When Your Dog Goes Blind

Puppy Girl before her eye problems began

My beautiful Puppy Girl!
My beautiful Puppy Girl! | Source

Caught unaware



For the past year, my dog—a female miniature schnauzer I affectionately call Puppy Girl—and I fought a battle against, in her case, an undefeatable enemy: Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca. KCS is a disorder in which the lachrymal glands stop producing tears.

Treatment meant to stimulate tear production wasn’t effective, so her condition is apparently the immune-mediated type that doesn't respond to treatment. With no tears whatsoever, her eyes must be kept continuously lubricated with ophthalmologic ointment to prevent corneal ulcers. The vet recommended a product for humans—one I use myself, in fact—GenTeal P.M., made by ALCON. Thicker than drops or gel, it obscures the vision a bit (like looking through cellophane), but lasts longer.

I open a new tube for her every third day and one for myself every two weeks (I only use it for sleeping). Naturally, I keep my tubes and hers separated so there's no chance of using the wrong one for either of us and causing cross-contamination. Each tiny little tube contains only slightly more than 1/10 of a fluid ounce and costs up to $12 plus tax at a local pharmacy or supermarket. I searched online for the best price and buy it in bulk for $10.49 per tube at drugstore.com. There's no shipping cost with a $35 purchase, and it arrives in only a few days. Since it's impossible to squeeze out the last little bit of ointment from the tube by hand, I recently ordered some small tools made to do just that, called "tube squeezers" or "keys." For readers old enough to remember, they work like the "keys" that used to roll open sardine tins.

I apply the GenTeal to Puppy Girl's eyes frequently—from early morning until midnight or later. It’s a good thing I’m retired and home nearly all of the time to look after her. Otherwise, she would need a sitter. As it is, I plan carefully when I have to go somewhere and leave her at home, lubricating her eyes just before I leave and returning within three hours--four at the max--and lubricating them as soon as I'm home.

Update: I no longer trust her eyes to stay lubricated from after midnight to early morning (I often have to add ointment to my own eyes during the night), so I've made a habit of waking and reapplying GenTeal to both of Puppy Girl's eyes about three o'clock a.m. Just to be on the safe side and prevent a painful ulcer. So far, she's had no corneal ulcer.



Reapplication of GenTeal during the night rarely awakens her because she’s accustomed to the routine. In fact, it's kind of humorous that I can hold her eyelids open and put a glop of ointment in each of her eyes without disturbing her rest.

In addition, debris and mucus normally washed out by tears must be cleaned from her eyes frequently, especially when she wakes in the morning. A lot of mucus collects in the eyes of dogs with KCS and must be removed, especially before medication is instilled. She's shown no sign since her KCS diagnosis and subsequent preventive lubrication that she was in the severe pain, and no sign of ulceration was seen at her regular veterinary checkups.

No rest for this weary dog!

Keeping the hair on her face clipped short makes cleaning and medicating her eyes easier, but she doesn't look much like a schnauzer any more.
Keeping the hair on her face clipped short makes cleaning and medicating her eyes easier, but she doesn't look much like a schnauzer any more. | Source

Have you ever lived with a blind pet?

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Sudden changes


Nearly a year after her KCS diagnosis, her behavior suddenly became erratic. Instead of bounding through the back door onto the screened back porch, she seemed afraid to venture across the threshold. When I led her out on leash, she hesitated, even pulled back. Once through the door, her gait resembled a stagger as she veered off in a diagonal path. The steps leading to the back yard were the worst challenge, for she stumbled on each of them.

At times, especially after a nap, she seemed confused and disoriented, as though she didn’t know where she was. Once, she crashed to the floor in a heap while attempting to jump onto the bed, something she’s done with ease for most of her life. Soon, she began waiting by the bed for me to lift her onto it. This saddened me.

I may seem particularly dense because I didn’t immediately make the connection between her behavior and possible vision loss. Looking back, I think my conscious mind blocked the thought of her going blind because I developed such a fear of that happening after her KCS diagnosis. A year of thinking her corneas were safe because of the intensive lubrication lulled me into complacency.

When I saw the problems she had with the steps—pausing, holding back, stumbling— I didn’t think, She can’t see the steps. Instead, I wondered if she was developing arthritis in her joints. As a mid-size dog and a breed with an average lifespan in the 12-to-15-year range, she’s not “officially” at the geriatric stage. According to her veterinary records, she will be considered a “senior” dog when she is ten years old. She’s only 8 ½…a mere middle-aged gal.

