Sharing Sera's story, so hopefully more people can consider giving senior dogs a chance
I met Sera while I was at the shelter to rescue another dog and felt instantly connected to her. While all the rest of the dogs were clamouring around me asking for attention, she sat quietly a foot away from me, patiently waiting for her turn. Being blind, living in a shelter, naturally she will lose out to other dogs.
From what I learned, she had been staying at that shelter for 7 years. She was bought over from a breeder who had closed down and had been in the shelter ever since. She had an Australian microchip, so we are guessing that the breeder brought her in from Australia to breed her. I was told that she's about 10 years old and had been blind for 5 years. Due to glaucoma, she had to have her eyes removed.
When I went home, all I could think of is Sera. It breaks my heart thinking of this sweet 10 year old blind girl, living her entire life in a shelter after being used as a breeding dog. I couldn't bear the thought of her dying in a shelter, not knowing what a real home is. After discussion with my husband, we decided to bring her home.
When we brought her home, I gave her a visual tour of the house in my mind while I guided her around the house so that she can get her orientation right. While giving her the tour, I showed her in my mind where the fur kids "toilet" area is. She settled in right away and could figure her way around the house on the first day. I didn't know how to train a blind dog so I was prepared to just suck it up and clean up her pee poo wherever she chose to do it.
To our astonishment, we notice that over the next few days, she would walk really close to the pee poo area and do her biz there. And within 2 weeks, she actually self taught herself how to pee poo on pee pad. Amazingly, this blind girl can successfully pee poo on the pee pad 90% of the time. The other 9% of the time, it will be right beside the pee pad. Only twice she peed on the floor mat. That's a lot better than our other fur kid that can see perfectly well ;p She's such a sensible girl. Its just so touching to see her trying so hard because she didn't want to give us additional work to mop up the mess.
Our only grief with her is that she is so terrified of thunder. That's the only time she will ever lose her nerves. She would walk around the house frantically whenever there is thunder. And to think that she had been alone in the shelter with no comforting arms to hug her each time it rained for the past 10 yrs, its just so heartbreaking.
I wasn't being kind by adopting Sera. I adopted Sera for my own selfish reason, for my own sanity. I can't bear the thought of her being blind, living her whole life in a shelter and dying in a shelter. Fate brought me to her. Sera isn't the lucky one. We are the lucky one to have her. We gave her a home but in return, we received so much more from her.
Sera taught us about trust and faith - Trust and faith in humans despite all that she went through. Its definitely much harder to trust when you can't see but she is the most trusting dog I've met.
She taught us about acceptance - Accepting her lot in life. There's not an ounce of resentment or hatred in her. All she has is love and gratitude.
She taught us to live in the moment - with all the chaos going on in the home, she's always so zen and calm. You can be shouting at the top of your head and the moment you look at her, you will feel a wave of calmness washing over you.
She taught us about gratitude and contentment - Being happy and contented with the simplest things in life. Her face will lit up and she will smile so widely when we call her name.
She taught us about unconditional love - Doesn't matter if we have our flaws, she loves us unconditionally.
And most importantly, she taught us how to see with our hearts instead of our eyes.
Sera is a godsend angel. Senior dogs are just so wise. We may not be able to spend 10-20 years with them but what matter more is the quality time that we spend with the now. Having a senior dog certainly taught us to treasure every single moment we spent with our loved ones. We are so blessed to have her in our lives.
That's Sera, playing with toy for the first time ever. She doesn't know what toys are and doesn't play with them. Its so heartwarming and endearing to see her tilt her head in curiosity when she accidentally made the toy squeak