Zoie Marie…..Our empty nest PUP

Zoie MarieOur dog’s name is Zoie Marie. She’s a 4.9 pound, coco brown poodle. She’s been a godsend to us in so many ways. She’s always been very active and filled with pep. She loves people and people seem to gravitate to her …. … until about six months ago when she was diagnosed with Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in one eye.

Zoie MarieIt slowed her down a bit, but she still took her daily walk and loved romping in the grass playing and ruff housing. We were all coping until this week, when suddenly, she lost her sight in the other eye. We are devastated. She is bumping into everything and spends a great deal of time just standing and staring.

I know our job is to love her anZoie Maried keep her safe. I know she will adjust. I know she will adjust. I know she will adjust. I keep telling myself that but it’s so very hard to see her like this. Because she’s a little dog, my first reaction is to HOLD her, but I can’t do that all day. I don’t know what to do with her while I do the daily things that have to be done at home. I have no idea how to cope with this new Zoie. I’m hoping I’ll find some answers here.

3 thoughts on “Zoie Marie…..Our empty nest PUP

  1. I hope it will help you to know (from someone who was where you are now–a year ago) that Zoie truly will adjust. The time it takes her to become accustomed to coping with her blindness may take less time…or more…than it takes another dog. Our fur-babies are individuals just as people are, and their reactions differ…just like those of humans.

    My miniature schnauzer (now 9 1/2 years old) took longer than six months to map out the house so she doesn’t bump into things (and even now if she just woke from a nap she may be temporarily disoriented), but in the beginning she would ‘get stuck’ if she walked up to an object and not back up or turn around. She would stand there with her nose touching the wall, furniture or whatever until I found her and helped her turn to the right direction. I had to train her to ‘turn around’ or ‘back up.’ She gets around well indoors now, but still prefers to be on leash when we go outside. I think she feels too vulnerable out of doors otherwise.

    Hang in there and things truly will get better. JAYE

  2. How very nice of you to take the time to write Jaye….We’re having a heck of a time. I know it’s very early in “the adjustment period” but I thought it would go better than it is. Since Zoie was blind in one eye for about a year, I thought she might adjust a bit quicker to her new normal than she is doing. It’s like you said though…our dogs are individuals and it takes what it takes….Zoie is a lap dog, she always was, and always will be. She’s most happy on someone’s lap, anyone’s lap. I’m sure she’s thinking that there is no reason on earth why this should change.

    We’ve been using “bells” to call her and guide her, but for some reason, a clap just seems to work better. She is more at ease out doors, if you can believe. Maybe it’s because she has more OPEN space..less things to bump into. We have an in ground pool, so we have mapped out a space just for her with a garden fence to keep her safe.

    Our “kids” live out of town and we would very much like to spend Thanksgiving with them so I’m trying to plan for that NOW. I looked up’ pet sitters’ on line and found something called THUMBTACK in our area. I gather that this is a competitor to Angie’s list. The franchise owner told me that she and another employee would move right into our home for the week and would share the responsibilities of watching our dog. I’m afraid that this new normal will not allow Zoie to be too flexible…and I’d rather not go away rather than to put her health at risk. I think the fact that we care so much about her well being and the fact that we are feeling like we may never leave the house again is really hanging heavy on our minds.

    There is a lot to adjust to … for her, and for us. Because we love her like we do, we WILL ADJUST but it is so very hard to see her stumble.

    Thank you so much for your input….it helps so much to hear from people who have been on the road we’re now traveling. THANK YOU!!!!

    1. Zoie is getting a bit more familiar with her new normal but the one thing I notice is that she just stands and stares much of the time. We’ve made an area for her that is both safe and comfortable for when we leave the house. It is her “homebase” but when we return home after 5 minutes or 5 hours, she still seems to be standing in one place. We don’t know if she hears the car come into the driveway and then stands up, but it appears that’s the the case. Does anyone else see this behavior?

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