Alma is a rescue dog from Spain. I adopted her to Finland in August 2010. From the moment I picked her from Helsinki airport, I’ve loved her very deeply. Alma was estimated 3 years old when I adopted her, so now she’s about 8. She had spent 2 years in the dog shelter in Spain and I know nothing about her life before she got in to the shelter. Her name was Noa in Spain, but since in Finland Noa is a male name, I re-named her Alma. Spanish word “alma” means “a soul”. Encuentros importantes son planeados por las almas mucho antes de que los cuerpos se vean (Paulo Coelho). The most important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other. There was a very special bond between me and Alma from the moment we met. Our souls must have planned the meeting.
At the begining Alma was a bit timid, but became more courageous little by little. She experienced her first snow and freezing winter with joy and excitement, even though in the southern Spain she had never experienced anything like that before. Alma has been living a very happy life after being adopted. We’ve experienced many things together, sad times and happy times. Alma is a very sensitive and loving dog. She’s been showing me special devotion and affection. Her trust, love and affection for me are touching. I’ve always told everyone Alma is a street wise. I think as a stray dog she developed 6th sense not all dogs have. Now she needs that sense as she just lost one of her senses.
Last Tuesday, all of the sudden, Alma started to bump on things when we were out. She walked quite confidently and otherwise she was just like before, but she bumped in to a car that was parked in the street, in to a lamppost and a trash bin. Then I realised she doesn’t see! I was shocked and took her to the vet right away. The vet didn’t find anything that explained loosing the vision. On Thursday I took her to the other vet who’s an eye specialist. She found some small changes in the retina, but nothing that explains the sudden blindness. Nothing referred to anything neurological either. The suspected diagnosis is SARDS. I got the advice of having her eyes checked again in 2-4 weeks to see if anything has changed. As I got home, I was crying and googling what the heck is SARDS as I had never heard about it. In 2 weeks I’m taking her to another eye specialist.
On Monday she was still seeing and on Tuesday morning she was blind. She went blind during one night! How can that happen?? The vet gave pretty much no hope of her eyesight coming back. I was asking if she’s in pain, but thank god she’s not. Actually she seems to be quite fine. At the most she’s a bit confused. It’s comforting me she’s taking this much better than I am. I’m grieving and I’m sad and worried. I’m trying to reason that for the dog the eyesight is the 3rd most important sense after the senses of smelling and hearing. I’m trying to reason she can still have a good life. Now I’m learning to be her guide person.
I’m her eyes, she’s my heart.
Alma likes watching and chasing squirrels. There are many in the park next to our home. This morning we were in the park and there was a squirrel. For the first time Alma was not running after it. It was breaking my heart.
I found this site when browsing the internet finding information about coping with visually impared dogs. I’m still shocked and learning to accept this, but I’ve decided to live with Alma a life as good as possible. I hope we’ll have good days ahead of us.