Friday, January 18, 2013
Joey came to us with an attitude and several health issues in October of 2009. He was Cushinoid with terrible allergies and because his immune system was compromised he had 2 or 3 ear infections a year. He developed an eye ulcer but a good ophthalmologist and a lot of luck saved his eye. There was always a question whether or not he could see as he had a damaged optic nerve and his ophthalmologist was pretty sure he was blind yet he acted like a sighted dog.
A year ago Joe developed diabetes and cataracts appeared seemingly overnight. The cataracts answered the blindness question as we watched him struggle to learn to live in a completely black world. And learn he did. Just like Max, Joe learned the layout of the yard and the house. We put a lit lavender candle at one end of the house and a vanilla one at the other. We used different textured throw rugs in the doorways between rooms and we kept furniture in the same positions. Joe adjusted so well that visitors had no idea he was blind, figuring it out only if he bumped into them. He received two insulin shots a day, Trilostane for the Cushings, and an allergy shot once a month. Life went on, he was happy and loved.
We called him our growly bear. He "talked" all the time, walking around the house and yard making growly noises. We knew his secret, he was all bark and no bite, and he was adored. He did well until September of 2012 when he needed surgery to remove his gall bladder. He had a good surgeon at a great medical facility, an on site ophthalmologist, several excellent vet techs and an outstanding primary vet in his corner. Joe survived the surgery, had his feeding tube removed, was hospitalized a couple more times, had his feeding tube put back in and he fought to live. He was a gallant little guy. Then one morning it was clear something was terribly wrong, sometime during the early hours Joey had had a stroke. We took him to the vet hoping against hope that she had one more magic trick to pull out of her bag but it was not to be. She examined Joe with her usual gentle touch, watched him walk, touched his ears and feet (which always resulted in a growl fest previously) and noted his total non-reaction. I knew he was gone but I needed someone else to tell me. "He's had a stroke, he's not going to come back, I'm sorry." There was nothing left but to hold him, love him and say goodbye.
Dear Joey, mom misses you every day. I love you sweet boy.