The New Doc Holliday…

Several months ago, I mentioned to my readers that Doc was going blind.  After a visit to Blue Pearl in Louisville with a certified Ophthalmologist for dogs, and going back for a recheck a month later, it was final, Doc will lose his sight after he failed all the test that would determine if he was a candidate.  While he does have cataracts, it’s scar damage from a strong medication he had to take several years ago.  When Doc arrived at the farm, he was rescued from a breeder in Kentucky who got him from Texas.  He was underweight and need some attention which he got, plenty of it!

Doc is always a lover and knocks you down getting in your lap or on top of you, he is a climber when it comes to attention.  At first, we did not notice much change in his eyesight and behavior but would pick up little things he would do when he was active.  Several months after the two visits to Blue Pearl he would still do everything he would do when he could see in shadows, but that changed soon.

In the last two weeks, I would imagine, his vision as he knows it is gone.  The good thing about having your sight and then losing it, I believe you do know how things look and remember some.  We see this today, He will follow me and stay close by, trying to use his nose when he can.

After reading all I can on the wide world of Google, most of the tips were for dogs in small areas or regular backyards with a fence.  This doesn't apply to us, we have acreage, two lakes, lots of woods and hills and dells for the dogs to play on. 
The hard part is Doc still wants to play with the pack  He will run out the back door with the crew and head down the driveway like a freight train at full speed.  Barking all the way and bouncing off anything that was in the way but he has learned his path to follow.  He will still run through the woods after the “seeing” dogs and will be close behind, even getting into the lake with them.

When it breaks my heart is when it’s "dog snack time" around my chair.  They will get in a semi-circle, and all the dogs wait patiently for their turn and gently open their mouth (except Dutchess) and take the snack.  When it comes to Doc’s turn, he will hold his head up in the air for the treat and bob his head searching, smelling for it.  I call his name, and he moves closer to me, and I feed it to him, he will never see my hand and looks off center of me.  It breaks my heart.

Always ready to go...
In dog years, he is still pretty young at only 7 ½ and has lots of time left.  What do you do?  I had a friend told me that I should put him down and put him out of his misery.  It is a dilemma of what to do and how to adjust.  A week or so ago, he was running, and I had moved the lawn mower on to a walking path, and the dogs were running, and while all of them missed, Doc didn't.  After getting up, he shook it off and rejoined the pack.  After playing, I check and no harm was done except a scratch on his nose, and he got a little extra loving.  He wants to be normal but can't.

Doc will live the rest of his life here with us.  I cringe when he runs with the pack, sometimes leading, sometimes following and sometimes swimming, but he is happy.  He may have lost his sight, but he can still dig holes for moles and loves it.  I have noticed, he is adjusting well with his lack of site but is confused with it.  When he walks down the stairs, he hugs the wall for guidance, and he seems more alert, trying to figure out his surroundings tilting his head from side to side turning to catch sounds with his ears.  He still is loveable and sweet and possibly even more than he was before, which was a lot. 

Now it is my time for him...
Last night, he wanted in my lap so bad, but the couch was full of dogs.  I touched his nose, and he followed my hand onto my legs and laid there.  He was restless, and I started brushing him which he loves, and he soon drifted off into his world where he can see again.  Rubbing his head and especially over his eyes, I wondered where he was in his dreams, but I’m sure he was chasing rabbits and looking at the things he loved and being the King of his world again in his dreams.  Now he is the King of my world.  Ken

As long as Forever,
My Heart will be True,
For as long as I live,
I'll always love you...