Do you qualify to be a member of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood of Old Dog Suckers?
Semi-retired psychiatrist and Old Dog Haven staff member Shirley Stallings offers a diagnostic assessment of a disorder found in people uniquely drawn to elderly dogs. Check out her criteria to see if you have this disorder:
“A. A disorder that may be found in persons uniquely drawn to elderly dogs. The diagnosis must include at least four of the following seven criteria and must be present for at least 24 hours.
- The dirtier and/or sicker the old dog, the more the individual with this disorder is compelled to take the dog home.
- The individual finds pleasure in (or at least tolerance for) spending many hours sitting in veterinary waiting rooms and actually seeks out reasons to do so.
- The individual spends extensive amounts of time sorting and dispensing veterinary medications.
- The individual is greeted by their first name when walking into the nearest emergency vet clinic.
- The individual has difficulty relating to puppies and fails to see their appeal.
- The individual has a unique acquaintance with a location called “The Rainbow Bridge” and while not seeking it out, does not fear it. Tears are acceptable.
- The individual has the delusional belief that there is always room and time for one more old dog.
B. Symptoms may interfere with normal social activities such as entertainment outside of the home, vacations, etc.
C. The symptoms cannot be explained by another disorder such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Insomnia Disorder, or Impulse Control Disorder although these conditions may be co-occurring. Old Dog Suckerness is never associated with the diagnosis of Hoarding although it may sometimes be confused with this disorder.
D. Fortunately there has been no research into the cause and treatment of this disorder and none is anticipated.
E. Individuals meeting all seven of the diagnostic criteria qualify for inclusion in the Brotherhood/Sisterhood of Old Dog Suckers.”