Isla went blind this week. After being diagnosed with diabetes last October, she’s been on daily insulin and a high protein diet. Other than missing the pet pad nightly, we noticed no other significant changes until this week.
This week, Isla couldn’t find food in front of her, and she tripped going up steps she once quickly maneuvered. On walks, Isla used to stretch the leash out and race about barking at cars, people, and old leaves untucked from winter snow. Now Isla stays close to me; she stumbles over sticks and curbs. I called her vet today who confirmed that dogs with diabetes often go blind almost overnight.
In just one week, Isla’s life has significantly changed. We all know that change is inevitable. Some changes we welcome, some we grudgingly accept, and some we fight tooth and nail to avoid. Nonetheless, change comes.
Watching Isla maneuver through her blindness offers me a vision of gracefulness through change because, Isla’s life has changed but her enjoyment of life has remained.
Isla still wags her tail wildly and looks in the direction of my voice when I talk sweetly to her. She hears the refrigerator door open and stumbles over, hopeful for a treat. She loves being petted and cuddled. Isla dances when I mention a walk, she barks wildly at the doorbell, and still flops on her back for a tummy scratch.
One might argue “She’s just a dog, she doesn’t know any better.” And truthfully, Isla wouldn’t even be mistaken for a smart dog. She could never learned to sit, roll over or fetch a ball. Isla couldn’t even be depended upon on to use the outdoor bathroom.
So what could a not-so-bright, blind, party pom teach me — a human being who can read, write, drive, cook, use a computer, tell time, etc.?
Isla seems to have the ability to recognize and show appreciation for the smallest of pleasures. This strength allows Isla to squeeze every single drop of enjoyment out of her shrinking world.
I guess she’s a pretty smart dog after all.