I made an appointment for Puppy Girl with her regular vet, her “primary care doctor.” Dr. Thrash said I was taking good care of my dog's eyes--she wasn’t squinting at the light, her eyes were well-lubricated, and her corneas looked okay with a regular light. The vet said my dog may have sprained her leg when she fell, and recommended a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement to protect her joints.

The following week, however, the situation grew worse. Puppy Girl literally fought against her harness and leash for the first time in her life, and after I got her through the doorway onto the porch, she turned the wrong way and ran "smack!" into a stand fan with her face. Getting her down the back steps was a nightmare, with her slipping and sliding, literally falling down the steps. After she finished “going potty”, she balked at the steps and refused to even try them. I had to carry her back indoors, while she kicked her legs in panic. (She’s never liked being picked up.) Lifting a 21-pound dog (she's not a toy and is on the large size of miniature) and lugging her up four steps with her legs flailing while holding the door open was not easy for me, and I hoped it would not become necessary for every potty break. (It didn't.)

I’m ashamed to admit my thinking at that point was, Oh no! Doggy dementia! Dogs can experience dementia similar to the Alzheimer’s Disease that attacks the brains of humans, but it usually happens when they’re elderly. At the same time, a nagging thought was forming in the misty regions of my own brain cells, but it wouldn’t quite jell. My subconscious was still at war with my conscious about the possibility of vision loss. Blindness? My mind couldn't deal with it yet.

I'm forced to face the truth


Then a friend came to visit…a friend who has multiple dogs and has lived with dogs all her life. She watched my dog stumbling and running into furniture for a few minutes, then stated what to her was obvious.

“She’s blind.”

Those words knocked the foundation out from under my coping mechanisms, avoidance and denial. An unwelcome truth stared me in the face, and I could no longer hide from it.

We took Puppy Girl out into the front yard, which is enclosed by a four-foot picket fence, and took her off-leash to observe how she would navigate the space. She stood still for a few minutes, as though frozen in place. Finally, she began to wander slowly, ending up across the yard beside the fence bordering the street. She walked next to it for a few feet, and I thought she realized the barrier was there, but then she twice bumped her face on the boards. After the second mishap, she stopped walking and waited for me to rescue her.

Even an open outdoor space may harbor dangers for a blind dog

She hit the picket fence with her face--twice.
She hit the picket fence with her face--twice. | Source

Indoor obstacles abound for a sightless dog


Yet, the inside of the house was not a safe haven, either. She repeatedly ran into door facings and furniture, and most of the time she hit either her face or head with a loud “thwack!” I was afraid she might get a concussion, and moved the heaviest offender—a vintage chest—out of the traffic path.

Paths should not be too narrow with a blind dog in the house

That heavy chest had to be moved further away from the sofa.
That heavy chest had to be moved further away from the sofa. | Source

Time for a diagnosis


I emailed her vet, explained thoroughly what was happening, and Dr. Thrash made a referral appointment for a veterinary ophthalmologist to examine Puppy Girl at the earliest available date—mid-July.

In the meantime, it became my priority to help Puppy Girl—and me as well—adjust to this new fact of our lives….her apparent sightlessness. I was upset and depressed about her blindness, and gave in to tears a few times. Recalling that dogs pick up on humans’ emotional states, I made a concerted effort to pull myself together. My dog didn’t need any additional stress added to her suddenly dark and scary world. (It would be scary to me; why not to her?)

Okay…I’ll come clean. I allowed myself one tiny little pity party to get the crying out of my system, in my room with the door shut while she was asleep in the den. Wasn't that mature of me? Anyway, after I finished sobbing and washed my face, guess what I saw as soon as I opened the door? Yep. There stood Puppy Girl in the hall waiting for me. I put on a big smile to make my voice sound happy and began talking to her in a tone I hoped sounded cheerful.

After all, Puppy Girl spent many hours lying beside me on the bed while I recuperated from numerous surgeries. As a brave pint-sized guard dog, she once tried to defend me against a large dog that knocked me down. Now it was her turn--time for me to be strong and help her learn to get around without vision. I must also help her rediscover the simple joys of everyday life for a dog.

Since this change occurred, she'd slept much more than usual and showed no interest in playing or interacting with me, signs that she was confused and depressed. While her vision may have deteriorated gradually, it obviously worsened suddenly, which must have been frightening for her.

