Do You See What I See?

Recently, Shih Tzu Dad and I noticed Lucky wasn't moving around well. He walked slower than normal and started running into things. Lucky has had previous problems with his eyes so we booked an appointment with the ophthalmologist. We were hoping it was something that could possibly be treated, like cataracts. However, the doctor told us Lucky has something called SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome) which simply put is sudden blindness. They told us he was completely blind in one eye and the other could only see light and shadows. There is no known cause or treatment for SARDS so all we could do was take Lucky home.

While discussing what we could do to make the situation easier for our little boy, I remembered seeing something about a vest with a hoop that blind dogs could wear so they didn't run into things. Shih Tzu Dad did some research and found Halos for Paws. We sent in Lucky's measurements and waited for his new harness to come in.

It took Lucky a day or two to get used to having something around his head. He walked around slowly and when the ring hit something, he would be startled for a moment. We had him wear it in small doses, mainly in rooms in the house he wasn't in all the time. He navigated in his normal spaces quite well without it.

Once he got comfortable wearing it, he walked around at his normal pace and was no longer surprised when the ring hit a wall or piece of furniture. Now, in true Shih Tzu fashion, he has found a way to not only use it for it's original purpose but to benefit him in other areas as well. He now treats the halo as his own personal battering ram and pushes things around with it! Every so often we have to slightly bend back the ring to a circle shape as he has pushed on it a little too much.

We are happy that the halo can give Lucky back some of his confidence and make his new life as a blind dog more manageable.

Meet Kiwi

Hello friends! I am sorry we have not been on the blog in a few months. I hope today's announcement can make up for it! We are so excited to announce that we have a new fur baby in our lives! Please say hello to Kiwi:

First ride in the car, on her way to our home!

Kiwi came to us through Paws and Stars Animal Rescue. She is part Shih Tzu, part Havanese. Shih Tzu Dad had been following the rescue organization's page on Facebook and shared Kiwi's story with me. She was named Dolly and her owner surrendered her to the rescue because she had massive kidney stones and they couldn't afford the surgery to help her. It was so sad! If you recall, Lucky had a similar story where he was having trouble getting adopted because of a medical condition. So of course, little Dolly got my attention!

The rescue took great care of her and rushed her to surgery. Here is a picture of her stones. Her bladder is very small so you can imagine having three rocks the size of walnuts sitting in there must have been so painful!

She went through surgery so well and once she was recovered, her personality started to shine. She was very loyal, calm and happy. I put in an application for her right away. After the rescue checked us out and called our references, they let us schedule a time to meet her so she could interact with us and Lucky. We didn't want to rush into it so we made sure she was allowed to check us out and see how her personality meshed with Lucky's. Even though she was adorable and I have the urge to save every fur baby I can, we wanted to make sure our home would be the best place for her.

We fell in love with her. I decided to rename her Kiwi (because she is small, brown and fuzzy!). The first night she was home with us, we put a bed under the end table in the living room for her to sit. The rescue told us she liked to stay under things (like a table or chair) at first until she was comfortable enough to come out. We thought she would stay there that first night but after just a little bit she ventured out and sat with us on the couch!

When it was time for bed, we brought her bed up to our room. Lucky sleeps in the bed with us but we didn't want to pressure Kiwi on her first night. We put her bed next to ours in a large, soft, mesh crate and just left the door open. She walked right in and laid down and got comfortable. We thought she would stay in there for a few nights until she was ready to come out and join us. After she had gotten settled, we started getting into bed. She immediately poked her little head out of the crate and watched us. Then she walked right over to the bed and hopped up! She snuggled next to my legs and made herself comfortable. That is when I knew we had made the right decision to bring her into our lives!

Yes, this bed is comfy and will do nicely.

We look forward to new and continued adventures with our new family of four!