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Virginia, the Blind Dog

By jim Published: July 28, 2009

A story to remind us that dogs aren't people, which is a good thing.


So, when she went blind, I did end up going a bit nuts. She's a profoundly sweet-natured and smart dog, and seeing her struggle, without benefit of understanding why, was wrenching. I looked into research into artificial vision, surgeries, other medications; everything was either a pipe dream, insanely expensive, and almost nothing guaranteed any vision retention. It was crazy, and while I was being an idiot, Virginia was out there, rewiring her little brain to make it work.

It's really amazing. In far less time than you'd ever guess, she adapted-- far, far better than I ever realized would be possible. I made the usual mistake of anthropomorphizing the animal I live with. Her brain just works differently than ours do: I'm told when they go blind, dogs just think something along the lines of "It's nighttime always now. Huh. How about that." and they get on with it.

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