Less than two months after coming to us, Katie can see again for the first time in years. Our veterinary ophthalmologist at Peak in Burlington, Dr. Sarah Hoy, performed cataract surgery on Katie on July 21st. We were waiting by the phone that day for Dr. Hoy’s post-surgery call — we’re always nervous wrecks until we find out how the procedure went. We were thrilled when she called to say everything went well and Katie’s sight was restored.
I drove back to Burlington the next day to pick Katie up. Because of Covid-19 protocols, clients are’t allowed into the building, so I waited outside. When Dr. Hoy and her vet tech Ashlie brought Katie out, she didn’t recognize me at first because she had never actually seen what I looked like before. She was looking around, a bit confused, so I got down on my knees and called to her. As soon as she heard my voice and realized it was me, Katie bolted forward and literally jumped on me, covering my face in kisses. She nearly knocked me over in her excitement. It was one of the most joyful greetings I’ve ever had.
Before arriving at the farm, Katie had cycled through a number of living arrangements with various family members in recent years and then bounced through a couple of foster homes in short order. She had lived with us for only several weeks before the surgery. I suspect she may have worried during the hospital stay that she was going to end up in yet another place. But when she realized I had come back for her, she knew she was going home to stay. I will never forget the look on her face that day — it was a combination of immense happiness and relief.
When Katie got home that evening, Alayne and I watched as she started taking it all in. She would stand and stare at things, then look around … fix her gaze on something else … and repeat. With the other dogs, she wanted to sniff them first — their individual smell is how she previously “knew” them — and then match it to the new visual information. Because of the cone, of course, this did not go over well with her friends, so we had to manage those re-introductions to keep her from upsetting them with the swinging cone on her head. It took a few hours for Katie to satisfy herself that she had successfully “identified” everyone in the house.
Since the surgery we’ve been giving Katie multiple eye drops four times a day, plus anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. Her eyes have remained comfortable throughout. I’m taking her back to Peak this week for her two-week check-up, and if all goes well, Katie will be free of that cone!