Yesterday my family adopted a companion dog for my elderly grandmother. Today, the vet says the dog has a long list of medical concerns. I am not sure if it is best to keep the dog and deal with his health problems or return him to his rescue group (which makes me a little sick to my stomach but might be best?). We only have a few days to decide.
Col. Nicolas J. Furry
is a four-year-old Shih Tzu intended to be a buddy for my grandmother, with actual feeding, watering and other maintenance supplied by me. I've dog-sat before but have never owned a dog. We specifically looked for a low-key, reliably house-trained, happy little dog to make his and our lives together work. On Sunday, we knew that Nick Furry only had one good eye, which was fine.
At the vet today, we learned that Nick Furry needs a lot of dental work, treatment for an ear infection, twice daily heart murmur meds, a biopsy on a suspicious lymph node that might be a result of the ear infection or might be doggie cancer
, and, the real kicker, probably needs to have his one good eye removed due to glaucoma. The official vet and a random friend who is a vet both think he only sees light/dark with that eye right now as it is.
I have NO IDEA what to do. We can monetarily afford all the medical care, but it would be stressful for my sister, who has current custody of Col. Furry, to arrange in the short window before they both travel here from out-of-state to deliver him to his new home. I'm fine giving the heart murmur pills but don't know anything about what it would be like to have a blind dog. I'm a little worried that his sweet, low-energy temperament may be partially a result of the fact that he can't see anything and his head hurts like a motherfucker. I'm a lot worried that my grandmother won't find him cute without eyes, and that as a result of her dementia I'll spend the rest of little Nicky's life explaining where his eyes went.
On the other hand, returning him to the rescue because he's defective seems evil. I sort of feel like the personal intercessionary god I don't believe in sent me an imperfect dog to make me more comfortable with an imperfect life, or something. I'm relatively certain that, once we get him healthy, he could have a perfectly nice life cuddling with my grandmother and listening to interesting sounds and smelling interesting smells.
What to do, AskMe? What is life with a blind doggie like? How much post-surgical care will my sister have to do if he gets the vet-recommended surgery bundle- ear treatment, eye removal, biopsy, and teeth pulling, under anesthesia, in one day? Should we return him to the rescue because this is too much? (Like I said, this seems evil, but it's okay to have limits...right?) Oh halp.