Little Jess

Everyone in the family has been commenting on Jessie lately, there are changes that we are all seeing.  Today was a busy one, lots of in and out, hustle/bustle.  Some of our power was out for the day so we had our neighbor in having a look, then the electrician who luckily fixed our problem and Jessie slept away.  When she is up she is looking, looking for me always.  Or standing face in the corner or towards the wall, this is the really change behavior.

I was making dinner and went to check on Jess, she'd been sleeping on a pile of two dog beds by the fire.  When I went in the living room she was no longer there, immediately I worry "where is she?"  I headed to go upstairs and there she was at the landing, looking up and down the stairs.  I called to her loudly, her ears went up and she bolted down the stairs.  I'd been standing only 10 feet away at the time but the slight sound that she could hear gave her no directional information.  This is a tough transition for our little one, she is seeming lost more often and needing to check in.

When she goes down for a nap, she's gone to the world.  The type of deep sleep when nothing can shake you out of it.  She is startled regularly, even when she sees that you are standing there.  I'm not sure how much she sees but I know that she cannot see an arm coming down to touch her.  Later during dinner preparation I turned to see her standing, looking out the French door in the kitchen.  It looked like she was looking at something, I called to her and she tried to get outside.  I called again sending her into a panic to get out the door.  I then realized that she could see my reflection in the door but standing a foot behind her she could not tell where the sound of my voice was coming from.  I reached down and gently touched her, grasping her firmly I lifted her to my face "Mommy's right here Jess."

I talk to her when I know she cannot hear, and I try to check in as often as I can with her.  This is a scary time for all of us, losing sight or hearing alone can be very difficult but both at the same time is very challenging.  Communications are extremely difficult.  Jessie is displaying some very unusual behavior that I cannot explain and believe her age to be the cause.

Jessie just had her vet check with a full blood panel which came back great.  At 14.5 it is not her body that is failing her in these years, Jessie is losing her senses.  But with a little adjustment in the communication department, hopefully that little tank body will carrying her on for many more years to come.  After all, she is a Jack Russell Terrier.


  1. Mom Beaglebratz here-

    I have a pretty good idea of what you may be feeling with Jess. I had a little YorkiPoo named Oreo - in his late years, he was also losing his sight and hearing and he had also become incontinent. He spent most of his time sleeping, in the kitchen - away from any stimulus such as the t.v. or Shiloh. On the rare occasion that he did join the rest of us in the living room, he would walk into the room (not all the way) stop and sort of look around the room then walk back out to the kitchen to sleep some more. He had suffered some sort of brain infarct about 6 months before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 16years an 4 months. I know how very difficult it can be to just stand by and watch as our beloved furry companions age.

    Just keep on doing what you are doing. Does Jess still play at all - did she ever enjoy playing tug o'war? It mite help her to continue doing whatever you can with her - if you can, get on the floor by her, get a toy and then drag in front of her - make sure she knows the toy is there - does she follow it? Oreo's favorite toy was a little knobby toy - when I thought he was almost totally blind, he would still follow it and even go after it when I would roll it on the floor; he could still smell it and I wondered if he could see better than I thought.

    I hope you will keep us posted on how little Jess is doing. Give her a little extra hug from me and I am sending you a hug as well.

  2. Have you tried wearing a bit of perfume? I read that a familiar scent can help orient when other senses are less reliable.

    Beautiful pictures!

  3. Sherri, these are beautiful pictures of Jessie. My heart goes out to her and you...


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