In December 2013, we knew we'd be traveling back to Wisconsin for Christmas and we wondered if Nate's sister, Georgia (a veterinarian student at Wisconsin), could hook us up with some discounted eye surgery for Ries. For at least a year, Ries' eye sight has been failing. Hoping that the cause was treatable, we took her to her VTA vet here in Campbell, who threw cotton balls in front of Ries to see if she would track them. Although I'm generally happy with this particular vet, this time I regretted not just googling "how to tell if your dog is going blind" so I could throw cotton balls at home for free. Alas, he referred us to the pet ophthalmologist, conveniently located just another mile or two away.
Before I sound too sarcastic about serious matters such as blindness, I should officially admit that my concern and love for Ries is not what it was before children. I don't think I could quite give her up for adoption, but I've considered it. Thankfully, as my love has scaled back, Nate's has remained strong. He often tells Ries, she didn't mean that, or reminds me to be kind. It sort of makes me feel like there is only so much love in my heart and that as I have children, that love can no longer be divided amongst four-legged things, only those with two. Maybe it's just a hormonal thing? I used to be a cat lover, now I don't think someone could pay me to let one reside with me.
So, all that to say that I would have just accepted "going blind" as a diagnosis, but Nate was fairly insistent on paying $120 to take Ries to the specialist. So I scheduled a Saturday appointment. Sound familiar? Louisa's Saturday at the dentist with dad? In the end, I'm glad Nate insisted, because now we know that Ries has progressive retinal atrophy. There were no surgeries back in Madison last Christmas because other than experimental nutrition supplementation, there is no treatment. It's sad, but there are worse diagnoses for a 6 year old dog, right? As long as we keep Ries safe from cars, it doesn't seem like her life should be shortened. She still gets excited about treats, the sound of a squeaky toy, and the moment Nelly, our nanny, walks in the front door. I don't know what kind of treats Nelly gives Ries, but she adores Nelly.
Unfortunately, she can't track tennis balls much at all anymore. She hasn't seemed to let that ruin her excitement the dog park though: