Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nova's Point of View

Hey, it's Nova here. I know, point of "view", ha ha, very funny, how can Nova have a point of "view" when she can't see? Well, I may not be able to see with my eyes anymore, but I can see with my other senses, like my nose and my ears. I just have to train them to do that type of work. I consider myself really lucky. I have my own personal seeing eye person now (Mom) and even my own seeing eye dog (Emmy). Together we are working as a team to help me learn my new world. Here's Emmy sticking close to me so I feel safe during a nap:

She follows me wherever I want to nap, and stays close by to keep me safe:

Let me tell ya, waking up to darkness is REALLY scary. A few nights ago when I woke up in the darkness I didn't understand what had happened. I thought I was alone, and that I was not safe. Plus, I felt awful. My eyeballs have given me so much trouble these past few years, it's been WAY more hassle than recovering from an amputation and learning to hop on 3 legs. Think of it as the world's worst migraine headache. Your eyeball aching so bad that you can't even think straight.

I mean it, I really felt like total crap:

Then on top of that, I had to spend nearly 2 days in scary places that I didn't want to be, with strangers who poked my eyeballs all the time and fed me disgusting medicines. The medicines worked, here and there, long enough for me to get some relief and to start to understand my new situation. Now that I am back home, with my familiar bed, toys, and smells, I feel safe and cared for. And I am starting to learn my way around my new world so it doesn't feel so dark anymore.

Here my favorite stuffie puppy making me feel safe and loved when I had my bad headache:

Everyone in my pack is trying to help me, but they are also trying to teach me. I am teaching myself a lot too, since I have a much better nose and sense of hearing than my people do. I really appreciate the things Mom is teaching everyone to do. First, everyone is talking to me more, reassuring me that someone is around so I feel safe. But when I am trying to sniff and hear my way to find something, they are more quiet, except for the person who is near the thing I am looking for. This helps me find my way. Also, my sister Emmy has been great. She has pushed my head toward my food or water dish to help me find it, and also walks with me to our different nap spots around the house. So far I have been able to find my way to ALL my favorite spots, even getting up on the couch and on my brother's bed.

Mom has been helping me get outside with my leash. She is still trying to figure out how to size a harness she got for me, but I hope she can do it today. Going outside is still a little hard, but I can tell that Mom is taking me out the same route each time to help me memorize it. Then we go for a walk around the yard just to enjoy the air. Sometimes she'll get me up if she thinks I've been resting too long. I might complain, but I know she is just trying to keep me learning, and encouraging me. Today we even went outside to make this cool garden stone with my pawprint in it. That felt weird to put my foot into the cold, wet concrete, so it took us awhile to get it right. Mom decorated it with pieces of colored glass, and used letter stamps to write "Tripawd Nova":

Mom is hoping I can get my new world figured out before they have to go away for the weekend in mid-May, and again Memorial Day weekend so she Mom can run her first marathon. Speaking of that, a few days before I went blind, Mom called a pet sitter who was recommended by our vet. It turned out that the sitter was a neighbor who only lives 3 houses from us, a retired couple named Cindy and Jerry, they are pawrents to Otis, a golden retriever who walks by my house every day. Mom invited Cindy to come over and Emmy and I won her over in like, 5 seconds, as we are known to do! Mom was so happy that she lived so close and would be able to give us extra special care when our pack is away. Now that I am blind, she is SO happy she found Cindy because going to the kennel or to a strange house would be very hard for me as a blind dog. So when my pack goes away, Emmy and I will be able to stay in our comfortable, familiar home. What a relief.
Yesterday (Friday) I did not feel very well at all. Mom could tell, and I could tell she was sad and worried about me. I was just trying to get through the pain, sleeping, and thinking ahead to when this eyeball won't hurt so bad anymore. I didn't want to eat my dinner, I felt so horrible. Mom had to give me something called Glycerin. Man, that stuff is AWFUL. She had a rough time giving it to me too. The doctor told her she could just get it at the drugstore. She went there and found out that it was in the skincare/first aid section. She was all upset because the bottle said that it could be poisonous if swallowed. She called the vet a few times to make sure she was getting the right stuff. She remembered that it made me barf a few times yesterday, and was so worried about making me barf on top of all the awfulness I was feeling.

Around 8 pm she finally got up the nerve to force feed me 1/3 cup of Glycerin through a syringe. BLEAH. She put towels all around me in case I spit it out. At that point I was feeling so bad I thought I would just swallow it. I ended up feeling better later that night. This morning when I woke up I was feeling good, and ready for a big breakfast. And I was happy that the Glycerin didn't upset my tummy the way it did the other day. But I still don't like it. This stuff is big time NASTY, and I hope you don't ever have to take it:

After breakfast Mom went to take a shower, so I found my way down the hall to my brother's bed. I was definitely ready to wag some tail today, so Mom caught me on video:

After napping there for awhile, I woke up and sensed that Emmy was not in the room. So I got up to look for her. Mom heard me get up and decided to video tape me, so she could show everyone how I am learning to find my way. Here in this video, I found my way from my brother's room to my bed in the living room, without bumping into anything!

We just got back from local vet to get my eyeballs poked to get the pressure checked. Fun, fun, fun. The most exciting thing is that the pressures were normal, ranging from 10-14 in both eyeballs. No wonder I feel so good today! Mom also figured out show to fit me with my Ruffwear harness, and it worked great at the vet, and everything thought I looked very pretty in it. When we got home I went for a long hop around the yard with Mom. Now, I am going to try to explore a little more around the house. But not without a nap first!

1 comment:

Vicki T said...

Oh my gosh, Sue!!! I had no idea what you and Nova have been going through. I had a Basset Hound (Brenda) who had glaucoma as a puppy and I can attest to the pain it causes. It is just purely awful. She was allergic to the hepatitis part of the vaccines dogs get and her eye just "blew" up in size. I raced her to an emergency vet in Denver on a Saturday morning and they started her on Mannitol IV Salts to shrink the eye. Luckily, this emergency clinic was right next door to a renowned canine and feline eye doctor. He told me she had to lose her eye to stop the pain and I allowed him to remove it. She became well quickly, after that, but the month I went through with her eye growing and then shrinking and then growing again before they realized it was the vaccine that was causing her problem was one of the hardest months of my life. I slept on a futon with my little dog and I worried over her so. I was so thankful I found those vets that day and wonder if they have done the Mannitol IV Salts on Nova to help shrink that eye. It's so good to hear from you again, but this news has me in tears. I can only imagine how awful you must feel. Please feel free to email me at and I would love to talk to you on the phone. Thank you for getting in touch with me via Facebook (I think it was Facebook). I'm not familiar with that website, at all, so that's why it's better to contact me on email. Please write me soon. Your concerned friends, Blazer & Mom (Vicki) Tankersley