My grandson, whose Boston terrier lost an eye last year, loaned me his copy of “LIVING WITH BLIND DOGS: A Resource Book and Training Guide for the Owners of Blind and Low-Vision Dogs”, by Caroline D. Levin, RN. I began reading it immediately to learn what I should do. This book is wonderful and answers just about any question one could have about this topic. It certainly answered all of mine. There's even a section for dogs that are both blind and deaf. (I hope to never need that part, but I'm glad it's there.)

A wonderful resource for the caretaker of a blind dog

Living With Blind Dogs: A Resource Book and Training Guide for the Owners of Blind and Low-Vision Dogs, Second Edition
Living With Blind Dogs: A Resource Book and Training Guide for the Owners of Blind and Low-Vision Dogs, Second Edition

"An outstanding, comprehensive work that provides the educational tools necessary to help owners and their dogs adapt quickly to vision problems with minimal stress." --DOGworld Magazine

 

My bond with Puppy Girl


The first few pages of "Living With Blind Dogs" dealt, not with the blind dog’s issues, but with those of the human…the pet's caretaker. I discovered that my terrible sense of loss was not uncommon. Tears, depression, even feeling consumed by a type of grief—these are all normal reactions. The more closely bonded a human is with a dog that goes blind, the more tremendously that grief is experienced. When the blindness happens suddenly, the emotional trauma intensifies.

I think it’s safe to say I’m about as closely bonded to Puppy Girl as a human can be with a dog or any pet. She came into my life when I was at a very low ebb after an accident left me with limited mobility, chronic pain and the necessity to retire from a fulfilling career six years too early. I was deeply depressed for months before I got her when she was a puppy. Her presence helped me stop feeling sorry for myself as I concentrated on taking care of her. Her puppy antics made me laugh out loud, something I hadn’t done for quite a while. I’m convinced she literally saved my life and my sanity. Is it any wonder I love her as much as I do?

Puppy Girl's first spring with me

She was so much fun that having her around chased my blues away!
She was so much fun that having her around chased my blues away! | Source

I finally understood why people love dogs!


I’d never had a pet in my life before she arrived on the scene, so the entire experience of a growing puppy was a revelation. I’d never understood why “dog people” were so wrapped up in their dogs, but it became evident as I fell “head over heels” with the little ball of salt-and-pepper fur who obviously loved me too. During the successive eight years, Puppy Girl and I went through a lot together, the good and the not-so-good. She loves me unconditionally, even when I’m at my worst. I adore her too and am committed to her wellbeing.

Puppy Girl became a vital part of my life

She quickly became a member of the family.
She quickly became a member of the family. | Source

Learning to live with a blind dog may be a slow process


The author of LIVING WITH BLIND DOGS cautioned that it takes time for both dog and human caretaker to adjust, and that grief cannot be short-circuited. Just as with any other type of loss, a human must work through emotions to prevent getting "stuck" while processing them. I had to admit my feelings (including anger that this could happen to my beloved companion) and allow myself to truly recognize and experience all emotions engendered by the situation in order to cope with them. Only then would I be ready to help my dog.

The average time for a dog that suddenly goes blind as an adult to adjust is from three to six months and can be even longer—as long as a year. There are ways for the dog’s caretaker to ease the transition, and I needed to focus on my role in doing this for her.

I’d already intuited that, with time, my dog will learn her way around the house and stop bumping into furniture. This is called “mapping”, and, as her other senses become enhanced to compensate for loss of sight, it will help her move around familiar places without harm. After she learns her way through our home, it’s important not to rearrange the furniture. (Fortunately, I’m not the type to move furniture around just for fun, so that’s no hardship.) The book even suggests using a variety of essential oils (a different one in each room) so her nose can identify where she is.

I’ll tell you more about our progress—Puppy Girl’s and mine—how we’re learning to live in a new way, but I’ll do it in another hub. You see, only a few days into the beginning of this important adjustment period, there was a major, traumatic interruption. Puppy Girl became seriously ill and required hospitalization for two days. Just as I was preparing to help her learn to live as a blind dog, I came close to losing her. That story will be told in a separate hub. Once it’s published, I’ll link it to this one.

Fortunately, the animal ER hospital is only a 15-minute drive away!

