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Happiness
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Please add your comments about happiness here

Barbara wrote:

I have two sight-impaired shih tzus. Both are therapy dogs, one went to obedience school and did great. One has a detached retina in one eye and corneal scaring on the other. He doesn't see up close. The other can only see about 6 feet ahead and neither has any peripheral vision. Yet both love to travel on vacation and stay in hotels, ride in the car and go shopping and to the park. One chases squirrels he can hear and runs right by the quiet ones on the ground. The other is more confident and actually runs through the house even though he can't see what's coming up. He follows the other dog. We use squeaky toys heavy enough to make a "plop" sound when they land so the dog can hone in on it. Also, a ziploc bag of Cherrios is a great audible clue and a promise of a reward. It enables the one to run and play and follow along on walks without a leash. We have a ball that has different sounds like a cell phone ring, a ambulance siren, and a flashing light to help the dogs locate it. We got a fuzzy ball which rattles when moved. The sounds are triggered by the bounce. They're happy and well-adjusted and have let their nose and ears help them navigate through life more than their eyes. When the car stops, they're bouncing around going "We're here, we're here" even though they haven't a clue where they are and can't see much out of the car. It's the promise of a new experience that excites them. They trust us to protect them and take them to fun places and people. Diminished sight or blindness isn't the end of a dog's happy and productive life. We just have to find adaptive ways to make them feel safe and want to venture forth. Or if they turn into couch taters, just snuggle them and love them. We visit nursing homes with a woman and her two poodles. One is now blind, but follows the other and is very interested in visiting with the residents. They are quite understanding of her limitations and fuss over her. She repays their kindness with lots of puppy love. Time, patience, and love can work wonders.

Alison, Ashford wrote:

Rosie, our border collie is nearly 11 years old and confirmed as being totally blind. She was always a frisky, "naughty" dog and it's breaking our heart that she can't see anymore. We're trying to come to terms with it (as I believe she is) but we wonder how long before she will learn to adjust to her condition. We're really after some help and advice on how to make her life "easier". Not sure as to reason for her blindness or how long it took to reach onset.Any comments gratefully received. Thank you

Sightless in Seattle wrote:

Hello; We just learned 3 weeks ago that are beloved "Hannah" has ARS and is basically blind in her left eye and less than 50% sight in her right. Prior to these changes, she has been a high energy, loving golden retriever who just loved life and had a great sense of humor. In the last 3 weeks, we are struggling with how to build up her confidence and self-esteem in her place in our dog/people family. Despite many massages, regular attention, playing and encouragement she continues to be less than her happy self. Thanks for the support materials and reading to help us 2-legged parents support our 4-legged kids. Seeing the Light.

Dawn wrote:

I HAVE A 12 YEAR OLD LAB/GERMAN SHEPARD MIX NAMED BONNIE.SHE HAS BEEN DIABETIC FOR ABOUT FOUR YEARS NOW HER SUGAR STILL GOES UP AND DOWN DUE TO HER BEING A VERY EXCITABLE DOG.SHE IS BLIND IN ONE EYE AND THE OTHER EYE IS GOING AND SHE IS VERY PICKY ABOUT HER ROUTINE.I FEEL THAT EVEN THROUGH THESE TRYING TIMES THAT SHE IS HAPPY.IF IT WASN'T FOR HER BROTHER CLYDE HELPING TO TAKE CARE OF HER.(HELPING ME TO KEEP HER EYES CLEAN,KEEPING HER ACTIVE,MAKING HER GET UP AND MOVING WHEN SHE IS DOWN JUST LITERLY BEING THERE FOR HER.IT IS AMAZING TO WATCH THEM OUTSIDE,SHE CAN'T SEE WELL AT ALL IN THE DARK SO SHE FOLLOWS CLYDE AROUND THE PEN AND HAS COME TO KNOW THE WAY UP THE STEPS IN THE HOUSE.I KNOW THAT SHE THINKS CLYDE IS A PAIN IN THE BUTT SOMETIMES STANDS IN HER WAY WHILE SHE IS TRYING TO GET AROUND BUT I FEEL THAT SHE COULD NOT AND WOULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT HIM HE KEEPS HER SPUNKY AND HE ALSO WOULD NOT WANT TO LIVE VERY LONG WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF HER HE IS BY HER SIDE ALL THE TIME.IN FACT WHEN WE HAD TO TAKE BONNIE TO THE VET HAFEWAY THERE WE HAD TO COME BACK TO THE HOUSE TO GET CLYDE BECAUSE BONNIE WAS SO UNSETTLED.WHEN WE GOT BACK TO THE HOUSE CLYDE WAS SO HAPPY BECAUSE HE GOT TO GO WITH US TO THE VET.THEY BOTH JUST LAIDED THERE IN THE BACK OF THE JIMMY CLYDE OVER TOP OF BONNIE PROTECTING HER CLEANING HER EYE ALMOST ALL THE WAY TO THE VET.SO NOW WHEN WE TAKE ONE ANYWHERE WE TAKE THE OTHER LITTLE 65LB BONNIE AND 105LB CLYDE IN THE JIMMY.IT IS SWEET THE ONLY THING THAT I DREAD IS WHEN ONE GOES THE OTHER WILL NOT BE FAR AWAY,BUT I IMAGINE THAT THEY WILL BE TOGETHER UP THERE IN HEAVEN PLAYING TOGETHER LIKE THEY USED TO BEFORE BONNIE DEVEOPE DIABETES BUT ONE THING I KNOW FOR SURE CLYDE WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR HER PROTECTING HER LIKE HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN.IT JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU THAT HAPPINESS IS A STATE OF MIND IN AMIMALS AS MUCH AS IT IS FOR HUMANS.JUST THINK ABOUT THAT BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR ANIMAL DOWN.WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAKE THEM HAPPY MAKES ALL THE DIFFERANCE IN THE WORLD.THANK YOU FOR LISTING TO MY HEARTFELT STORY I HOPE THAT IT HELPS SOMEONE OUT THERE THAT THINKS THAT THERE IS NO HOPE BECAUSE THERE IS.LOVE YOUR PET.

