Wednesday, November 18, 2015
(Note: This is one in a series of sad pet stories.)
Two plus two equals four. If everything in life made sense like that, we’d live in a perfect world.
Our dog is blind. He wasn’t born blind. The blindness didn’t come on slowly from some health issue. No, he was blinded at the hand of another, or should I say the ‘paw’ of another. That event is still very clear in my mind. I wish I could change the chain of events that took place on that fateful night; but as many occurrences in life, we can only reevaluate and try to understand.
I might not ever have learned about the word “enucleation” if it hadn’t been for the accident. I’ll save you the time of looking it up on Google; it’s the removal of an eye indicated by an illness or other trauma. I, the eternal optimist, thought that our poor little Coco would still be able to see out of the remaining eye. Unfortunately, the canine ophthalmologist, (yes, they have those) suspected that the optic nerve of the remaining eye might have been stretched during the initial injury, severing the connection to the visual cortex of the brain.
The good news is that he’s adapted very well to daily life. To the casual observer, you might not even notice anything wrong with him. He knows where he is and knows where he’s going. He loves to go out on walks, and is the first one outside when he detects that we're taking a little trip in the car. He’s playful and affectionate. He’s also very protective of his surroundings. It’s hard to believe that there could be such thing as a blind watch dog, but he growls and barks just like the best of them.
I can’t help but feel sorry for him though. I’m reminded every day that he once had the God given sense of sight, but now he doesn’t. Sometimes when he sleeps, he has bad dreams and whimpers. I always wonder if he is remembering what happened on that fateful day. Is he reliving it over and over again, or is it just me that relives it on his behalf?
We bought him something called “Doggles” once. They are these little dog goggles that protect his remaining right eye. They made him look kind of hip and cool, but he didn’t really like to wear them, so we gave up trying. He navigates just fine, using his heightened senses of sound, smell and touch.
In life you’ve got to take the good with the bad. You don’t have to like the bad, but to be a productive member of society, you’ve got to adapt to it and integrate it in into your daily life. You have to use it to make yourself a stronger person, even though you sometimes just want to just crawl under a rock. It means that sometimes you have to use the mathematical workaround of making two plus three equal four, by first subtracting one.