This state-of-the-art animal ER hospital is affiliated with Mississippi State College, and its chief of staff is an adjunct veterinary professor.
This state-of-the-art animal ER hospital is affiliated with Mississippi State College, and its chief of staff is an adjunct veterinary professor. | Source

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50 comments

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

What an unusual case, Marisa....I'm glad the blind dog was able to stay with the person and the new guide dog. Thanks for sharing that story. Service dogs are magnificent, and I'm amazed at what some of them can do.

My dog had enucleation surgery June 24 and is recovering. The vet said it was necessary to prevent pain, but it was a difficult decision to go ahead with having her eyes removed even though she was already blind.

Oddly, the 'map' in her mind of our home's layout seemed to vanish when she came home after a week in the animal hospital, so she started all over mapping the rooms. She's now at the point where she can get around without bumping into furniture most of the time.

I'll be finishing the story of her enucleation procedure and recovery soon to publish on HP. My desktop computer CPU and operating system are being upgraded tomorrow, as well as a revamp of my laptop. I've got several hubs pending publication because of my computer's erratic operation lately. It will be good to have my equipment at peak performance again.

Take care.....Jaye


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 2 years ago from Sydney

I've never owned a blind dog, but one of my switchboard operators had a guide dog and, ironically, it had to be retired because it started to go blind itself. He kept it as a pet alongside his new guide dog.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Bev, for your wonderful comments. Aren't schnauzers wonderful dogs? Although blindness has changed Puppy Girl's temperament and behaviors, she seems more calm and loving than ever before. For the first time since she was a puppy, she enjoys being held (even though she's a bit long for a lapdog), and I enjoy getting the chance to snuggle her and rub her back.

Severe dry eye syndrome is no picnic, as you well know, and I'm so thankful for GenTeal. It is the very best of all the products I've tried. Puppy Girl will probably have the enucleation surgery within the next few months to prevent possibility of painful corneal ulcers. If so, I will let her hair grow back out--including those long shaggy schnauzer eyebrows--to cover (or partially cover) the incision scars. I've finally accepted the fact that her blindness is irreversible and know that the surgery is a positive step even though the idea, to a human, seems horrid.

Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your experiences.

Regards and happy holidays! Jaye


BeverlyHicksBurch profile image

BeverlyHicksBurch 2 years ago from Southeastern United States

Jaye,

I'm a fellow Southerner and mom to two Miniature Schnauzers. Your Puppy-Girl looks like my Watson's twin. It's amazing.

Your hub is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. But, so full of love!

It caught my attention because as I was reading it I was thinking, "My goodness, Puppy-Girl as the canine version of Sjogren's Syndrome!" I'm a Sjogren's patient and was diagnosed in the early 1990s. It's an autoimmune disorder and a couple of the hallmark issues are dry eyes and dry mouth.

I know I don't have to tell you the problems of dry eye's because you and Puppy-Girl deal with them daily. We all use some of the same products! I am so familiar with GenTeal! They are life saving products for me.

Blessings for you and Puppy-Girl.

Bev


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, babyblue....Your story was so encouraging to me, and I hope you'll write more about the experience of living with (and loving) a blind dog. JAYE


babyblue1951 profile image

babyblue1951 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

This is a wonderful hub, you did an amazing job! Thanks for your comment on mine. I'm very new to this blogging, so encouragement is so empowering.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks for reading and for your comment, Alicia. I hope other pet parents, especially those whose dogs have vision problems, will find something helpful in this hub.

Two different family members told me, in the past couple of days, that Puppy Girl seems more calm and sweet-natured lately. Perhaps this means she is growing more accustomed to her vision loss. I hope so.

Regards,

Jaye


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very touching hub. I'm sorry about Puppy Girl's blindness, but I'm so glad that she has you to help her deal with it. I'm sure that your hubs on the topic will be very helpful for other pet owners.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Moonlake - Thanks for reading and for sharing the experiences of your own dogs' vision issues, also for the vote and your compassion.

Jaye


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

We had one dog that had to have an eye removed and she did very well adjusting. Our Reno was starting to go blind when he passed away but he managed to get around by following our other dog. So sorry about your dog.

Voted up


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Ladyfiddler - Thank you for reading and for your comments. Since a thick eye lubricant must be applied frequently to my dog's eyes to prevent very painful corneal abrasions, apple cider vinegar (or any astringent substance) is contraindicated for her eyes. I do appreciate your thoughtfulness, however.

It makes me sad that she is blind, but Puppy Girl is still my beloved "fur-baby." I'm currently working with her so she will learn how to cope with vision loss and get around without hurting herself.