Michele wrote:

My dog just LOVES walks now that she is unable to play etc... I find it to make her life much happier! :)

Kim wrote:

Response to Candi: We have the same problem. Our mini-Schnauzer has just been diagnosed with Diabetes and now has lost her eye sight. She is 13 years old. We have had many days of tears and she seems to be getting use to her situation but the old spark is gone. We do not know which way to proceed. It is very heart breaking.

Lesley Jones wrote:

My dog is going blind through diabetis, I would like to make her life more comfortable.

amy wrote:

ive got a shar pei and her eyes arnt the best, shes not blind but shes useless when it comes to catching things or seein in the dark, she had her eyes tacked when she was a pup but it left her with scars on her eyeballs (which is causing all the irrtation),she always has weeping eyes, its such a shame that u can do all the normal things with her, but i wouldnt change her for the world!

Heidi Gibson wrote:

Her Blindness happened so suddenly, of course she can't see to play catch and we have only had her in the house and yard, but we just love her more and will make her happy the rest of her life. She is a precious Dachshund.

Belinda e-mail= Lepinkster@aol.com wrote:

I have had my lab mix dog for 11 years now. Last year we found a lump on his liver, he underwent major surgery, thousands of dollars, he pulled through great. 6 months ago, he was diagnosed with cushions disease, I am treating him for that with Lysodren,a month into his Lysodren treatment, he became diabetic,I am giving him 2 shots daily of insulin, now he his blind. It is breaking my heart seeing him walk into things and laying there crying, He is my best friend and I don't know what to do, should I have eye surgery on him, or will that be to stressful for him, or should I let him be at peace and send him to the rainbow bridge. Can anyone help me and give their opinions, Thanks, Belinda

Dominic wrote:

My dog, Ben, has progressively become completely blind over the last couple of years. Certainly he gets less enjoyment out of life than he used to, but he does still have a decent quality of life, primarily of course because of his fanatastic sense of smell. I try to compensate for his lack of sight in the following ways: -I Always take him on one of three walks that he knows very well (he can find his way by force of habit) -I have chosen walks that are easy to follow, eg. on well-used tracks that he can fele under foot and which seem,by his reaction, to be those with most interesting smells (this being his main sensory stimulation now). -I have have come to realise that he has started living in a world of his own, as he cannot sense where his family are in the house. So I have become more mindful of stopping frequently on my way round the house to talk to or stroke him, as have my children and partner. -We have become more mindful about keeping rooms clear of clutter so that Ben can move around the house without the risk of bumping into things. Nothing earth-shattering there, I know, but it does all help to give him a reasonable quality of life.

