By Loretta Humble
I like to tell you funny stories in the column. This one isn’t very funny at all, but we’ve been through so many dog stories together, I’ve got to tell you the latest.
As even a casual reader of this column knows, there is a little stray dog at my house that I’ve been trying to find a home for. You probably also know that Bingo, the Shihtzu, hates him. You probably remember that Bingo gets into a lot of physical trouble, all on weekends, so that he can cost Carl two or three times the amount it would cost if he would just do it on weekdays.
First he found some way to roast his private parts, so they looked like a peeled tomato. That was both painful to the pocketbook and painful even to the observer. We still don’t know how that happened. But it happened on the weekend.
Then, he tackled the little brown stray, who in defending himself, somehow dislodged one of Bingo’s bug eyes. On the weekend. I’ve written about how the attempt to fix it cost several times what it finally cost to remove it.
Carl said to the final vet, who we love, by the way, and who is open on Saturdays, “What if he loses the other one?” “Oh,” said the vet, “this was just a freak accident. He is no more likely to lose that other eye than any other dog is to lose an eye.” That was one month ago.
Yesterday (Sunday evening, of course) when Carl came in Bingo was missing. And Bingo is never missing. We thought he had been stolen, or a Coyote got him. Carl finally found him wandering around on the road to the back of the place, with that remaining eye bugged out of its socket. It may have been the brown dog again, but maybe something wild, as he had some other small injuries, and all the brown dog has ever done is defend himself. We’d like to think it was something else, since we kept letting Brown Dog stay.
Sunday evening, we couldn’t find a vet anywhere around here. On the off chance the eye could be saved, we headed to Arlington to a new 24-hour doggy emergency room. On the way I even had the nerve to knock on the door of another vet we love and ask for advice. He was in bed, feeling bad, and sent word for us to go on to Arlington. There, for $125, they told us the eye was gone, and gave him a shot for pain. They would have operated on him for $1,400 to $1,600, but said it would be okay to take him to the regular vet today. That is where he is now. Getting it removed. For one-tenth of the cost. The vets all assured us he can adjust well, and live a long and happy life as a blind dog. Maybe he can. I’m not sure about the folks around him.
And the brown dog. I’m waiting for a call from a no-kill shelter that I intend to bribe to make sure he gets special treatment and special effort finding him a forever home.
Tuesday morning update. Bingo is home, and is slowly adjusting. We are adjusting, too. We’ve been reading that blind dogs can live a nearly normal life. They say sight is the third most vital sense for a dog, behind smelling and hearing. The no-kill shelter is not returning my calls. I don’t think Bingo is going to fight Brown Dog any more, but we certainly can’t keep taking the chance, even though he doesn’t have any more eyes to lose. It is really sad, because Brown Dog is really sweet and loves us beyond measure. He believes he has found his forever home. Sure do wish one of you would find it in your heart to take him home with you. Please.