OK, let’s see if I remember how to do this. It actually took me a few tries to get to this “new post” page. Quite rusty, I am.
I suppose the biggest news that’s happened in our lives since my Mom’s death is that Biscuit, the VBD, has lost his sight. I couldn’t help but think of this post, from a couple of years ago, when I’d so admired the neighbor’s blind dog. Well, got me one now.
He bumped into the furniture a couple of times on a Thursday, and by that Sunday he could see nothing at all. It is related to the diabetes that was diagnosed as my mother was dying. Biscuit almost died at the same time. Such a time.
When I am not busy rising above circumstances, I blame myself mightily for Biscuit’s condition. By the time his diabetes was diagnosed, it was quite severe. I can’t help but think that we missed signs. During my mother’s final weeks, I was entirely preoccupied. The truth is, I didn’t know dogs could get diabetes. And even if I had known that, I don’t know that I would have put the “signs” together and guessed correctly.
But in hindsight, when the doctor asked us questions, there were signs. Had he been really thirsty? There were those few days in late April when we remarked on how much he was drinking. I thought that was good; water is good for us. Good for you, bad guy, for drinking lots of water. Then there was that time when he peed on our bed in the morning when he woke up. That was just bizarre. And we commented, gosh how bizarre. But we didn’t think, “We must get him to the doctor!” We just didn’t think that.
If we’d recognized the signs, we may have gotten him started on treatment in time to delay or even prevent, the blindness. Or maybe not. The vet says there is no way of knowing this. And he says that if they had gotten Biscuit’s insulin regulated correctly when he was first diagnosed, his sight may have been saved. But it’s a difficult thing to do. Lots of money and many attempts later, they still don’t have the right dosage. I have to schedule another day for him to spend there, getting tested periodically throughout the day. A glucose curve test, they call it.
It hurts my heart, and I do feel guilt, when I see him run into things; and especially when he’s wagging his little stump tail, thinking he’s looking at me, when he’s not quite.
The bright sides: He’s not depressed. They say some dogs get that way. He’s a trouper. He can still play fetch — his very favorite thing in life, after stealing food. LG found a ball that makes a sound, even after it lands and rolls, and he will fetch it for hours. He can “map” our house or another, with amazing speed and accuracy. He still has the occasional collision with the errant object, but for the most part, he gets around well.
We took him on vacation with us, to Lake George, last week. Our pastor and her family invited us to stay with them at the old house where they’ve vacationed for many years. He pretty much took charge of the place. I cannot express how thankful I was (am) that she and her family welcomed him and then thoroughly enjoyed him. He was massaged and patted and played with more there than he ever is at home. He was one happy camper. Or vacationer.
And as for the rest of the vacation, it was … splendid. I sat on the porch a lot. And then I sat on that other porch, some. I watched spiders, for a long time. And I noticed all the different greens in a single fern. I did these things, and I sipped coffee and read, and put ointment in my dog’s eyes and other medicine in his ears, all from a rocker on the porch. And these are precisely the activities that my soul had needed, but didn’t know to ask for.
(btw, I understand the Today Show is live from Lake George this coming Monday. Watch and you’ll see how it would be good for what ails ya.)