Press-Republican

Columns

January 31, 2014

Blind dog sees how to cope

It wasn’t the darkness that frightened her — Isis was used to the dark.

It was the unfamiliar sounds and smells that caused her to tremble. Her heart was pounding like one of the drums she could hear in the background.

Isis turned to seek a safe place, but she bumped into something, so she headed in a different direction, hoping to find safety there. Her nose was sore, bleeding slightly.

“What’s that damn dog doing in here?” somebody said.

Sadly for Isis, it was December, and the mall was crowded, leaving no safe place for a scared blind dog to hide.

I happened to be visiting the Elmore SPCA in Peru that winter day several years ago when two young people brought in the frightened, snow-white husky-mix they had found aimlessly wandering around a mall. No collar, no tags — clearly intentionally abandoned.

It was the holiday season, and the shelter was filled. So I volunteered to board Isis over the holidays until they could find a good home for her.

The good home turned out to be mine, and Isis has been with me ever since.

It feels like she has always been here. There was something mystical about those large, unseeing blue eyes of hers, so I named her after the mythological patroness of nature and magic. In legend, Isis was friend to slaves, sinners and the downtrodden; in real time, Isis became friend to me and a few years later was joined by Sammi, my 100-pound lap dog.

Being around a blind dog was a new experience for me, but there was little different I had to do for her — mainly remember to put things back in their original position when I moved them.

Isis quickly learned how to make her way around the house — two steps in this direction, a left turn then a right through the kitchen door, three steps and turn left to the water bowl.

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