This week’s innerview reminded me what a lucky dog I am.
Tucker Davis is a 9-year-old Rat Terrier. Last September, he got a disease that made him blind, an a couple weeks ago he Woofmailed me to ask if he could share some of the tricks he learned to help him find important stuff like his food an water bowls an bed an Mom an Dad, and not bump into things.
When the door opened, a chocolate-colored pooch was standing there, next to a lady, an Tucker was right behind, real close. He had a black sniffer and very big, very dark eyes. An the BEST. EARS. EVER. Big pointy ones that looked like sails onna boat. He may not be able to see, I thought, but I bet he can hear a mouse in sneakers, tip-toeing.
After a coupla woofs, they came up for Wag-and-Sniffs, Tucker leaning against the chocolate-colored pooch a liddle bit.
“I’m Tucker, this is my liddle sister, Hershey, an this is our Mom, Sandra. Our Dad’s Tom. Thanks for coming, Mr. Bonzo.”
“Thanks for having me,” I replied. “I gotta say, you seem to get around nicely. If I didn’t know you were blind, I don’t think I wudda suspected.”
“Well, I hadda learn a lot pretty quick. It was frustrating for a while, but, with Mom and Dad an Hershey and my special trainer helpin’ me, it’s all good now.”
“So why don’t you start from when you first got your Forever Family,” I suggested.
“K. Well, I was 5 anna half when Mom and Dad found me at the Brevard Humane Society. I’d been very well cared for by my previous owners, probly even a little spoiled, but they had to let me go cuz of Unavoidable Circumstances. I wasn’t mad at ’em or anything, but I was sad. And kinda concerned. But my new Mom an Dad were super nice. Since I wasn’t used to ridin’ in a car or going on leash walks, I was Very Nervous at first, so nervous that I’d tuck my caboose under. So Mom an Dad changed my name (Victor) to Tucker. (Which I like better anyway.) I didn’t even know how to play, if you can believe it. I only knew how to watch TV and snuggle on the couch.
“When I first got here, Mom an Dad had another pooch, Idaho, a Jack Russell. We weren’t what you’d call come-PAT-ibble. It was sorta my fault, I guess, cuz, see, since I didn’t understand Playin’ back then. I kept trying to save Mom from Idaho when they were just playin’ Tug-of-War. We finally worked out a Semi-Peaceful Co-existence, and, when Idaho went to Dog Heaven, I really missed her, and I moped and moped.
“Mom an Dad figured I needed another pooch pal, so they went to a Rat Terrier rescue down in Miami and found Hershey. Only half of her is a Rat Terrier. I’m not sure which half. The rest is Jack Russell and Chihuahua. She’s a wunnerful liddle sister. She even taught me how to play by running laps around the coffee table, an bouncing at me, an waggin’ an stuff. An, when I got blind, she figured out how to help me by stickin’ real close and kinda bumpin’ me along. She’s Awesome Dog Biscuits!”
Hershey trotted over and licked Tucker on the nose. “Awwww, thanks, bro.”
“Well, it’s true,” he told her. “Anyway, last September, Mom an Dad ree-lized something was wrong, an took me to a specialist. When they found out it was SARDS and I was probly gonna totally lose my sight, they got a special trainer for me, A.J., to help us Prepare. A.J. taught us some Cool Kibbles stuff. Like using my sniffer: while I could still see a liddle, Mom’d put different smelly stuff (she calls ’em Essential Oils) on places I need to be able to locate. She made Smell Paths for me to follow. Like, peppermint on the furniture feet and patio dog door so I could find the exit. And vanilla on my water dish. An lavender on pathways to Important Places. So by the time my lights went out, I knew how to use my nose to find stuff.”
“Woof! Tucker, that’s uh-MAZ-ing!! YOU’RE amazing. But I thought I heard bells, when we first came in. What’s up with that?”
“I also learned to use my ears more Mom an Dad an Hershey wear bell bracelets so I always know where they are.”
“Woof! So you can run around an play with Hershey an stuff like that?”
“Sure, since Hershey showed me how to play. I don’t do as much zoomin’ around as she does, though. I’m a Momma’s Boy. I like snoozin’ on the grass, in the sun. Hershey says I snore, but I’m not so sure. She’s a Daddy’s Girl. They watch football, an she helps him in the garden. She’s a hunter, too. She’ll hunt anything that moves. Lizards, squirrels, snakes.”
“You got THAT right!” Hershey interjected. “I’m good at it, too. Except, one time, on the beach, I ate one of those blue, bubble-looking thingys with the long blue strings on ’em. THAT was a BIG Mistake.”
“HUGE!” Tucker agreed. “She was sicker than a – well, you know. She hadda have SUR-gery. Now we’re mostly back to normal. We share everything. Except food. When we hear Mom running the bath water, we run an hide together. But it doesn’t do any good. When we figure out we’re going to the vet, we sit and give Mom the ‘No, we don’t think so,’ look. That doesn’t work either.”
“Well Thank Lassie, things turned out OK,” I told them. “I sure appreciate you sharing your experiences, so maybe it’ll help other pooches in the same spot. It’s been a pleasure.”
Heading home, I was feeling fortunate. And inspired. And, just in case your humans wanna know: SARDS is Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome. I Googled it.
Till next time,