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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Black Dog Sunday

Our Black Dog is continuing to seem perfectly healthy and enthusiastic about life since arriving at home. He had fun in the desert but worried us a lot because he was hesitant to walk or run on unknown terrain.

He went to see his ophthalmologist this week. The reason why his vision is waning so fast is that his glaucoma is causing a very big cataract. You can see it in this photo. I did not use a flash. Rather, the cataract glows green even in ambient room light. Due to his glaucoma, he'd probably completely lose his vision if he had surgery to remove the cataract so there is no way to prevent his vision sliding downhill.

The good news is that the pressure within the eye is being completely controlled by the three kinds of eye drops that he gets twice per day. That means that the eye probably doesn't ache. However, I have been surprised to learn that dogs with glaucoma often go blind even when the eye pressure is well controlled by meds.

The amazing thing is how very happy he is. When he knows what lies ahead in terms of terrain, he runs like the wind. In this case, I think that he was following Shyla's tail! It made me smile!

Thanks to all of you who have written to me about how well your blind dogs have done in their home environments - almost making it hard to tell that they are blind. R seems to be similar - the only time that his visual impairment is obvious at home is when I try to hand him a treat. I do have to admit, however, that our LabMobile trips are important to us. We are going to do more research about how we might help our Black Dog to feel more comfortable when we're camping. Just so you know, photo shoots aside, we kept him on leash for most of our desert trip so that we could guide him. It wasn't enough.

To focus on the good, R isn't in pain, and he is living life to the fullest here at home. He still has a bit of vision, and he is using it well. Happy Black Dog Sunday!


  1. I am glad to hear the meds are doing their work. I know you will figure out some way to make him more comfy on your trips. sorry to hear he was unsure even on the leash... he is so beautiful and his sight is heart breaking

  2. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers always, R, and we hope that you always stay happy♥

  3. R is such an inspiration. He has two loving siblings to guide him in his world and loving peeps to take care of his needs. Happy Mothering day to you KB!!
    Hugs Cecilia

  4. We're sorry the news wasn't better for R, but are glad to see that he is comfy and happy at home. We hope you can figure out a way to help him so you can continue to go on those trips that you love.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  5. R is a very smart dog - his caution in unfamiliar environments will help keep him safe. I wish I had more ideas on helping him; plenty of noise cues for him (bells on bikes, people and dogs, along with whistles) may help, but a new normal for R is evolving, and I know from personal experience how difficult that adjustment is to make. Maybe more leash training even when you are at home so he always feels 100% certain that he will always be safe going where you guide him when he's on-leash? Wishing you the best as you all adjust :)

  6. Happy Sunday!! Was interested in how BLK Dog faired in the desert. He sure is handsome and quite the expressive eyebrow. Thanx for keeping him comfortable.

    Big Hugs

  7. R is so lucky to have you and the Runner for parents. Happy Mother's Day.

  8. He does look so very happy and that is most important!

  9. Another comment lost in cyberspace, so here we go again.
    So sorry the news is not good for the lovely black dog. I have a feeling that Shyla is so sensitive that she will soon become his guide dog. It is truly amazing how dogs seem to adapt and live their lives to the axiom "it is what it is" rather than lamenting what is lost. Sending positive vibes to all of you.

  10. so relieved and happy to hear more details about his eye and the glaucoma.
    he has such a strong and loving spirit. they all do! and it is no doubt due to your own attitude!
    happy Mother's Day dear bean. in the best sense of the word! XOXO

  11. That silhouette pic is fabulous!

    We know that you will do everything possible for your beloved black dog.

  12. As someone who worked with blind children for years, they just make adjustments and enjoy life. I think R will do the same. Maybe running wild in unfamiliar places or catching treats are out, but other pleasures can be enjoyed.

  13. I am so glads that he is following Shyla's lead ~ what a smart puppers R!! I am glad too that he is not in any pain. I just knows he will do fine, cause he is in the bestest home evers!
    Ruby ♥

  14. So happy to hear the good and know you're taking care of the not-so-good stuff. R's in very good and loving hands.


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