We don’t know Patti’s story before she arrived at Spokane Animal Control, but she had clearly been through a lot. One eye was missing, the eye socket open and exposed. The other eye was solid white and extremely painful. A thick scar ran smack across her forehead from one eye to the other. Whatever it was a hatchet? a shovel blade? the blow had been fierce and destroyed her eyesight. She was thin and her coat was raggedy.
Patti was scheduled to be euthanized on the Friday of her second week in the facility. A sympathetic animal control employee felt so sorry for this sweet Shepherd mix that she checked the dog out of the shelter the day before. A local rescue group then arranged transportation to get Patti to us.
The first thing we did was take her to our vets in Helena. It was plain that Patti had not seen any medical care for her injuries, because our vets found the remnants of the eyeball deep inside the open eye socket. They cleaned that out and sewed up the socket. They couldn’t restore any vision to the remaining eye, and the only way to ease the pain was to remove it.
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So this big, gentle girl left the hospital with no eyes in her head. Yet she was pain-free for the first time in months, if not longer.
Safely at the ranch, Patti has blossomed. Even though she can’t see, she still thinks of herself as a guard dog of sorts. She stands at the fence and barks if she thinks anything, or anyone, is out there and we ought to know about it. Now plump, her coat shines. (At 80 pounds, she’s on a diet!) She loves to mix it up’ with Steve woofing and wrestling and showing him just how tough she is.
Her favorite activity is to climb on to Steve’s lap while he tries to read the paper. Not content to merely lay on his lap, Patti insists on rolling over upside down, feet up in the air, tummy ready to be scratched. And if she doesn’t get the attention Patti thinks she deserves, she begins squirming. Inevitably, the score is Patti 1, newspaper reading 0.
Photo Credits: Lincoln Anderson and Niki Payton