With all the trials and tribulations with Vito, work, trying to get the new business going and life in general, I’ve let many a tale, status and update of the goings on here at The Ranch fall to the wayside.
One of the significant occurrences I never reported is that Gracie has gone blind.
We really weren’t surprised to hear the news. Gracie never did have the greatest vision to begin with. What did bother us quite a bit was that we didn’t even notice she lost what she had. Gracie was getting her shots when the vet, who didn’t know her, asked if she had been blind her whole life. She was completely and totally unresponsive visually during the exam and when he specifically looked at her eyes, he still couldn’t get a response.
Gracie has always had cataracts, but it wasn’t so bad that she couldn’t get around. Sometimes they advance to a point and stop. Sometimes they blind. Rather than doing surgery early on, we decided to take the wait and see approach.
Before you judge, consider this: The consultation with the eye specialist is $125. At that visit you are told to return for testing, which can run between $850 and $950. From that testing it is then determined whether or not the $5500 cataract surgery is even a possibility.
When we were first told of Gracie’s cataracts years ago and we did that initial consultation with the specialist, I asked point-blank: Would waiting have any effect on the up or down vote that would result from the testing. The answer was no. If waiting would have no bearing on whether Gracie was a surgical candidate down the road, and since we didn’t happen to have nearly $7000 at our disposal at the time, we opted against surgery and hoped for the best.
As luck would have it, we still don’t have nearly $7000 in the piggy bank for the surgery so there’s really nothing we can do. That said, she WILL require additional vet visits during the year in addition to her annual checkups to make sure she doesn’t progress to glaucoma, an apparent possibility. If it gets to that point, we will take all necessary measures, even if it means I have to sell Crabby on street corners to get the money to treat the glaucoma. There is no pain with cataracts, there is with glaucoma.
All that doom and gloom aside, there is a little snippet I wrote earlier that I’m not sure you paid attention to. I said that we didn’t even notice Gracie had gone completely blind. We’re not sure Gracie even noticed! Other than minor bumps or stumbles, she hasn’t missed a beat: Squeak a toy – she’s on it. Take her for a walk – her nose is to the ground looking for hoo doos and, assuming the pull of the smells aren’t too strong, she comes right to us when she’s called. She has no problems finding Crabby or me around The Ranch, or finding Hector when she needs her face washed. Her dinner dances remain at their historic levels and Lord knows she has no problems finding her dinner room or her bowl (or anyone else’s bowl for that matter)!
The way we see it, if Gracie doesn’t know she’s blind, we’re certainly not going to tell her!
We will have to make certain changes when Sunday Family Desert Walk season starts again. Gracie, like the rest of the Nimwits, loves these outings and to deny her her most favorite of activities would be cruel. So that she is not left out, she is either the only dog walking with either Crabby or me solo or if she goes with a group, Crabby and I both have to be present. Morning or evening walks, regardless of number of people or dogs, are out of the question due to coyote threats. And of course, when the rains give us smelly water holes to swim in, we will keep a closer eye on her lest she get disoriented and swim too far out to the center. Separate from that, I am looking into GPS locator collars, just in case.
Other than changes to her desert walks, Gracie’s life is no different now from the way it was before. Well, that’s a fib. Since hearing the news, she doesn’t have to wait for the full rotation before getting her couch or people bed time – she gets extras. Even if we aren’t treating her differently doesn’t mean I can’t treat her differently! (Moms understand)
So, bummer about Gracie’s eyes, but no worries about Gracie. She has many, many more adventures to experience and share with you before she’s done. She just won’t be able to describe them in living color.