Angel and I

Angel and I are inseparable, and have been for ten years; we only have each other. Mid last-year, I noticed a cloudiness to her eyes, and after seeing a specialist, it turned out Angel only had mild cataracts, which could be operated on if they became worse.

And they did, quickly. After four delays to her op due to the holidays, she was scheduled to have her sight restored on Tuesday. Instead I got the heartbreaking news she has PRA, and nothing can be done. She’ll be completely blind in a matter of months.

I’m devastated for us both, and don’t know what to do or where to turn. I feel like it’s the beginning of the end, and that it’s all so unfair. Angel has the most beautiful temperament, is an ex-therapy dog, and brings joy to so many, and then she gets this disease, on top of having a double knee reconstruction in June 2015.

Any advice or encouragement or words of hope would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

6 thoughts on “Angel and I

  1. To an angel.
    It seems like when it rains it pours, or so it seems like it when we have animals. We feel like something never ends or wish it can stop by a simple RX. Reading and writing on this blog has definitely console my heart and made me feel whole again. I guess we never know how fast eye diseases can develop when it comes to our furry friends but it does. When my dog suddenly got blind i felt hopeless, alone and felt like no-one understood. Little that i knew my feelings were much different than what my dog was feeling. He started picking up scents quicker rather than using his eyes. I started to teach him different commands to alert him to watch out. A good book they recommend me on here is Living with Blind Dogs by Caroline Levin. Amazon has it. It has tips on how to adapt living with a blind dog. Goodluck to you and your angel.

  2. My dog Shian just went blind from PRA – our story is on this website – the best thing I can tell you is that PRA is the most merciful form of canine blindness – it is very gradual compared to sudden onset blindness – so your angel will get to adjust gradually for months at least – and since PRA has early warning – you both have time to organize for the day the will come – and PRA seems totally painless – the most important thing I can tell you – is – whatever you do – don’t treat your dog like a patient – every being both canine and human has strength and weaknesses – the loss of sight for a dog is epic but they are far less visual creatures than we are – have your moments of grief but don’t share them with your dog – it is easy to focus on the negatives here – but there are some real brilliant moments – you will become closer to your dog than you ever imagined – and will be forced to learn new things about your dog and yourself – it is a journey – you both have been chosen to walk the path – but you are not alone – Shian is 100% blind now 2 months and life goes on – he fetches, and hikes, and wrestles, and loves – and yes struggles – but who doesn’t in some ways of their lives? You will see a heroic spirit emerge the day that there is no more sight – both of you will reach down and grow…

  3. Wow Clayton, your response was awesome. As you said it is more merciful. My dog and I didn’t get a chance to get use to the idea. She went blind in one week with glaucoma. She is 13 and doing very well though. Her eyes shrunk so we didn’t have to have them removed. Yes, she runs into things but when she wants water (with a water dispenser that makes noise) or when she hears her food drop. she slowly makes her way down the hall to go eat. It is amazing how they adapt. Yes, it will be heartbreaking when Angel loses her sight. But like Clayton said don’t let her see how sad you are. I learned that too from other people on this website. At night my husband and I have a little game with our little sweet girl when it’s time for bed. Our room is up stairs and he says OK Callie’s walking the mile as she walks up the stairs and I am cheering her on and she comes all the way up to me. I won’t try to have her go down. Any encouragement you can give them I think really helps. I would suggest that you too get a harness for walks, they feel much better when they are being guided.

    It will get easier, I know from experience.

  4. For my Year 12 Research Project my topic is – How can physical and sensory devices best be used to keep a blind dog safe from harm? I am doing this topic because my dog, Charlie, has gone blind because of PRA. It would be really great if you could support my through my research project by following Charlie’s Facebook Page @iseecharlie. One of my focuses towards my research project is first-hand experiences for owners of blind dogs. It would be great if you could show your support!
    Sophie 🙂

  5. My boy has PRA too and has been blind for years now. I don’t know exactly when he went blind as I’ve only had him for a year. He’s doing great. He wasn’t in a good environment before I got him and has some behavioral issues but they’re not related to his blindness. He had no idea how to use his sense of smell and relied mostly on his hearing when I adopted him. I taught him some commands we use during walks and trained him to sniff out treats around the house, that helped a lot. His sense of smell has improved significantly. Most importantly though, I am calm and supportive to show him everything’s fine and that seems to help him the most. Just be positive and your dog will be too.

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