I am sitting on my bed, typing, and Clover is next to me. She seems intent on licking something I cannot see. Neither can she — not really. She is mostly blind.
We just learned this on Thursday. My daughter was concerned about something on Clover’s eye, and the vet did the same kind of test that would be done on a baby: turn off the lights, shine a light in the eyes, observe the pupils. They hardly moved. Then the vet flipped the lights back on. The pupils hardly moved.
How long has Clover been like this? We don’t know. Why is her eyesight so bad? We don’t know, but the vet has a couple of theories.
I feel like a horrible dog owner. We’ve known Clover couldn’t see as well as Polo, but we never stopped to ask why — Why not? What might be causing her visual impairment? She’s only 5 years old.
And suddenly everything makes sense. I’ve always described her eyes as black with a ring of brown. Oops. They should be brown with a black dot, shouldn’t they? When abnormal is all you know, it becomes normal.
Clover doesn’t act like she’s mostly blind. She leaps with abandon onto the bed, the picnic table, any unsuspecting chair. She tears across the yard after squirrels. When I drop food on the floor while cooking, Clover gets to it before Polo.
I have written so much about this little black pound puppy with the feather boa tail over the last 10 months. You all thought you knew her, didn’t you? Me, too. July 31 marks five years since she and Polo came to our home. Was she not seeing well back then, when she was only 3 months old? Has this been happening slowly under my own roof this whole time?
If you were to ask Clover (who is now licking herself), she wouldn’t know what the fuss is about. She’s the same dog — the one I had to pull away from an injured bird, the one who rolls on her back and puts all four paws in the air, signaling that she is ready for love. The one who doesn’t mind that I spend all this time typing, as long as she can lie near me.