Snow Blindness in Dogs . . . in Dallas?

Hello everyone!  I have been debating which topic to write about the past few days in light of the very odd ice and snow storm we experienced this week in the Dallas area. Having lived here my entire life, I cannot remember a time when schools were closed 4 days in a row – and when they actually announced the closings the night before.

The warm sunlight this Saturday morning is indeed a very welcomed sight. Speaking of sight – this morning I concluded my elderly and almost blind dog, Buzz, apparently has been suffering from the effects of snow blindness. Over the past few days, and especially today with the sun shining so brightly, Buzz became disoriented in the snow. He would begin on his familiar path in the back yard, but would end up in the corner of the fence or behind a hollowed out log planter, unable (or unwilling) to back up. Good thing I was off work to monitor his outings during this freak winter event or otherwise he may have frozen to death in the 19 degree daytime temps. I had to venture out a couple of times and bring him back inside. This led me to research snow blindness in dogs. Yes, apparently it exists! Below are a couple of interesting (and humorous) Web sites I came across that sell doggie goggles!

You see (no pun intended), in addition to being almost blind, Buzz is totally deaf. However, he never ceases to amaze me in that while lacking hearing and sight, he still manages to successfully get to the doggie door every day to trail his familiar path in the back yard and take care of business. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this one specific blessing! In addition, he has no problem finding his two comfy dog beds (one in the living room and one in the bedroom), or his food and water bowls. Considering Buzz’s usual path in the back yard also leads to immediately beneath the bird feeder, it got me to thinking that it may be his heightened sense of smell that aids him in continuing his life’s routines as his other senses are deteriorating. No doubt he walks a straighter line to the bird feeder when I’ve placed leftover biscuits on the platform versus sunflower seeds!

Thus, with the exception of a little snow blindness this week and perhaps less available scents to follow on the frozen ground, Buzz managed to weather the storm, even if it was with a little help. All in all, Buzz serves as inspiration that we can all have a good life, even as our senses begin to fade and our bodies age. It is just a matter of focusing on our talents and abilities that remain, and accepting help from a friend now and then.

Until next time,


buzz in snow

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