A friend warned us after Dixie was diagnosed with diabetes one month ago that she would go blind. I wish I’d known how fast that would come. She already had cataracts going into this (an early sign, perhaps) and last week, before the ice storm, she got an infection in one eye.

By the weekend, her vision was completely gone.

Dixie, Spring 2013

Dixie, Spring 2013

I saw my home in a new way. It is not, by any stretch, an age-in-place kind of abode. But I downloaded a primer with 65 tips on how to help a dog that has gone blind. We’re doing what we can.

What’s been tough for Dixie is the speed of the loss. She hasn’t had a lot of time to adapt, the way you might if your vision slowly fades from aging. The ice storm didn’t help either. She has the most confidence when we get the leash and go for a walk outside, but the ice is cruel. It hides important clues under the feet and yields unexpectedly.

The storm allowed me time to observe her closely and make changes we needed to make quickly and speed her adaptation. But, for a few days, I also watched her wake up each morning, and from naps, having forgotten for a brief moment that she was blind.

Just like other December mornings some years ago, when I woke up each morning not remembering, for one or two glorious seconds, that Mark was gone.


  1. Sharon Wilson on December 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I remember when you brought Dixie home.

  2. Peggy on December 12, 2013 at 2:15 am

    It wasn’t long ago. However long she’s in our lives, it will be a gift.

  3. Carol Heinkel on December 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Just love her, she is special as are most dogs.

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