Jean E. Ward wrote:

Maybe some things I have tried will help. My little Pekinese was left at the SPCA because she was ill, and blind. They were going to have her put down, but decided to have me take her for a week, since I had worked with dogs with depression. I put her on my back porch, and watched as she slowly moved around on the wooden walkways, and I left her alone when she fell off into the mint beds, because she was regaining her strength. Her tongue hung to the ground, and still she wouldn't eat, or drink. There were other dogs here at the time, which I think helped. They said she had cataracts, and a possible stroke. I now know it to be some form of conjunctivitis, and ulcers, and probably depression. Everyone said she would die, and my idea was; that she was happy in the back yard, so she could die there. At first I had to feed her, and put water on her tongue, but slowly she regained her strength, and will to live. I made a game out of each little thing. After she learned the back yard, I moved her into the kitchen, then we graduated to the downstairs. Finding the paper is the hardest thing for her, she now has a name; Barbara. The birds brought her so much joy, and I close my eyes so that I can relate to her. I have 3 eye diseases, and 6 eye surgeries, and now worry over Barbara more than myself. Since I live alone the hardest thing for me to learn was to constantly be verbal, and when I am not here I have a radio on the floor for Barbara. Hand feeding is easier than cleaning up the floor, and I make a game of that also. She now is comfortable going into the front yard, and prefers it because of the traffic, and the people passing by. I have made a circle in my ferns for her to nap. She still is very shy around anyone else. She sighs a relief when I remember each morning to give her an eye, and head massage. I know how my eyes hurt, and how it must relax her to get her daily massage. She has just recently graduated to the car, and she loves it as long as she can feel me next to her. The thing she loves the most is going to Galveston Bay, and feeding the seagulls. She walks along the water, and I chatter constantly so that she is always reassured. She has learned to smile, but is shy, and only smiles for me. I think how devastating it must be for these little creatures to loose their sight, and then their home, and security; when all they need is reassurance. Jean E. Ward, and Barbara Bushy Ward

candi wrote:

I have a miniture schnauzer dog. That we just found out in december that she had diabetes. Now over the weekend she has gone blind. What should we do? She is 12 years old. Will she learn how to go down stairs? will she keep having accidents? I am not sure where to look for answers. Can some one please help..

sadie wrote:

Sadie is a 5 year old cocker and suddenly went blind we have one more test to make sure no brain tumor. she is adapting better then we are. My main problem is we are leaving for vacation soon. we hve great neighbors that keep her in the evening when home from work, but no one in the day. My husband is worried about a dog sitter that she doesn't know might upset her more. I'm afraid she will stress being alone all day.. Any suggestions or similar situations. how long does it take for our anxiety to go and her to get adjusted

Anne wrote:

Lynne don't put Bamboo to sleep he can have a happy life again. He will learn to adapt he just needs time and a lot of love and help.

Lynne wrote:

his is an appeal to anyone who has any suggestions for me. I apologize in advance for the writing so much. My beautiful, sweet Shih-Tzu, Bamboo will be 13 on May 20 this year. On Nov 11, 2002 he went suddenly blind one morning from PRA. Before this he was a happy-go-lucky boy with a few skin and food allergies, fear of lightining & loud noises (also rain since he knows what it brings with it), and moderate separation anxiety. Within 12 hrs of losing his sight, he began becoming more and more frantic. It took 3 weeks to get an appointment with the specialist that I was hoping could surgically restore his sight. I have a wonderful regular vet who believed Bamboo's night blindness was from his cataracts and that he could have the eye surgery once the blindness advanced. I was completely unprepared for the news that there was no way to help my baby see again. Even though I have been unemployed for nearly 2 years now, I was going to spend the money necessary. Bamboo finally began to adjust once we started treating him with Clomipramine for his obsessive compulsive behaviors that began with the blindness. He had even started to play with me for a few minutes every day again. Two or three times he even found his teddy bear and began to play by himself. I was so hopeful then! But now he gets mad when I try to get him to play with or without a toy. To make matters worse, about 2 weeks ago he suddenly began circling. He did this a few nights ago for 90 minutes until I couldn't take it anymore and gave him a dose of acepromazine (he takes this for thunderstorms)to calm him down. If he bumps into something, he doesn't alter his path and keeps bumping over and over again. He pants so much that his teeth cut his tongue and starts to bleed profusely. The panting, along with trying to escape, happens during thunderstorms too. But the circling is a new problem. He has also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (he was sleeping more than 23 hrs a day!), but has not been on the medication long enough for results yet. I just don't understand the sudden onset of circling. My vet says he thinks he's just disoriented because he also started having a few accidents in the house after he lost his sight but now it's not a few accidents - it's nearly every day if I'm not here to get him out soon enough. He used to bump into something and back up and try another route. He could navigate great when I put him down at the bottom of the stairs thru the living & dining rooms into the kitchen to his bowls without bumping into anything. Now he gets lost and starts to circle or freezes. He had quickly learned to bark for Mommy-taxi to come get him when he wakes up in the bedroom upstairs. He insisted on staying in the bedroom alone, unlike before when he always wanted to be where I was. So many people have told me to have him put down because he has so many problems and he and I are both wrecks. I admit that I'm worse than him. I've never owned a dog this long and never loved one as much as him. He has always been so sweet, but to see him growl out of sheer frustration when I don't find him soon enough when he's lost and barking for me, and to watch as he tries to bite me when he knows it's me and can't even see where I am, is breaking my heart. Since the blindness, he refuses to drink from his water bottle, doesn't trust me when he's on leash, doesn't want anything to do with either of his beds that he used to love to sleep in, and ignores the cat he used to love so much. I treat him to a half day of play group before each grooming appointment and they say he has a good time and plays as much as can be expected. He gets along great with all the other dogs and has always loved his groomer. This little dog had never met any person or animal he didn't love and expected that they loved him back. Being a Shih-Tzu, he has always been a little stubborn but in a good-natured way. Unlike most of his breed, he has never been a lap dog. The only time he will let me hold him o

