This is Kaya.
Kaya is a great dog. She likes to walk. She enjoys the outside. She loves the snow. She really loves her visits to Doggy Day Care.
She also happens to be blind. (If you look closely at the picture above you will notice that she only has one eye.)
She wasn't always blind. When Kaya was four she developed glaucoma in her right eye. She eventually lost sight in that eye. We continued with daily eye drops to contain the swelling and reduce the pain from inflammation. But after a few months it became obvious that the drops were not working. The eye continued to swell.
So we decided that surgery to remove the eye was the best option.
We continued to give her daily eye drops for the other eye. Eventually she lost sight in that eye as well.
For the past two plus years we have given Kaya daily eye drops in hopes of saving her remaining beautiful blue eye.
But the eye drops have lost their potency.
So today Kaya will have surgery to remove her eye.
We decided not to have prosthetic eyes added. It seemed a little silly. While the prosthetic eyes would give her a normal appearance they clearly would have no value. Kaya's life would not be enhanced with prosthetic eyes.
In some ways this is a sad day. Part of me wishes that this was not Kaya's life.
But Kaya reminds me each day that setbacks and roadblocks and difficulties are a part of life. You accept them and continue to move forward.
Every Friday Kaya goes to Doggy Day Care. She bounds into the car, she eagerly enters the facility, her tail wags and her head bobs as she is lead to the back. She plays with the other dogs. She loves her time there.
Sure she bumps into walls. She occasionally finds herself all alone as the other dogs wander off without her knowing it.
But she still loves going.
At home she goes in and out of the house on her own. She wanders our yard by herself - wearing her Invisible Fence collar. She goes up and down the stairs to our deck. She hides her bones in the bushes.
She still tries to sneak up on birds that she hears. She has even caught a possum that wandered into our yard.
In the house, she knows the location of her favorite chair. She can navigate the hallway and jump onto our bed.
When we take her for walks she leads.
Kaya continues to live her dog life - and as far as I can tell she continues to be happy and healthy and involved.
Is her life different than what it was? Undoubtedly.
But life goes on. In a positive and productive way, life goes on.
I am grateful to Kaya for reminding me of that every day.