Regards,

Jaye


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 3 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Hi Jaye I am so sorry to hear about your dog's situation as it is very heart wrenching for anyone to go blind. Please research braggs apple cider vinegar I wash it once cured a dogs eyes from cataract and a farm worker of the braggs family. I also washed my eyes few times with the braggs apple cider eye wash and I purifies the eyes, it burns a little but tightly shut eye for 5 seconds if so much then re-open to feel that heavenly feeling.

I hope this helps as apple cider is excellent for many illness etc.

God bless you

Shalom and peace be to you


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Peggy...My phone began ringing just as I began writing the previous response, so I clicked on "Post", but really wanted to say more.

First, I'm so very sorry about your brother's eye injury that required closure of his lid. I hope his other eye is (and stays) healthy with good vision.

Believe me, I am all too familiar with the excruciating pain of corneal abrasions. More than 20 years ago, nearly all of my upper eyelid muscles were removed to stop the squeezing of blepharospasms. (I have a hub about living with BEB for all these years.) The sliver left in each eye lets me close them, but not tightly. This means they don't close enough to keep out air when I sleep. I use GenTeal in my eyes at night and weight down my eyelids. (You would laugh if I described some of the methods I've tried over the years to keep my eyes closed--and, no, eye masks--even swim masks--do not work.) I liken the pain of corneal abrasions to "sunburned eyes", but it's really worse because the tinest involuntary eyeball movement is unbearable. I finally stopped begging my ophthalmologist for anesthetic drops because they can't be prescribed. (Too much danger of overuse.) So I don't want my dog to ever feel that pain.

Even though the thought of removing her eyes (because that's what the vet said he would do) and sewing her eyelids shut hurts me emotionally, in the long term I have to think of what is best for her comfort. It IS difficult to think of it, though...at least, right now. That's probably because I'm still trying to come to terms with her loss of vision and cope with her own adjustment issues. When the time is right, I'm sure the vet will let me know.

Thanks again for your comments and your concern.

Jaye


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Peggy. The ophthalmology vet who diagnosed her already discussed the possibility of doing that in the future. I do have to think about what is best for her. Thanks for reading and your comments.

Regards,

Jaye


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I am so sorry to hear that both of you are having to make this drastic adjustment in your lives. Knowing that she will eventually adjust must make you feel somewhat better.

One of my brothers had to have one of his eyelids sewn shut just to protect the cornea in case he lost the vision in his other eye because of the tear ducts no longer working after a horrific accident. Once you are assured that your Puppy Girl absolutely cannot see anything...you might discuss this with your vet. If you were not there for some reason to keep inserting that lubricant into her eyes or heaven forbid she injure herself and get a corneal abrasion...that would be very painful...and I know you would not want that.

Sewing her eyelids shut would have to be done under anesthesia, but might be a remedy for one part of your situation. Those thick lubricant drops are not inexpensive.

We are great animal lovers so truly empathize with you and your special girl.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Lacey - Thanks for sharing about your dogs' eye problems. I'm sorry they are both losing their eyesight. Can your min pin's cataracts be removed, or does the diabetes contradict that possibility? I wonder if two blind dogs living together might comfort and help each other through the process of adjustment. ?? Just a thought.

I certainly recommend the book LIVING WITH BLIND DOGS. It's helping me know what to expect from Puppy Girl during the adjustment period and how to respond. Being able to understand her behavior and reactions is valuable at this difficult time. In some instances, I'm certain it's kept me from getting upset as I would have if I hadn't known why something was happening.

Good luck with your dogs, both with the vision problems and with your min pin's diabetes. Caring for a diabetic dog requires a strong commitment, so you are obviously a dedicated pet owner, too.

Thanks for reading this and for your comment.

Regards,

Jaye


Lacey Taplin profile image

Lacey Taplin 3 years ago from Highlands Ranch, CO

This was a very touching and informative hub. I have a diabetic min pin and an older mix of who knows what that are both starting to go blind. The min pin has developed cataracts (typical of diabetics) and our mix has what the vet described as "old man eyes." They seem to be doing okay for now, but I'm sure that won't last forever. I will definitely check out the book you recommended. You are a dedicated pet owner and it sounds like you are lucky to have each other.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Deb - Thanks for sharing your remembrance of your Italian greyhound. Even though you were expecting him to become blind, your dog and you had to adapt to a new reality when it happened. Adjustment isn't easy--lately I compare it to a roller coaster ride. Almost daily my dog's behavior and mood fluctuates. There are some good days, some not-so-good ones. I just try to maintain my equilibrium.

