Our grand dogs stay with us while their humans work and sometimes we even get to have them for a sleepover. Both dogs have but one eye. When we put them together, they have an eye on the right and an eye on the left. Guess the old adage of two eyes (or two dogs) are better than one in this case may be true. Aside from joking a bit though, the older dog is mostly schnauzer and is a very gentle soul who appreciates his family. He was adopted from a pound environment and was thought to be younger than he is, evidently. This schnauzer is so loved though, that the fact he has aged, gotten hard of hearing and now has only one eye, which has glaucoma, is fairly irrelevant.
His eye specialist told our son and daughter-in-law that dogs manage near blindness far better than humans. He was so right. I have heard that to dogs, sight is a third sense, following hearing and scent. This may be so.
Medicines: He is on eye drops 3 times daily that are imperative to his well being. Since he spends time at two homes, we each have our own sets of eye drops (one for pain, one for pressure) at each home. This eliminates any concern about packing his meds with his travel kit. Right now his daily travel kit is just his collar and leash and off we go.
Leash and thumping: He wears his leash when outside typically. This gives him a greater sense of security without question. He has been known to head for the neighbor’s house by mistake to get back inside. So a leash guides him with love, keeps him in his yard, assures he doesn’t get confused, and he loves it. Sometimes his leash is used inside for more security. Each morning I take the three dogs (mine and grand dogs) for their walk. Sometimes the schnauzer needs a leash on the deserted gated road, but other times he is off leash and runs and runs, using the pavement as his guide and stepping on the shoulder to do his daily businesses. Since he is hard of hearing too, I have learned that if I slap my outer thigh with a regular beat, he can hear or sense it enough to stay with me.
Speaking of collars, he never balks or pulls. If this were our 74 pound dog who was blind, we would have to convert to a harness to ensure that when he pulls (drat!) that he does not incur unnecessary pressure jumps in his eye. Our grand dog uses a standard lead, not one of those 16 foot types as this would void his security of being near us.
Carpeting as pathways: He no longer does really well on ceramic tile, so he has a special runner leading to his food and water at his parent’s home and we have a nightlight and special rugs for his food and water at our home. At his parent’s house, they use a water fountain unit with the sound of running water. He has definitely mapped his houses, his yards, and his gated-road walking path and the rest of the world is traveled with his leash on. His mapping is of great comfort to us, and surely to him. If we had sharp corners that could injure his eye, we would pad them up somehow, but this is not currently our situation. We don’t move furniture around but if we had to, we would work with him to remap his brain to a new pathway system. We, by the way, don’t have stairs, but if we did, we would barricade the stair entrances until he had those safely mapped also.
Talking: We talk to him and our other pets often throughout the day. He loves it when he hears us. Sometimes we have to shout his name to get his attention and then he is fine to listen as well as he can. Voices are comforting. Touching him a lot is comforting. He gets a lot of petting; they all do. He is a very social animal and loves going to the pet store, family gatherings, etc. His world is full of people who love him and several cats and two other dogs. Very social, indeed!
Going through doorways: He often needs the okay from a human that the door is indeed open. Usually we enter or exit before him and he follows feeling safe that he will not crush his nose against glass or metal. So easy to do. Mostly we are considerate of his needs and do the best we can to make his walk through life terrific and easier.
He is very loved. Blindness or near blindness in a pet is very manageable and well worth the modest additional time involved.