Sigmund T.’s Passing

It is with great sadness that we pass along that Sigmund T. passed to the Rainbow Bridge last Wednesday.   Siggy, as he was known to his devoted foster family, lived his last five months with Colby and Jim on the beautiful Sonoma Coast at Sea Ranch, just minutes from the beaches and forests.  Siggy lived in warmth, comfort, and love until his final days—including breakfast and dinner in bed, and Colby and Jim acting as his loyal servants-tending to his every need and wish.

When Sigmund T. first came into the Thulani Program, we were puzzled because he had been well cared for, neutered, and microchipped, yet his owners did not come to claim him.  In fact, we titled his announcement post  ‘Sigmund T.: Why Are You With Us?’.

Unfortunately, it was a mystery that his foster family soon solved.  Siggy did have a level of Degenerative Myelopathy (or some similar condition affecting his rear end) but not really much worse than a lot of our senior dogs.  But what his fosterers began to realize is that he was suffering from progressive dementia.  Many people are only vaguely aware that dogs can fall victim to dementia just like people, and we often ignore the symptoms or attribute them to something else.

Colby and Jim want to share what they have learned so that others may be better able to deal with their dogs if they suffer from this horrible disease.

In Colby and Jim’s words:

He is a very sweet boy and does not deserve to suffer so this is for the best.  So many dog owners and cat owners are unaware that their old pets can have dementia so he has been a good chance to talk about it.  I would give him hugs except he does not want to interact and does not want pettings, this is common with dementia – a pulling away from interaction with all. 

The most common signs are;
breaking house training
unable to obey commands – especially more complicated ones
loss of interest in toys
loss of interest in interaction with you, – pettings
going to the wrong side of the door – hinge side
inverting night and day
stressing over nothing – barking etc..
Siggy wants to be with me or Jim all the time, he is very stressed about being alone so one of us is always with him.  It is hard but it is time for his sake.”

Fare thee well, Siggy—we will meet you at the Rainbow Bridge someday.

Below are some collages of Siggy’s life.  Please enjoy them.

And thank you Colby and Jim.

Siggy out and aboutSiggy's BedsDementia dog.

Posted on August 19, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. What a sweet guy. He looked so fluffy and huggable. I bet it was hard to not do that all of the time. But, I know he didn’t understand it because of the Dementia. He deserved you all to be his family for the remainder of his life and you deserved to have him as well because of him you learned something and will be able to teach others. God Bless You Both and The dear Sigmund

    • Thanks.
      I still miss him and caring for him – he was like a week old puppy and I was him mother. I have given him licky-licky (wet towel rubs), held his backside while he pooped, diapered him – would never take pictures of that as he had a GS dignity 🙂 , hand fed him when he had trouble eating, and carried water to him so he could drink in comfort. I put him to sleep when he became so stressed and frightened that nothing – no meds – worked anymore. I cried like a baby when he died but know it was the right time for him.

      thanks again for the nice words, they help,

      Colby Ann

  2. letty and frits

    Thanks for being such an inspiration and sharing so many precious Siggy moments with us and educating us on CCD.

    We may have to make the same decision tomorrow or perhaps a year from now.
    We never know what to expect when we check if our “puppy” is still breathing in the morning, the relief when he does, gets up, wags his tail, and is still able to walk as well as he did yesterday. When we take him to a shepherd event, he might perk up or it might be too much for him and he might crash. The satisfaction at the end of the day that our “puppy” enjoyed his day and had some quality moments makes it all worth while.

  3. Thank you Colby and Jim for all the love and help you gave Siggy. When he was delivered to your house you both had a plan to scoop him into your hearts. No dog could ask for a better home. Your decision is part of the difficult responsibility we have for the animals we love, no matter how long they are with us. We do this because we love them. Thank you so much for again providing gentle, loving care for one of our precious Thulani dogs.

  4. valerie Auerbach

    I so appreciate all that you have shared with Sigmund and with the rest of us. Going to the thulani web site is like balm after a day in the trenches….your loving care and the delight you convey is an honor to read about. Just, thank you for all the showing up you do.

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