It’s always difficult to see your dog, a part of your family, growing older and losing some faculties. It’s even harder when it’s not due to old age, but disease. Such was the case with our 7 year old lab mix. She contracted SARDS and gradually lost her sight over a month or two, which is unusual, as SARDS usually results in blindness in a matter of days.
It was devastating to her and to us. To tell the truth, it was probably more painful for us than it was for her. It broke our hearts seeing our baby go through this. Though she was seemingly depressed for a while, she adjusted very quickly. She’s incredibly smart and maps her environment quickly. She fooled us for quite a while and even puzzled her ophthalmologist. Those who don’t know her can’t tell she’s blind. Even our family and neighbors that do know are amazed at how well she navigates her world without sight.
We felt her depression and we felt for her, our baby. We were afraid we’d never see the happy dog we knew and loved again. We were afraid her days of carefree play and toy flinging were over. But as her depression slowly lifted, as she got off the medications she was on and overcame her symptoms, we decided to introduce new toys that would stimulate her other senses. I got her a ball with a large jingle bell inside. To say that she loved it would be an understatement. For the first time in months, we saw our dog flinging her new toy around with abandon, chasing it down by following the sound, and playing like a puppy. We were so happy that we nearly cried. Ok, I DID cry… a little.
Since then, our life has slowly been getting back to something that passes as normal. There have been adjustments, both on her part and ours. There are things we can’t do anymore, but we try not to think of them and find new things we can do. Life is different, but it isn’t over, and we have our happy-go-lucky puppy back. We don’t think of her as blind, she just has seeing eye people now and we’re taking life a little slower, giving more hugs and belly rubs, and not taking anything for granted.
It was because of this experience that I decided to make this site in the hopes that the toys we feature here will help you and your blind dog re-discover the joy of play, as it is what healed us.