We have been involved with dogs one way or another for many years. We have been guide dog puppy raisers, 4-H dog trainers, enjoyed doing Canine Freestyle Dance with our pets and we are pet sitters. Fostering for GRRMF is something we have always wanted to do and our first foster was Scramble August.
When GRRMF brought him to us – a 12 year old tall leggy Golden boy with a medical condition called KCS or “dry eye” where his eyes no longer make tears and without hourly eye drops he could go completely blind. Scramble has some very limited sight in one eye. We put pieces of reflective tape in the middle of our stairs to help him “see” his way on the stairs. As fosters we checked the website to make sure his Bio is up to date for prospective families and one day we saw HER ( Cinnamon’s story )
The adoption team did their best to find a forever home for Scramble but the hourly eye drops were too much for working people to handle.
After three months of eye drops from 8am to 11pm every day (a long term one for overnight) we became so attached to Scramble we decided to adopt him also. Just in time for the holidays. Other foster dogs enter our home and are greeted by our “herd”. What a family we have!
Scramble continues with his eye drops with only a little improvement but still no tears. At least his vision isn’t getting worse. He adapted very well to the house, yard and car and it was hard to tell he had vision problems until night time when he was virtually blind. He would touch our hands to “see” where he was going. Mike put some very bright LED lighting outside for night walks and Scramble is doing better at night. He used to sleep on the floor but now switches between the sofa and Mike’s recliner.
You would think a 12 year old blind dog would just hang out on his bed all the time but not Scramble. Almost every evening after supper Scramble spins around chasing his tail and when he catches it he spins the other way until he catches it again. During the day he steals all the chew bones from the den and bedroom and stashes them on his bed in the living room. Cinnamon and Sarah come to steal them back but sometimes the bones mysteriously find their way under his bed. Sometimes there is a three way wrestling match in the living room but the “kids” never get into fights. There is no alpha in our house. We are the parents who teach the “kids” and also learn from them. We have four cats who are used to having dogs around and are great to socialize the dogs to cats. It’s obvious that Scramble was fed from the table but hasn’t been too much of a pest when we eat.
We have always taken our dogs on rides in the car. Sometimes to get groceries, sometimes for a trip to Arby’s but their most favorite place is to the bank because they get dog treats from the tellers at the drive through. They have been to three GRRMF reunions and love to see the other dogs and people. Both have been camping or walking in nearby state parks. We also take them on picnics. Although it sounds like they get people food we only give them appropriate dog treats and food and green beans & pumpkin.
A funny family group activity is when we put the drops in Scramble’s eyes. Alarms one hour apart are on our cell phones and when Scramble hears them he gets up and goes to the kitchen island where his medicine is and sits straight and tall and puts his face up for his eye drops. When we are done we give him a small treat as a reward. Cinnamon and Sarah also hear the alarms and come to sit on either side of Scramble to get treats too. They now have us very well trained!