Amanda wrote:

Since I adopted Shadow I have learned alot of respondiblity in caring for him. Because he is blind I have to be sure to walk and play with him everyday. I thought a blind puppy would be less playful but his blindness hasn't slowed him down one bit. It is a little sad to see him running beside me because I know that he has no idea that he's any different than any of my other dogs. When I took him to the vet shortly after I adopted him, they told me that he was blind and that he had probably been born blind. I have had lots of help in knowing how to care for him from my family and friends, I want to encourage anyone who wishes to give a blind dog or puppy a good home. I'm sure they would get as much fun and happiness out of caring for thier pet as I have in caring for Shadow.

Sandy sbshelton@attbi.com wrote:

This reply is for: Linda, what a great idea you had for chinta. I am going to institute it for my pet. I have a battery powerd tape recorded that automatically shuts off. I am going to put it up high on a shelf, then like what you shared, I am going to add some songs I sing to her, some notes from the conversations we have, etc. Even if it means diddly squat to her, it sure does make her mama feel more comfortable in leaving her for hours at a time. Thank you for the wonderful tip. Sandy -:)

Sandy sbshelton@attbi.com wrote:

This reply is for: Alfrieda, I had to leave my dog in a very small space (laundry room) while I was at work. I also worried it would be too small for my dog (Krystal). I found my fears were unfounded. Krystal has no problem staying there, in fact, she likes her new doggie bed (thick fleece)so much that she goes into the laundry room just to sit in her bed. Hope this helps. I would have replied much sooner but did not know this resource was even here.

jane crisp Crisp14@msn.com wrote:

I have two Pugs. This past Sunday nite we three had gone to bed, and I woke at 1:30am with KAOS lunging forward under the covers and AJ squealing. When I got the lite turned on AJ's left eye was pushed out of the socket. Long story made short. I made it to the Animal Hospital in a snow storm with him. The eye was lost, and had to be removed. He had the most expressive big set of wide eyes that melted everyone that comes his way. He looks so deformed right now but still has his spirit. I feel this trajedy of half of his sight being suddenly taken makes no sense. I would like to see this situation help others. We can all learn from our animals His tail still wags, and he jumps up to greet me when I come home. I am learning from him in his loss of sight. I would think he could give others hope and strength in their sickness or weaknesses. Thank you for giving me an ear. This is a traumatic event to go through. Jane and AJ

Joyce wrote:

Help! I have a newly blinded dog secondary to glacoma. Her anxiety and barky ways are trying for both of us. Any similar experiences? Suggestions?

Alfrieda wrote:

Mikki is our 13 year old Shi-Tzu that just lost her eyesight. Where do I put Mikki while I am at work? Should her special room have a childproof gate, pillows, her food and water, and her bathroom station all there? Or will she feel trapped in a small room? I want her to feel safe and happy. She loves to nap while I am at work.

Dave wrote:

A tape seems a good idea, Linda. I guess it would have to be battery powered to stop fire risk?

linda wrote:

you can make a tape and talk to Chinta about whatever you want and have that played to her after she is walked and fed...if it will turn itself off. See if the person can come more than one time in the day and put time in for lying on the bed getting petted and comforted.

Kathy wrote:

Chinta was just diagnosed with SARDs last week and is totally blind. She's doing okay but I have a question if anyone has any suggestions. Unfortunately, I have to travel next week and be gone from my house for 6 days. I have a friend coming in to feed and walk Chinta every day. Any other suggestions that might make her a bit happier while I'm gone. Really bad timing but I've got no choice. Thanks

Jayme aka CritterMom wrote:

That's tough. At Amber's age (10/13/84) she's living like a very elderly human in a retirement home. She naps a lot and doesn't get around well anymore but still loves her meals and a good massage/snuggle session. As long as her little nubbin wags at least once a day, I know she's just fine.

Katherine S. wrote:

Axel does have days where he just stands in the middle of the hall, but overall he hops around and barks as usual. Of course he is spoiled-we love him!

Dave wrote:

Pepe may be slower than our sighted dog Bruce, but he is just as happy. He gets spoiled a lot more by other family members too.