My sweet Tina, where to start… She came into our lives as a 1 yo rescue 8 years ago. A mini pin/chihuahua mix, we found her to be almost a delicate, dainty little lady. Unfortunately her life before us was full of physical abuse. She was taken away at about 6mos age from a family whose “man” of the house kicked her in the head and rear. The rear kicking caused Tina a problem with her left leg, rarely put weight on it, and caused pain if the upper leg was moved in the pelvic socket. And years later, we would find exactly what the head trauma would cause.
We fell in love with Tina despite her being extremely fearful and scared of almost everything. But in the shelter, she seemed to sense that my husband and I, having our own issues with life, understood her fears and knew that we too were survivors, like her. So she became our little girl.
She came into our home and Tina became attached to me- like Velcro as she became accustomed to the household, She had her problems with trust and learning that we meant her no harm. Physically, her leg/hip problem improved some on its own as she realized that she wasn’t going to be hurt anymore. She actually started walking on it, only limping when she wanted to run or get extra “sympathy” if she got into trouble!
Over the next 6 years, she blossomed into my special girl who seemed to understand that I too knew what abuse can do to a spirit. She was “Mama’s” girl and with lots of love and patience, adjusted to the world better than any hoped. Yes she did and still does have issues with loud noises, sudden movements, yelling voices and trusts only me and sometimes my husband.. She never adapted socially to other people. Given her breed mix, she was a little “nipper” so we just made sure she didn’t get a chance to act on it.
Then about a year ago, we noticed a clouding of her right eye, a cataract for sure as I am a nurse as well. But it developed quickly at the same time she began having seizures. At the vet, she was tested for glaucoma etc. and determined that she was totally blind in that eye. The quickness of the cataract growth coupled with her seizures, add to the equation her head trauma history, the conclusion was made that the blindness was from the scar tissue in her brain from the abuse. But Tina was thriving and actually had become the “alpha” dog in the house, so we opted to just go home and keep loving her. And life went on with Ike, a Chihuahua puppy mill rescue, and Lucy, a young cat. all co-existed well.
And then 6mos ago, I noticed Tina barking at my husband when he would move about suddenly in the room to the point of almost driving all nuts. But we thought it was just old behaviors of her abuse coming out. Once my husband petted her, she was fine. But it worsened, and then I noticed her missing her jumps to the furniture, her hugging the porch edges outside and bumping into things a bit. I checked her eyes and sure enough, she was growing a cataract in her left eye. So we discussed her options and knew there was nothing to stop this again. But a month ago she had a seizure which was a bit worse than usual. And then we saw her behavior change. Not able to judge jumps to furniture unless in a well lighted area. She stopped sleeping in our bed. But still nothing that seemed to cause her angst. Until last week, when she was seen walking into things and bouncing away from them like a pin ball. I checked her eye, and the cataract was fully developed. She was totally blind.
Now we are in new territory. She is slowly adapting as long as I work with her. Her worst problem is intense barking only when my husband moves out of a chair to walk in the room. It is driving him to the edge despite my telling him he has to talk to her, reassure her etc., something he doesn’t always remember. I want Tina to live with us for as long as God allows but not in fear of her new world. Hopefully we will adjust to her as she must to us. So I come here for support for all of us. and a place to let the world know that sweet Tina, my girl, can persevere thru this new bump in her road of life!