Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ray "Sees" the Eye Doctor

This morning I stayed home from work to take Ray to his last Vet appointment, the eye doctor. It was a beautiful morning and Ray had already been into a few things, so I decided to take him for a long walk to try to wear him out a little before his visit. I hooked him to his leash and stopped at the door. The trainer had told me to always make sure to go out the door first, make Ray wait. And Ray is very good at this (it's the one thing that he does very well). I go out, Ray follows, I tell him to sit while I lock the door behind me. Ray sits. However the minute my hand leaves the doorknob, Ray lunges for the front yard. We are working on that part.
Today the air was cool and fresh, and Ray was raring to go. He hit the end of his leash at top speed, skidded on the dewy grass and fell over. He jumped to his feet with a BIG grin on his face and came at me in spastic cannonball mode.
INCOMING! I dodged. Ray turned and tried again. INCOMING! He was having such a great time. I was laughing (which I am sure I'm not supposed to do) and dodging cannonballs then got him to the sidewalk where he took off at top speed. If I could run, I would've been right behind him. I jogged a little then managed to get Ray to settle down enough so that he was mostly beside me. My sister, Kathy, trained me, when I was very young, to walk fast. She is four years older than I am and when we walked to grammar school together, if I wanted to keep up, I had to move. But as fast as I walk, Ray walks faster, especially first thing in the morning when the smell of critters hangs in the air and trails along the grass. He loves the morning walk. 
I took him for a couple of miles and by the second one he was well under control and losing a little steam. In retrospect, I think he was saving it for the doctors office.
When we got back, I turned him loose in the backyard because I needed to do some cleaning before we left and Ray doesn't like the vacuum. The house, which is never that neat, has pretty much been a wreck since Ray came. It's amazing how easily one can adapt to having a dog bed and a big basket of dog toys in the front hallway. I have an agreement with Ray. If he takes his toys out of the basket to play with them, I will pick them up and put them away. It works out pretty well.
When we got to the vet, Ray heeled perfectly until we opened the door then he went berserk. There were a couple dogs and a cat in a carrier and he was going this way and that trying to "see" all the dogs and the cat at once. I lost my balance and tripped a bit as I entered. I was holding on to his leash with one hand, in the other were his vet records and my butt was stuck out to try to counterbalance his weight. I felt like a character in a sitcom.
I made it to the counter, slapped the vet records down, grabbed the forms that the receptionist was holding out to me (not helping!) and dragged Ray to a chair where I finally got him to sit for a nanosecond. Then got him to sit for another nanosecond. Then got him to sit for another nanosecond. 
I filled out the forms, dropped them on the counter and dragged Ray back to the chair. "Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. SIT. Stay. Good Boy. Sit. Sit. Sit. Good Boy. Stay. Sit. Sit. Stay. Good Boy. Sit Sit Sit SIT. Stay. Good Boy." Unbelievably, Ray was actually showing improvement. 
A little boy that was there with his cat, Dingo, came over to pet Ray who managed to refrain from jumping up on him. Another sign of progress. He did try to eat the boys shirt, but just a little. (Little boy's shirts must taste particularly good.) Ray also didn't try too hard to grab the boys wrist, another sign of progress. By the time we went into the doctors office, my arms were tired. I felt like I'd been lifting weights for an hour. 
The vet examined Ray's eyes and gave me some good news. There was no telling if Ray would lose what remaining sight he has. She thought that the retina in his "good" eye was probably not completely detached, that there might be one little spot towards the bottom of his eye that was still hanging in there. She also said that retinal reattachment in dogs is not very successful. That only about 20% of them make any difference at all and that she did not perform the surgery. Ray wasn't a candidate anyway because the retina in his good eye was deformed and he'd had the other detachment for too long. 
The vet gave me the lowdown on things to keep an eye on (pun there). Ray's bad eye would probably turn completely white because he had the start of a cataract. And maybe there was a possibility of glaucoma, although she said that his chance of getting that was probably less, just to be aware that it could happen, when you have a blind dog you tend not to consider the eyes as being at risk. She did not see (sorry, there's another one) that his eyes would be an issue or end up costing us a lot of money in vet bills. So good news all around. 
When we got to within about a block of the house, Ray stood up in the car and stuck his nose out the window. I wondered if was starting to recognize the smell of the neighborhood.
Moonie and Hugo were both outside enjoying the weather. I put Ray in the backyard and went out front to spend some quality time with the cats. I put Moonie on a porch chair but she didn't stay long. Hugo jumped up on her vacated spot and settled in to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. A nice change from Cat Siberia. 
Hugo enjoying fresh air on the front porch

If you're Interested, this is what an Australian Possum Looks Like.
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