Your dog's lifespan of 18+ years was amazing, and I'm glad you had him in your life for that long. It's easy to understand why you still think of a good dog who was part of your life for nearly two decades. I'm sure you were a great pet parent and gave him a wonderful life. That is the best we can do.

Jaye


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

I had an Italian greyhound that became blind, which was something that I was expecting. When he passed on at 18 1/3, which is very old for a small breed, he passed with dignity. It wasn't any easier on me, but he had been given the best of everything. I still think about him, as he was such a good dog.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

I know you love dogs, Elizabeth, so I'm not surprised the story touched your heart. Thanks for your comment. So many wonderful people on HP care for animals, and your/their support bolsters my resolve to help Puppy Girl adjust to a life without vision. Jaye


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I couldn't help but get choked up as I read your story. We never want our fur-babies to suffer one ounce. Your Puppy Girl is lucky to have you. This is a beautiful hub and thank you for sharing.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Mary. I appreciate your sharing the story. Jaye


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Hi Jaye, I just came back to share this story with my circle of dog lovers on Google +. It is such a moving story, and those people are like us: they love their dogs!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Eddy - I'm so glad you had 17 good years with Pepper. I don't doubt she bossed the bigger dog around. Schnauzers are strong-willed (but much fun).

My dog's eye condition probably stemmed from a serious reaction to a vaccination, which compromised her immune system and caused other health issues, though that is only a theory. The breed does have tendencies for several medical disorders.

Thanks for the vote and sharing.

Regards,

Jaye


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Many years ago we had a tiny Min Schnauzer called Pepper and a Doberman called Major. Who was the boss??Well needless to say Pepper of course!!!

She lived until nearly 17 years old and didn't have any problems with her eyes . However maybe we were just lucky!

This is a great hub and I vote up plus share.

Eddy/.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Mary - I know how much you love your schnauzer, Baby, and I'm glad that spot wasn't a problem. Thanks for the vote and sharing. Jaye


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I can certainly understand the love you share with your dog. I am totally devoted to my Miniature Schnauzer, Baby. She has a white spot on her left eye that had me concerned, but the Vet said it is only a "sunspot" which is common in white schnauzers. He said her sight is fine in that eye.

I wish you all the best in dealing with your blind dog.

Voted UP and will share.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Heidi - I'm sorry you've had dogs with cancer and hope they've fully recovered. Cancer is so prevalent among dogs these days for so many environmental reasons that it is one more (big) worry for pet parents.

Thanks so much for your good wishes. I believe Puppy Girl and I are both lucky we have each other.

Jaye

Relationshipc - I love the "WOO WOO" sound your dog makes! Puppy Girl comes close to the scream whenever a human she loves (family or friend) comes to visit. The schnauzer voices are such a distinctive behavior of the breed. My dog has a "mumble,mumble" voice that's a few shades below the "grumble, grumble" one. She uses it to wake me in the morning. If I don't get up fast enough to suit her, it gets louder! Jaye


Relationshipc profile image

Relationshipc 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

Schnauzers DO rock! He does talk to us all the time, and he also uses a variety of voices to tell us what he thinks of things. WOO-WOO is when he is really trying to get our attention and he feels good. He also screams his head off as we head out for walk.


heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

Though blindness has not been on our list of traumatic illnesses for our dogs (cancer has been the most common), I certainly can understand where you are at with Puppy Girl. She's so lucky to have you as her Dog Mom. Everything happens for a reason. I hope there's something wonderful that's just waiting for the both of you. Take care!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Audrey - Thanks for sharing about your cocker spaniel that is both deaf and blind, yet adusted well. I'm reading and hearing more and more that dogs with vision and/or hearing loss and can lead satisfactory lives. Every success story shared gives me another measure of hope for Puppy Girl. Thanks to you and Dobro for sending blessings our way! JAYE

Susan - My title should have a subheading: "Three hankies required for reading." I understand because living it brought me tears, but I'm feeling much more confident in a good future for my Puppy Girl. She's doing well, which I'll document in Part 2, but first I have to replace the ergonomic keyboard for my desktop that I ruined last night by spilling a bit of tea into it. First time I've ever done that in decades typing! I'm on a laptop now, but cannot type much on it--too difficult for me.

