Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Can't See Clearly Now.

All those hilarious posts I've been writing in my head at the grocery store, or while in the shower, or while Baby D is up to insane fuckery will have to wait.

I feel sick inside. I'm not sure where else to turn so I'm gonna just pour it out here.

We have two dogs, the little shit Ella (a Lab/Satan cross), and our big, blind boy Schultzy (a Great Dane). Many of you may know his story. Both dogs were rescued. Schultz came to be our boy in January of 2009. On the way home from his foster mom's place, we got into a car accident. A deer decided it didn't like the passenger side of our car, in mid-daylight, on Highway 401. My life flashed before my eyes, but we ended up okay. The car was bashed up, but Schultzy just sat in the back, cool as a cucumber, as shit went down.

His second day at our old house in 2009.

Anyway, needless to say things started with a literal bang. He adores the Hubs. He's broken windows, (probably hearts, too, with those stunning good looks and likely past of being a stud dog), he's eaten his fair share of feces (you know, before he FINALLY accepted that we were going to feed him regularly), he's dabbled in soap bars, razor blades, and Lindor chocolate (I shit you not, the dog has a varied palate, but I agree with him on the chocolate).

He had issues around his neck being touched. He could be aggressive. We've tried (mind you, not hard enough) to train him via various trainers, nose halters, leashes, muzzles, tactics, techniques and treats.

Back in Ontario he was really into nail care. But I refused him a shellac UV dryer.

He's had surgery on his bum. He's been gravely ill with a bladder infection. He's come through it all fine. He's a motherfucking champion. He's currently somewhere between 9 and 10 years old, which is "super-granddad" age for a Dane.

We knew his vision wasn't great, and when we finally moved to Western Canada in 2012, it became painfully apparent in the new surroundings on the drive here that our handsome beast was truly blind. Then came his fear.... of stairs, of the unknown, of the stressful changes. He still rocked that shit, but it was so sad to realize his world was totally dark.

Some time has passed. His eyes were cloudy, we knew he had cataracts. But then the red third eyelids started showing in his eyes and he just didn't seem right. So, since Saturday and yesterday at the vet's we've discovered:

- He has painful glaucoma, with at least 55 pressure in his left eye. At best, he has the feeling of a constant headache. But he's a champ, so it could be worse and he is just tolerating it.
- He will not, at all, allow any more eye drops. He shakes, he backs up, he slips on the floor. He can sense it and smell it, and both the Hubs and I have barely hung on to our composure trying to drop him and calm him.
- He has to have at least one eye removed. This upsets me far more than it should.
- He may have the other eye removed, but will be assessed before surgery on Thursday morning.
- He's gonna go to a specialist who does eye removal more regularly. Our hope is that if they know what they are doing, they will have him under sedation as little time as possible, and do it right, because if the local vet fucks up they have to go back under sedation to have fluid and more stuff taken out.

The biggest freakin' scare? He's old and Danes are known to have weak hearts. We can do $600 of pre-surgical diagnostic testing, but in the end, regardless of the results, he can't reasonably live with the glaucoma pain. And even clear results don't mean he will be okay under anaesthetic. It will only worsen, and he now refuses drops. And he is strong enough and big enough that he continues to win that argument.

Instead, we can do $225 of blood work to at least determine what kind of drugs to give him to sedate him. So it looks like we will.

Don't ask how much the surgery costs.

I hope to hell our sweet beast of a boy does not react badly. He could very well die on that operating table, in a strange new clinic, with staff around him and no family. I don't want to play God with him, but after long discussions, me and the Hubs can't find another reasonable option.

He still has quality of life. He LOVES his walks. He LOVES anything with cheddar powder or sauce. He LOVES his Grandmas. He even wags for pets when he's in the mood. He's mellowed significantly in the last few years and can tolerate a houseful of people and toddlers. And pain medication alone can't combat the pressure and pain from his eye lens.

Wait, what? My couch smells like dog? Nooo, you must be mistaken...

I'm not a religious person. I just hope anyone out there who loves dogs, or, hell, can say they like me (I'll even take "I can stand her"), to please put out some positive vibes for my guy on Thursday. I can feel a panic attack coming on as I type this.

He's been dealt some shit cards. I just want him to be happy and loved and not hurting.


Pin It Now!


  1. That is so sad. The poor big guy. Unfortunately you guys are his humans, and that means you sometimes have to make some heart wrenching decisions because he can't make them. These in between ones are the toughest. In the end you have to do what's right for him, however it happens, to end the pain.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply Keith. We love him so much. It sucks.

  2. My thoughts are with you. I hope all goes well.

  3. Aww Stephanie, that is so tough! Our pets become our babies too and I can only imagine how stressful and worrisome this is. I will definitely send out healthy and healing vibes to your great dane.

  4. I feel your pain and anguish. I had my sweet poodle-boy for almost 19 years; he lost his hearing a couple of years before he lost his sight. Having a deaf fur baby was one thing, but having a deaf and blind furry child was a whole other story. It's all about the quality of life for our furry ones. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. (hugs)


I get far too excited when new comments come in here...