Argument for Treating Our Parents Like Dogs (and Puppies)

My mother requested, “When I am old and can’t take care of myself, you must treat me like a dog.”

I asked her what she meant.

Here’s what she meant. If we do for our parents what we do for our dogs, we would be the best children ever. Here’s a list of what a dog expects us to do without even having to ask us: feed her, play with her, show love for her, wash her, comb her hair, brush her teeth, regularly take her to where she can play with those like her, take care of her bowel system, clean her up after each bowel movement.

And in doing each of those we take the greatest, most tender care. Whenever our dog looks at us letting us know she must relieve herself, we put aside what we were doing, even urgent works, and take her outside and, amazingly, wait endlessly while she searches for exactly the right place to take care of her business and, afterward, we compliment her for doing so and proceed to picking up her creation with our hands. And we do this every day, often — more often than we would like — multiple times a day. What if that was our parent, old, weak, and possibly unable to think or move the way they used to?

I told her I will.

It also reminded me of something odd. Petco and so many other businesses and services for pets can easily be found just about anywhere in America. You bring your pet to a grooming service and as she gets groomed snacks are brought and on the way out toys she can play with are arrayed simply so she can try them and pick one she likes best. From what I know there is no service that lets people bring elderly to do this. Just for elderly. Right service, right food, etc.

With baby boomers now old, this is probably a big business opportunity. If government isn’t going to do it, I’d recommend those who are passionate about helping the elderly to give this space a try.