Thanks for your comment and sharing about your aunt's and uncle's blind dogs that had happy outcomes. Jaye


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Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Jaye, I knew I should have brought a Kleenex with me before reading your hub. Sorry to hear that Puppy Girl has gone blind but she's a very lucky girl to have you by her side. My aunt and uncle have had several dogs that went blind and although it was heartbreaking the dogs adjusted quite well and lived happy lives.


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vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Thanks for sharing this. My Cocker Spaniel is both deaf and blind but does amazingly well. Our doggies are everything to us. I'm sharing this hub with many of my friends. You are a kind and caring person. Blessings to both you and puppy girl from Audrey and Dobro!


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, DrBJ - It's been a rough couple of months, but she's getting braver and no longer seems depressed. This helps my own mood, and gives me hope.

Thanks for your encouragement (and sorry about the tears, but it is a sad story for anyone who loves dogs). JAYE


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drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

As a lifetime lover of dogs, Jaye, I could not read your heartfelt hub about the recent travails of your sweet Puppy Girl and yourself without shedding more than one tear. Fortunately for your loving pet, she has you to guide her as you both learn to cope with her blindness. God bless you both, m'dear.


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hello, Colin, and I'm glad you read this account even though it was reminiscent of your Gabe's condition. Deafness must especially be a hazard for a cat if he goes outdoors due to danger of vehicles. I'm confident you take wonderful care of him, and yes--our fur-darlings are family.

As for me, I'm fine though definitely aging with the Big 7-0 birthday recently past. Summers last a long time in my part of the continent, with high temps when you'll be enjoying brisk mornings. I love the autumn, brief though it is here, and winters that are often very mild. Of course, I don't have to shovel snow or worry about slipping on ice, but I sometimes yearn for a colder climate.

Thanks for the hugs from magnificent Canada. Good wishes to you and the kitties from Puppy Girl and

JAYE


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epigramman 3 years ago

Hello and good morning my dear friend and esteemed colleague Jaye from Colin, Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 1:24pm and yes this is a tough read for me as you are well aware of how much I love my two cats. They are my best friends and my only family in this world.

When I adopted Gabe as a farm kitten the lady warned me that often an all white cat is profoundly deaf which is he so I must take special precautions for his lifestyle.

Naturally my heart is broken over this sad story for you and your friend but you still have each other.

Thank you for your courage and bravery and honesty in telling your story and I will most certainly post it on my FB page for all to see and read.

We are sending to you and your beloved friend our big Canadian hugs

and I am wondering how you are feeling these days and how has your summer been so far? It seems to be going fast this year, or Jaye are we just getting older - or better, lol. ???


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

I thought I'd caught all my typing mistakes, but (now that it's too late to correct) see an extra word "are" in a response. Maddening! (Am I a bit OCD about typos? Perhaps....) I do apologize. JAYE


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Okay, all...Here goes. Four keys on my desktop's ergonomic keyboard are out of commission:y,u, i and o, so I must use the laptop. I've used a shaped ergonomic keyboard ever since they've been available, so the small, straight laptop keyboard is alien to my hands. It's "hunt and peck" time. It's akin to trying to communicate in a foreign language using only a phrase book. Patience! Please don't ask how many backstrokes I'm using to erase errors....

Bill - Thank you so much. I only have to look at the photo of you with your dog to know you understand. I'm so grateful I learned the joy of loving a dog, but the heart that opens itself to joy must be prepared to experience sadness, too. I'm lucky that I can be home with Puppy Girl to give her the care she needs. Blessings back to you and Bev...JAYE

Victoria Lynn - Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. The adjustment is still happening. (There will be another hub to report progress.) Every incremental gain is cause for celebration, and I marvel at my dog at times. I hope your Gizmo stays healthy and sighted. BTW, I think Puppy Girl's adorable, too, even with her face shaved! JAYE

Relationshipc - Since you live with a salt-and-pepper too, don't schnauzers ROCK? Does yours "talk" to you in different voices? PG is "grumbling" at me right now, and if I don't respond she will soon switch to a louder voice. Ha! I'm so accustomed to her schnauzer language that I can nearly always figure out what she's telling me. She, in turn, understands enough English words to surprise many people. There will be a Part 2 to this story, but I will need a are working ergonomic keyboard first. JAYE

