My beloved 7-year-old Bichon Frise/ Maltese mix doggie, Henri, has become completely blind in the last week, and two days ago I learned that the blindness will be permanent. He possibly can see hints of shadows, but that's it, folks!
I have always loved to write, and I have lately found it to be a wonderful healing exercise. Especially when my thoughts on a particular issue are quite jumbled in my head, the act of organizing and categorizing those thoughts into words that would make sense to others is exactly what I need to understand them, myself.
After months of tackling Henri's puzzling health problems--liver dysfunction, rapid weight gain, kidney stones, antibiotic-resistant staph infections, and a terrible abscess that threatened amputation of his glorious tail--we have finally come to a medical resolution and we understand what is happening to our little buddy. Yet, far from being a relief, the clinical answer to his mysterious overlapping symptoms was probably worse than I could have imagined. We may finally be coming to a homeostasis, however, our constant vet visits finally abating, and I find myself more thankful for him and grateful for his continued presence in our lives than I've ever been.
Now that I have accepted his blindness--what choice did I have???--I know that it is my responsibility to my best friend to help him adjust to it comfortably. I am encouraged by other owners of blind pets that assure me that dogs adapt to blindness remarkably well and can continue to live full, happy lives. Remaining positive myself is essential in minimizing Henri's stress in this time of change for him. The loving compassion I feel for him is complete, and my pride in his joyfully confident personality in the face of illness and hardship is immense, the old feelings of irritation or impatience with him erased in a moment. What a gift!
At times, the thought sneaks up on me without notice, "No! My sweet little dog can't be blind! Why?!"
So, my head is pretty jumbled. I think writing about it will help.