“Warming” of body and heart after finding a home.

Dusja about 2 months after she joined us.

Jessa - the “invader”

Dusja shortly after going blind

Sleeping in the enemy’s plate!
 Dusja’s story goes back to 1994 and happened in Latvia, one of the ex Soviet Republics, now an independent country. Once waiting for a bus at a most crowded bus stop, I noticed a dog, who was looking for a place to lie down to sleep. Finally she found her spot at the very edge of a curb. I understood it could be a disaster in a minute, as lots of people, tired of waiting, got themselves ready to take by assault their long-awaited bus. I decided to call the dog just to move her from the dangerous place. She came to me, put her nose on my palm, and immediately fell asleep (probably decided she finally found a safe place to do so). I did not have any intention of going home that day with a dog, but at that very moment without hesitating, I grabbed her and brought her home.

She made her first appearance in our flat and in front of my mom’s eyes as a skinny, partly bald, hungry creature and my mom’s reaction was: “She can have a good sleep, meal, and tomorrow I want her out of here”. The dog decided to sleep in my room, and when in the early morning my mom was passing by, we heard such a frightened roar, which one can hardly expect from this tuckered out animal. She was protecting me the whole night no matter how badly she wanted to sleep! This episode has determined the dog’s future.

Many things, good and bad, have happened since then. Shortly after her adoption Dusja decided she was seriously ill and left home, probably to die. We found her 3 days later not very far under a bench shivering from the cold autumn rain. A vet discovered a serious illness, which we managed to overcome. Later she was bitten by another dog and had to suffer through two operations. Sometime later due to her unusual behavior, we took her to a vet who found out that she needs another operation to cut out a cyst.

We managed to overcome these difficulties as well. But at that time we did not know that there would be another challenge to face – the day I got married! This resulted in the appearance of 2 new family members: my husband and his dog Jessa. Dusja has not accepted this invasion, as she always considered herself the master in her house, thus the dogs have never become friends.

Months were passing by, the things were moving in groove, but one day we noticed that Dusja stepped twice on my husband’s feet within 10 min. Then during a walk she fell from a little step. And later that evening we have conducted an experiment with her favorite sausage: we were holding it 30 cm from her nose and she could not find it!!!

Another visit to a vet clinic has discovered that she is not only totally blind now, but also has diabetes, which has actually caused the blindness. She became blind very quickly, probably within several days. This happened in 2005. Since then she receives her insulin shots twice a day. Sure, we have not had any holidays since then, as nobody wants to stay with a blind dog, which pees 2-3 times a day in a flat because diabetes makes her thirsty! I get up every morning at 7 o’clock, and no matter what, I must be back at home at 7 in the evening for regular insulin shots. Husband has never complained. Neither when he comes home from work first and cleans Dusja’s “mines”, nor when we need to rush back home from the weekend’s party, when everything's just starting. I guess one can call it love?

It has been already 13 years since Dusja came to live with me… My mom keeps telling me that the dog is suffering from her blindness and that I should put her to sleep. Despite all the inconveniences I face now, I will never do that (unless really necessary). I cannot say she is suffering now. She enjoys the meal, her walks, she just simply enjoys being alive! I don’t know how old is she, don’t know how much is left for her (doctor said it will depend on how strong her heart is), but I will do everything possible to give her a life as convenient and stress-free as possible.

P.S. Thank you for the site. Until now I was not aware how many people have blind dogs. I feel much better now.

Story by: Elena Nosireva Latvia - July 2007

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