This has been a concern all along, potentially a deal-breaker, or so I thought. Initially, I asked at a lot of Care Homes about pets, but learned that most consider pets on a case-by-case basis, and I knew that with Mum's infirmity and memory problems this would mean the nursing staff would essentially be taking on the task of looking after the dog as well as Mum. It wasn't going to happen.
So, about a fortnight ago, I asked some relatives who had previously expressed an interest, but it turned out they no longer felt able to take the dog. Then I checked with the friends who had taken the dog from Mum at the beginning of the year (and almost not given her back). No joy.
Mum's dog is a Bichon Frise: one of those little cotton wool balls of friendliness that delight old ladies and embarrass the hell out of men like me who are trying to cling onto a last vestige of masculinity. Anyway, the dog needed grooming and I took the opportunity of our trip home to secure a visit to Mum's preferred outfit. When we'd dropped the dog off, Mum said something rather curious: "I'm glad Sachi is staying with them now. She's always so happy to go with them. I think they'll take good care of her."
When I went to collect the dog, the Groomer was asking about my Mum's confusion and I mentioned this comment. She instantly said that she would love to take the dog, that she had always asked Mum for first refusal should such a situation come about. I told her that I was sure Mum would be delighted, but that I would let her consider her offer over Christmas and discuss it with her husband.
Mum was happy at the news. I feel so relieved that another problem has been addressed.