He gave Flyer the command to sit, and then said, “Catch,” to the dog who would do back flips in mid-air to catch a snow ball. My son tossed a treat gently toward Flyer. The treat bounced off her nose. She immediately went into sniff-mode around the floor to find the treat.
I took a treat from my son and repeated the process. The second treat also bounced off her nose.
For several weeks I had noticed Flyer was bumping into things, and losing her balance. Being deaf in one ear, I know how difficult maintaining balance is. I knew Flyer was not losing her hearing as she could be sound asleep and could hear the quietest noise from the kitchen.
It took me several weeks to accept the fact that my beloved little pal was blind. The previous August, 2010, was when Flyer almost died from severe pancreatitis. The afternoon we brought her home from the veterinarian’s office, preparing for our vet-friend to come over the next morning to put her down, I began researching her condition. This research led to her recovery. However, I also learned that her sight would be compromised due to the extremely out-of-control, undetected, diabetes. The next morning, Flyer was up, and walking around, and showing distinct signs of getting stronger.
The fury little trooper survived, and returned to her old self.
Several months later, I was researching how to accommodate a blind dog. These past two years, Flyer has done a superb job adjusting to her new world. This makes one love this dog all the more. She is, undoubtedly, one of the most adorable, intelligent, and loving dogs I’ve ever had (Logan, my cat of 17.5 years equaled Flyer in intelligence!).
This week, I removed all the furniture from my bedroom, thoroughly cleaned the carpets, and rearranged the layout. As with any other changes in the house, or yards, I take Flyer on a walk-thru. She sniffs, and followed my verbal, or finger-snap commands, exploring the new setting. Once, I had traded the wooden floor mat in the bathroom with a rug, placing the wooden mat before the kitchen sink. Flyer stepped on the wooden mat, felt around it and sniffed, walked into the bathroom, felt around it and sniffed, and returned to the kitchen with her tail wagging and her body shaking with excitement.
For two years, Flyer has not been comfortable sleeping in bed with me, or laying on any furniture. Last night, however, she discovered the chair Quintin and I brought up from the basement. Flyer was a puppy when I brought this chair home, and it was one of her favorite comfy-zones in my study while I worked at my desk, or taught lessons. At 3:30am, after Quintin and I finished watching AUGUST RUSH, Flyer seemed excited to rediscover her favorite chair.
And she hopped up into the chair and slept the remaining few hours until 7:30am struck, and all three dogs were ready to start their day. All I could think of was a line from the play/movie, THE MIRACLE WORKER, when Mrs. Keller exclaims, about Helen’s newest achievement, “She folded her napkin!” Flyer’s hopping into the chair was one of those napkin-folding moments for me.
After breakfasting, Flyer came back into my bed-sitting room and hopped back into her chair. It really is nice having her resting in the center of the room, and not curled up in the corner, out of the way.