Posted : 9/7/2008 8:15:02 AM
The more he is pushed away, the more stressed and clingy he will become.
How much exercise does this old boy have every day? My guess is he needs some/some more mental and physical stimulation. Admittedly dogs need this less as they age, but they still need it. I am shocked no one else has mentioned this so far.
I think he also needs QUALITY time with you. Set aside, say, half an hour to JUST cuddle him and talk to him, every evening. (I should use some of that time to brush him as well, and this will help with the shedding problem.) Meet his needs and much of his confusion and anxiety will dissipate, allowing him to lay quietly by himself on his bed and rest.
You could also use 5 or 10 minutes of this time to go over the commands he knows. Keep this veeeerry gentle and positive - do not scold him for his mistakes. Remember he is getting on a bit, he KNOWS he is disliked (not by you, but your husband) he is feeling anxious, stressed and confused. Give him lots of encouragement if he moves in the right direction. I would advise looking at clicker training - even if you choose not to get a clicker, the underpinning principals will help you ENORMOUSLY. PROVIDED there is no medical condition (eg senility) causing him to not listen or understand you, learning about the basic concepts of how they learn and what is effective will really help you two to communicate and will help alleviate YOUR frustration and helplessness.
At the same time, the old boy DOES have to learn to be apaty from you at times without getting stressed out, because when teh baby arrives you won't be able to lavish as much attention on him and will want him to go to an assigned spot at certain times - like when you are carrying the baby about for example, or changing him. Baby gates are your friend.
First, reassure him taht he is loved, using the above routine or something similar, for at least a week. THEN start introducing a small amount of time where he must stay in his crate, or gated to another room for SHORT periods only. Start with meal times. Gradually extend the time he will happily stay by himself. His having the ability to have a bit of "downtime" is really the cornerstone of coping with dogs and a new baby.
Go to another vet for a second opinion. If there are ANY meds that could help with the senility and/or incontinence, that will HUGELY improve EVERYBODY'S quality of life.
Remember to treat both dogs the same where possible, so that the old boy does not feel so excluded.
If it comes down to it and you as a family cannot cope, don't give him away or put him up for adoption. Have him euthanased. If possible, have a vet come to your home to do it and give your dog the kindest, most loving ending you possibly can. Only YOU can know when it's the right time for that last step... but my recommendation is after you have tried all the sugestions you've been offered here and nothing has worked to make life any better for either of you.