Joe - Thanks for the lovely Hawaiian word. OHANA is certainly what my Puppy Girl is to me. My emotions about her condition are lightening because she's showing so much heart. We are learning to walk this new pathway together, she and I. She's teaching me a lot even as I try to guide her. Sometimes she amazes me. Thanks for your good wishes. Aloha to you, too...JAYE

truthfornow - I'm sure she was frightened when her world grew dark, and at times she wants to stay near me. However, she's getting braver and venturing around more, apparently mapping all of the house's interior. I feel confident in her future. Thanks for reading and commenting. JAYE

LK - Your words and understanding touched me very much. A virtual hug is appreciated--it's the thought accompanying it that's valuable. Thanks! JAYE

Mary - How sad that your dog lost vision, hearing and had seizures. That must have been heartbreaking for you and your family. That she adjusted so well to getting around gives me much encouragement. People who love dogs understand the emotions we feel when something harms them. You're so right that dogs deserve our love and care because they give us so much. Thanks for the vote andfeedback. JAYE (P.S. If my dog weighed 60 pounds, I'd need a ramp at the back door.)


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tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Oh Jaye, how hard for you and Puppy Girl. I had an older dog who went blind and deaf, and add seizures to that. She was a wonderful dog and adapted very well. I don't remember how long it took but she was able to walk around the house with no problem. We did have to take her down our steps, fortunately only three as she weighed around 60 lbs.

Our dogs give us countless hours of love and friendship, it is only right we do the same. I totally understand your grieving and wish you and Puppy Girl the best.

Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting.


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LKMore01 3 years ago

Jaye,

The part of this HUB that truly touched my heart, soul and had in me tears is when you wrote about crying privately behind closed doors and not letting Puppy Girl feel that energy. Although most dogs would have been right by your side to comfort you and lick away the tears I really understand as a former pet parent/ human being why that was especially important to you. If there was a way I could hug you from a distance you could feel comforting arms around you now. You and Puppy Girl are both very strong and I know she understands how loved she is by her beautiful human.


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Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Dang, I hate it when that happens! Once I had to replace my keyboard when that happened. Luckily, it was a desktop, not my laptop! :-) Good luck, Jaye. Hope the keyboard dries out and works tomorrow!


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks to

Bill

Victoria Lynn

Relationshipc

Joe

truthfornow

Will write "real" responses tomorrow, but spilled tea in my ergonomic keyboard tonight, and a row of keys doesn't work. Can't type on this laptop! Jaye


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

Nice story. Must have been scary for Puppy Girl but thankfully you are there to help. With time, I think both you and she will get adjusted. She sounds like a great dog and friend.


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hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

What a lovely tribute to both canine and owner! Jaye, I have a cat, Kona, and if he were to ever lose his vision, my wife and I would both be crying. So please never underestimate the significance of shedding tears over a pet. Puppy Girl is definitely your OHANA (family, never to be left behind), and to optimally love and care for her, you have to be good to yourself and give yourself permission and blessing to go through the grieving process.

There's a lot of HEART to this story, and it reminds me--again!--why I love writing in this literary community. Blessings and aloha to both you and Puppy Girl! And, above all, Jaye, thank you so very much for sharing this lovely story with us. Aloha!

~Joe


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Relationshipc 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

I have a salt and pepper Miniature Schnauzer too. I have to say, that he doesn't like being picked up either - so I'm glad to hear that Puppy Girl and him are on the save wavelength for their breed.

You sound like the best person Puppy Girl could have ended up with for this transition in her life, and I'm looking forward to hearing how you two get along with her blindness.

Thanks for sharing this story.


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Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

JayeWisdom--Wonderful story of your dog and you. Although I hope I don't have to do this with my dog, I would gladly help him through it. Like you, until I got Gizmo, I didn't understand the bond people have with their dogs. I understand your tears at Puppy Girl's loss of vision. I do hope she is adjusting well. This is an inspiring story and one of hope; I'm so glad you shared it. It's good to know how to deal with this. Thanks! And thanks for DrMark for sharing the hub!

Puppy Girl was and is adorable, by the way.


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billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Beautiful, Jaye! Any dog lover will appreciate this very touching story. Yes, we would do anything for our dogs, and we totally understand.

Blessings to you my friend

bill


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, DrMark. I do appreciate your kind words. I'm fortunate to have her also. Thanks for stopping by....Jaye


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DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

Your dog is fortunate to have someone like you caring for her.Your story is inspirational.

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