This is the first installment of a chronicle of misfortune, woe, (unintended) cruelty, subsequent kindness, and modern attempts at correction of previous mistakes. If your sensitivities extend to reluctance to see graphic images of surgical correction of inbred problems, read no further. I am inserting an unrelated image first, to give you time to consider this before you scroll down to the main content of my post.
Our newest foster dog is George, a 4-year-old English bulldog. He has inherited an unusually serious set of maladies associated with the dog breeds that have been bred for unnaturally shortened and deformed skull structures, professionally referred to as the brachycephalic syndrome. Without going into too much detail (much more is available online, for those of you who would like more information), the main problems resulting from this unfortunate inbreeding are the result of inadequate nasal airways, elongated soft palates, and facial skin and eye problems. George has all of the above.
When I accepted him on Thursday for a few weeks of foster care, he had undergone surgery for correction of a condition commonly called “cherry-eye,” which is an enlargement and prolapse of a gland within the nictating membrane (third eyelid) of his right eye. He seemed to be doing well, or he would not have been released to post-surgical foster care. He proved himself to be a perfect gentleman, playful and lovable, and approaching our resident cat, Leo the Magnificent, with gentle respect.
The veterinarians at the Humane Society had prescribed an antibiotic ointment. In spite of application according to their instructions, the swelling and inflammation increased over the weekend. I took him in again on Monday to consult with two of the staff veterinarians (one of whom had performed the initial surgery, and said that it had been the worst case of cherry-eye that she had ever seen), and we agreed that the best and kindest course of treatment was to surgically remove his right eye with all of the attached tissue that was refusing to heal.
His surgery was performed successfully yesterday, and he came home with me again in the afternoon. He has come though his ordeal in fine fashion, and seems ready to take on any new challenge. He still looks rather—shall we say angry?—but he can’t help that and, as I’ve come to know him quite well, he’s actually smiling and looking forward to a new and better life. I thought he might come “home” with an eye patch, in anticipation of which I entertained the idea of a pirate analogy (hence my title), but that turned out not to be the case. What a joy it is to be able to be an integral part of his new lease on life!
By the way, I made that first photo back in October 2008 in White Oak Canyon near Syria, Virginia.
- New Zealand
- Photo Philosophy
- ScotchChrome 1000
- Street Portraits
- Street Shots
- A Fondness for Ferns
- A Fondness for Fungi
- A Liking for Lichens
- A Penchant for Pareidolia (About Face)
- Family Flashbacks
- Family Friday
- Flashback Friday
- Fleeting Beauty
- Isolation Antidotes
- Melancholy Monday
- Menagerie Monday
- Nebulous Notables
- Night Photography
- Places Remembered
- Point & Shoot
- Portraits of Pets Past
- Saturday Sequel
- Serenity Sunday
- Silly Saturday
- Thoughtful Thursday
- Tweaking Tuesday
- Warm Winter Wishes
Love the first shot. All the best to George. Why people would try and breed dogs for their own personal likes and views on how a dog should look like is beyond me.
Thanks, Raewyn, that canyon helped to keep me sane while my job moved me to the Washington, DC area 2½ years before I could retire. It was only a little more than an hour’s drive from the city and a true sanctuary of meditation. George is doing just great and is a real joy to have around.
The 1st photo is stunning. Such a calm peaceful scene and just perfect in composition to sooth the soul and take the stress out of modern inner city living (for me).
It’s really a magical place and, IMO, a must for anyone of our persuasion visiting the area.
Gary, the first photo is outstanding! And let me say I applaud you for taking in George. It takes a special person to take in a special needs animal, I’m happy to see someone up to the challenge. And based on your photos it looks like George is in very good hands.
We really wish we could keep him, but we just can’t at this point in our lives, more’s the pity. And yes, he will need someone very special to take care of the issues that will continue to plague him as he gets older, including daily care to clean out the folds in his facial skin. Thanks for the praise, too–WOC is a terrific place for a leisurely hike (or a strenuous one, if you’re so inclined). If you ever find yourself in the DC area, I know you’d just love it!
I was a little worried after your warning but was delighted to find another story about one of your HS pets. Please scratch George someplace he likes for me! (Oh, I paused quite a while on your first photo to contemplate whether to continue, or maybe just because it’s so lovely.)
George most especially loves a deep massage under his ears. I just gave him one for you, and he wagged his adorable stumpy tail in deep appreciation. Must admit–I love that WOC photo, too.
George looks like a delightful guy and I do hope he ends up in the forever home that he and every dog deserves. You are doing great work, Gary.
The opening image is just what I am eagerly awaiting here in the northeast. Beautiful shot.
Yup, he’s a fine fellow and just a delight to have around. Sure wish we could make him a permanent family member! I’m really eager to get back into the woods again, too, but as cold as it’s been, it looks like it will be a while yet–likely several weeks, at least.