Thursday, November 6, 2008


I mentioned that Hunter doesn’t play with his toys anymore. We noticed that when Hunter’s vision had a marked decrease, he became depressed for about three weeks. I believe he re-acted the same as any human would. For those few weeks, he was a little bit needier than he had been. At night, the girls and I watch a drama and he needs to lie in our laps and be rubbed. Even now, every night we do this ritual. He doesn’t like being picked-up too much, so we coax him to jump onto the sofa by himself.

I read on someone’s site that when their dog lost their sight, they would talk to them constantly. So we did. Even though Hunter belongs to everyone, I’m his alpha dog. It’s very important for him to know where I am all the time. That hasn’t changed. Everyone talks to him, especially when he's laying down and we're walking near him so he knows who's there. I also learned a lesson when I went to vacuum one day. I started to vacuum near him and it scared him so much he urinated. So now, I start the vacuum away from him so he won't be scared when I start to come near him. I also tell him he needs to move, which helps.

He had to re-learn the layout of downstairs. We put up a child gate to block him from going upstairs. He doesn’t do stairs very well. He’s bumped into the walls, but he’s gotten a lot better now. I also bought another child gate and put it up to keep him out of the kitchen while I’m doing the dishes. Even though he hears the dishwasher being opened, he still hit his head pretty hard on it.

That also brings me to his hearing. We believe he doesn’t hear as well as he had. Possibly, due to his age, his hearing had been going, but because he still could see we didn’t notice it. So if you have a geriatric dog, who loses his/her sight, you may notice they’re not hearing as well too.

One of the challenges has being taking him outside. I bought doggles (goggles for dogs/cats), but we haven’t tried them yet. One area to really work on is going outside. For a month now, I’ve used the command “stay.” I give him the command to “go” when the door is ready, but he always starts off too early. I keep him on a short leash when we go on/off the patio. I tell him “down” and “up” for when we’re getting on/off the patio. He’s been doing better this past week.

It’s very important to remember, you are their eyes and to be aware of all the obstacles outside; such as, branches, cars, the house. You have to watch them constantly, as I’ve taken my eyes off of him for a second and he hit the house. So, when we’re near objects, I keep him close.