Do you think it is any coincidence that DOG spelled backwards is GOD? While researching, I came across the legend about Adam in the Garden of Eden. God was allowing Adam to name all the animals, trees, etc., as it says in Scripture, but (here’s the legend part) there was a small creature following God and Adam through the Garden and as they got to the end, the creature got their attention. “You have run out of names,” he pointed out. “There’s not one left for me.”
God looked down and smiled at the little animal. “I have saved the best for last,” he explained. “I’ve turned my own name back to front, and called you Dog.”
My family LOVES dogs. I have often made the comment, “in my next life I want to come back as one of our dogs”. Over the years, we have gone to great lengths for our beloved, four-legged, furry friends. But, why wouldn’t we? They are more than just animals. If you are lonely, a dog will be happy to keep you company. If you need someone to love, there aren’t many other beings that can love you the way a dog can. If you seek loyalty unto death, look no further than a dog. If you need a laugh, the dog knows just when to offer comic relief. Dogs are your proven stress reliever, honest about how they feel towards your friends and if you give your heart to a dog, he will not break it. A dog’s love for their owner is nothing less than incredible. They are part of your family and should be treated as such.
When my Dad’s wife, Kim, asked me to write about their “formerly” blind dog, how could I resist? Miss “Juliet” has captured the hearts of us all and it is my gift to tell her story. You see, this sweet little ball of white fluff was visually impaired when first rescued by my Dad and his wife. They became Juliet’s seeing-eye-people. This little lady had absolutely no idea the blessing of what life would be like being adopted into this family.
It all began shortly after the loss of “Shakespeare”, my father’s faithful buddy for 18 wonderful years. Shakespeare shared the love of my Dad with his brother “Caesar”. Two precious Bichon’s with entirely different dispositions. When Caesar passed a few years prior, a special connection emanated between Shakespeare and Dad. We knew this loss wasn’t going to be easy long before Shakespeare’s health started to fail. The two of them were like peas and carrots. They had a routine, a bond that only each other could fill. Kim and I would often take dibs on who was going to handle Dad’s misery through the grieving process. Kim would say “you’re the daughter” and my remark, “you’re the wife”, would always trump her. That’s when Kim started researching rescue sites as we were all concerned about the heartache Dad was surviving without his boy.
On a Saturday afternoon in late February, as I was sitting in conferences in Fort Worth, Texas, I was included in a group text between my Dad in Arizona and my sister in New Jersey. Pictures of the most adorable little girl, with the most peculiar name given, flooded my phone. Which reminds me, why are rescue sites notorious for giving these sweet animals such ridiculous names? Anyway, as I received more information, I learned that she was approximately 8 years of age and blind. How lovely I thought, blind dogs always see with their hearts. Eventually, I asked the magical question, “was she to become a part of our family”? There was a long pause between texts until I finally read, “We are going to rename her and we need a name that coincides with the Shakespearean theme.” Well, that was easy, I had the perfect name! The next text from Dad read “Marie Antoinette”. I chuckled silently as I was surrounded by at least 150 people. Oh, no, not Marie Antoinette who was executed by guillotine! My sister and I chimed in simultaneously, “Juliet”. And just like that, it happened! A 9 pound, furry white snowball, named Juliet, was joining the family. I could not wait to get back to Phoenix to meet this little bundle of love.
Upon first meeting, I could not get over how well she had adapted to her new home. Humans depend on their sight far more than canines, who rely on their acute senses of smell and hearing. What’s more, a dog can feel vibrations more efficiently than people and they use their whiskers to help figure out what’s going on. Although it has not been scientifically documented, there is evidence to indicate dogs have a sort of sixth sense, which includes picking up on auras around them. Visually impaired dogs are as in touch with their owners’ moods as much sighted dogs. This little lady was no exception. She was definitely finding her way around quite well and into the hearts of everyone she met.
The next exciting bit of news was that Juliet accompanied her seeing- eye-people to a specialty clinic, Eye Care for Animals. A visit with Dr. Joanna Norman proved that she was an excellent candidate for reversal of her blindness. Imagine that, Ruby Ranch Pet Rescue had told my family that Juliet had been blind since birth and she would never be able to see. Dr. Norman said quite the contrary and her odds of seeing were 90%. The expense of the procedure was in the eyes of the beholder and Kim and Dad were determined to give Juliet the gift of sight.
On July 18th, our beloved Juliet went into surgery to reverse blindness and restore sight. We all waited on pins and needles for the thumbs up. Dr. Norman stated that everything went extremely well and said her cataracts were so hard, she had to use a jackhammer .. of course she was just kidding, but the magnitude of her comment, understood. Juliet was sent home that evening accompanied by a cone the size of her body, sleepy from the anesthesia and plenty of medication to begin the healing process. And while it was accepted that Juliet would never be catching Frisbee’s, she would be able to navigate and not bump into objects.
For the first four weeks following the surgery, Juliet wore the cone and was subjected to eye drops throughout the course of the day. She handled all of her aftercare like a trooper. She never fussed or whimpered. But the changes that have occurred in her personality are nothing short of amazing. She is even happier now and hops around like a little bunny with a cottontail. She is more picky about her food, probably because she can see it. And the best gift of all is she can look into the eyes of her seeing-eye-people with gratitude and love.
Kim and Dad also believed that she didn’t have a voice box. However, my sweet Mollie has proven that theory incorrect. Juliet recently made it quite clear, when Mollie got a little too close, to back off! When we heard a growl and a few barks and realized it wasn’t Mollie, it was Juliet’s new found sight which allowed her to see Mollie for the very first time! Albeit shocking, it was a very pleasant surprise that sent my 40 pound Terrier running to me.
Let’s face it, when something is missing, broken or empty inside of you only you can heal yourself and close the voids. Juliet has done just that. She has taken away the pain, anguish and disappointment of loss. In return, she has been given a gift, a priceless gift. Rescuing Juliet was a blessing bestowed upon them all. And no, I don’t think that Dog is God spelled backwards but more than anything God created, dog defines incorruptible goodness, loyalty, and everlasting love.