A senior dog in need of a quieter home has moved in with her owner’s parents, where she is enjoying being the center of attention.
Margaret Myers, from Gilroy, California, took on 16-year-old Chihuahua mix Lana when being around the children in the home started proving a little stressful for the dog.
“In 2009, my daughter Danielle and her husband Don rescued Lana from All Creatures Great and Small Animal Rescue,” Myers told Newsweek. “Lana was well loved by my daughter and her husband. She was treated really well—she even slept in their bed.”
In a 2021 survey by senior-dog assisters Dog Quality of nearly 700 owners with canines aged between 11 and 13, 20 percent of responders said that mobility issues were the biggest challenge.
Myers said that, couple of years later, when Danielle and Don started a family, it became more difficult to give Lana the focus she needed.
“Mason, who was born with Down syndrome, came along. Then, two years after that, Matthew was born,” explained Myers. “My daughter juggled a job as well, and Lana started having accidents in the house—she literally ruined the carpet in the townhouse they were renting from her in-laws.”
Lana was always good with the boys when they were toddlers, but, with her hands full, Danielle was doubting if she could give Lana the attention she deserved.
“As the boys were growing, Lana got older. She just wanted to sleep all the time. Lana was also experiencing digestive issues, and she would often pass blood in her stools,” Myers said.
“Mason loved Lana, but when he wanted to kiss her, she would growl, even snap at him. Lana ended up biting Mason hard enough to leave a bruise on his cheekbone, very close to his eye,” added Myers. “My daughter called me and asked that I take Lana to be euthanized. She was too sad to take her in.”
When the veterinarian examined Lana, she found that she was not an aggressive dog, and refused to put her down. “She even had tears in her eyes talking about it,” said Myers. “She suggested putting her up for adoption to an older household, the caveat being I would have to keep her until someone might come along.”
Myers agreed and took Lana home. When they returned, her partner, Rod, was thrilled to see the dog.
“He had been sad to think of her being put down. We talked about keeping her ourselves and decided to keep her, as long as my daughter and family would watch her when we traveled, which they happily agreed to,” explained Myers.
Now living happily with Margaret and Rod, Lana is enjoying her quieter space.
“Lana needed someone to pay attention to her needs, like when she needed to go potty or if she was hungry. Lana literally needed peace and quiet,” said Myers.
“We took her to a vet my daughter was friends with and found that she had pancreatitis, which also likely contributed to her being cranky. Once we got her on a strict diet, she felt and acted a lot more lively.”
Since taking on Lana in her later years, Myers said she believes more people should think about their pets’ changing needs as they age.
“If they age in dog years of 7 to 1, they go through some major changes during a relatively short time,” she said. “We have found Lana provides us with love and laughter.
“My partner Rod and I have been together for six years now—we both were widowed after long marriages, his 52 years and mine 42 years. We both love Lana. She’s had a good life with us.”
The couple also make the all-important adjustments and considerations for Lana’s age.
“We’re both more understanding of her age and problems that come with it, such as going potty on the floor. Now we’re putting pads all over the floor in the kitchen,” said Myers.
“We tolerate and accommodate her blindness due to cataracts, and her deafness. We bought her a special car seat so she can see out but is secured in. We try to take her everywhere we can. She can’t see very well anymore, but still likes a car ride.
“We recently bought a stroller as she just doesn’t have the stamina to go on long walks. She still has that spark of life in her that makes us smile,” added Myers.