I’d blame the Parkinson’s, but it’s more likely that my usual bubbleheadedness has me forgetting things I should remember. Then again, it could be age.
My memory mishaps seem to be on the increase. There are so many now that I can categorize them. There are brain freezes, like “Why did I just walk into the kitchen?” And then there is wishful thinking, as in “I can remember the three things I need from the grocery store without writing them down.” Let’s not forget the fill-in-the-blank moments when a simple word is nowhere to be found. Those are conversation stoppers.
When our phones takes a little extra time to retrieve a file, we wait for it. If only we had a similar screen icon on our foreheads of that spinning circle with Processing…this may take several minutes. Why do we expect our aging brain’s full memory cards to function faster than the latest mobile with gazillion bytes of storage?
My service dog never needs to fret about why he stepped into the kitchen. It’s either because I called him or because I just took the roast out of the oven. However, although he’s young–and despite his giant head–his RAM is limited. He gets forgetful, too. If I can’t remember a short list without saying it to myself a few times how can I expect the dog to recall without repetition?
We revisit the commands that are invaluable to me but that may not be used on a regular basis. We refresh the standard ones, too. It’s a bit like parents reminding their kids about please, thank you and did you wash your hands, except the dog never rolls his eyes.
I can stand by while my mobile phone screen goes immobile. I’m happy to hold on for a few extra moments while a friend recalls the punch line. But I need my service dog’s mental files open and at the ready because imbalance and falls don’t wait for the spinning disk to finish processing. So we practice, rinse and repeat.
Service dogs may not help with memory but there are so many ways they provide assistance. Here’s an article I wrote about this very topic. Service Dogs and Parkinson’s. I don’t remember if I’ve shared it before now.