he never moved to the fore front of Grady. Until this year he’d hold an honor forever, as would Grady. I accepted Jake’s action because of his age.

Plus it never resulted in a bad outcome. But yesterday things changed. Suddenly Jake started acting like he forgot his purpose out in the field. His focus on our hike was more on finding a bone to chew on then finding birds. He wasn’t as concerned about where I was and at times looked lost. Maybe, it was all in my mind, but when he would fall back I’d go back and find him just looking for a morsel to chew on. It could have been that he would have eventually caught up, but I wasn’t taking the chance.

A little less than a month ago, Jake was diagnosed with Diabetes. He’s on a regiment of two shots a day and I knew things might slow down for him. But not as soon as it seemed to be happening yesterday. In a post back on the 29th of December, “Hard to quit”, Jake was doing great looking for birds and honoring Grady just fine for a ten year old dog. He knew what he was out there for. Compare that post with this video of yesterday.

This is a shortened version of how he was acting. Almost no excitement of what he was smelling or what Grady was doing. After ten years behind this great dog it was hard to watch.

Jake has been such a loyal friend to me and this won’t affect the amount of time I spend with him. He deserves me taking care of him for the rest of his life just like he has done for me. Our walks might be a little different. Hikes in areas where the focus is on birds will not be a priority, but in an area where the dogs can just do what they want to do. When birds are a priority it will probably be just Grady and me, which will be harder on me than the dogs.

This is a new one for me. It was hard to watch Jake not be focused on what we have done thousands of times in the past. I don’t know who I feel worse for. But I know I owe him. What ever it takes to give him a full life, he’ll get. He always loved picking up rocks from the pond and bringing them to Barb or I. We’d pick the rock up and throw it back into the pond for him to drag back to where he could mouth it and pick it up again. If he remembers doing that, Barb and I will be there to help him enjoy that again.

Jake has been a main feature of this blog for 10 years now. I can’t say how many people I’d run into while hunting that knew who Jake was but had no idea what my name was. I guess you could say he’s been a star in the chukar arena.

Most of you that read these posts are chukar hunters and dog lovers. The reason for this post is to hope that you will pay attention to your dogs health and notice those slight changes that might mean he/she needs attention. Maybe dogs can get dementia and will need our help. If you love your dog as much as I have loved mine you’ll help them get what they need. They would give their life for you and you have been the center of their life. I know Jake will get everything I can possibly provide.

Enjoy the Spring coming up with your family and pups.

Published by jakeandgrady

Hunting has been a favorite past time for me for 55 years but the last twenty five years I have been consumed by chukar hunting and more specifically chukar hunting with fantastic dogs. In this blog I hope to pass on any information I can about chukar hunting but more than anything I want to showcase what will probably be my last two chukar dogs, Jake and Grady. I am 70 years old, Jake is 8 and Grady is 3 and I'm hoping to stay on the chukar mountain until I am 80 when Grady will be fetching my final chukars.

8 thoughts on “Dementia

  1. I can only imagine how much the diabetes and impacts of the shots or his new diet could be impacting him. I have a 10 year old on my crew and his changes are also dramatic, but mostly physical. They are why we hunt so they deserve all we can give. Appreciate your post and agree all around with you.


  2. Dogs absolutely can get dementia. My brother and his kids had one. However. It is more likely that he had low blood sugar on the hunt.


  3. Dogs can get dementia, as noted above. A friend of my wife’s had a Springer Spaniel that, once he got old, definitely acquired it. At that point, he couldn’t quite recall people he’d long known, and encountering them would frighten him at first until he gauged his owner’s reaction to them.


  4. Illness, I’d note, does impact them too. We once had a volunteer cat that disappeared and came back very ill. He knew to come back but was extremely confused until we nursed him back to health.


  5. I am a diabetic on an insulin pump and when I get low blood glucose times, I’m both weak and fuzzy headed. My guess that was Jake’s problem. Check with your vet on what food to give the dog immediately when he shows these symptoms again. I carry glucose tablets which are over the counter in any drug store and try to snack on food throughout the day when chukar hunting.. If you had given him a morning shot without enough food in his system then he could have gone into a low.


  6. Cliff, I just left the vet’s. Since Jakes dementia episode we had a good outing and than another so so outing yesterday. She said he cold have a half of sandwich with peanut butter only on a hiking trip but only with whole wheat bread. We’ll do whatever we have to to keep him comfortable on the hill.


  7. He has been a fantastic dog and friend. It’s going to be hard for me to sneak out of the house without him at times next year. We’ll still go out a lot but 60 to 80 times might be too much for him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: