Eliza had passed away three weeks before. She had suffered from pancreatitis for the almost 14 years of her life, off and on, but that wasn’t her cause of death. I suppose her cause of death was a combination of old age and canine dementia. You’re in danger of inducing canine dementia in your dogs every time you put them under anesthesia when they are old. Eliza had a tooth that was infected and it had to be extracted. There was no choice but to use anesthesia. When she came home from the veterinarian, I knew she wouldn’t live long when she collapsed into the middle of the living room floor for the next 14 hours.
When she finally got up, she was never the same again. She barked at closet doors to go out. She thought night was day and day was night. She forgot that she was hungry. But, I knew her. I could keep her safe and comfortable, at least for awhile. At least that’s what I told myself. That lasted a few months until one morning I saw the look on her face. Somewhere in her little confused mind, she knew things were very wrong. That day, I told my heart dog goodbye and had her gently put to sleep. It didn’t take much. She was mostly gone already.
I felt very alone. She had been with me through many trials and tribulations as well as through good times. She centered me. I had anticipated her death and had started to think about another dog, not being able to imagine being without a canine companion. I started making some phone calls and heard about a breeder who had two puppies. One needed to find a home. Her sister was going on to be a show dog. The puppy who would come to be my Betsy didn’t have a purpose. Her purpose was to be my companion.
We drove five hours to see the puppy. To a house that was new construction. There was no question that Betsy would come home with me. We spoke at length with the breeder. Dark was coming and we were far from home so we got ready to leave and take Betsy with us. We stepped out onto the porch of this new home. It was dusk and the porch was high off the ground. I stepped forward as I had noticed the wide steps down to the ground. I stepped off the porch……into thin air. There was no railing around the porch and the steps were not the width of the porch. I hit the concrete flat on my face.
I thought at first I was fine. Then, I watched in horror as my vision drained away out of my right eye. The next day, I found out I had suffered a complete detachment of my retina.