In the past two or three years, Ceilidh has slowly lost her vision and her hearing. Ninety-nine percent of the time she manages perfectly. In fact when we meet new people while out on our walks they’re always shocked to hear that she’s blind because she marches along like any other dog. Having said that, we do watch out for her because she has on occasion hit a lamp post or more likely a branch that may have fallen onto the boulevard during one of our wind storms. She seems able to sense larger objects in her path but not smaller or thinner ones.
Some of the most challenging situations for Ceilidh have occurred in our apartment. We have carpet runners that go from one one end to the other and act as a guide. Once or twice we’ve seen Ceilidh lose her way and end up in the dining room instead of the living room. When she needs help, she sits down and makes a grunting-squeaking sound to call us.
Freckle has always been very protective of Ceilidh. Now that Ceilidh can’t hear us when we get up in the morning, Freckle bounces over to her bed and exhales mightily through her nose on Ceilidh’s face to let her know that it’s time to get up. Ceilidh doesn’t seem startled, just opens her eyes and blinks at Freckle.
A few months ago in the middle of the night, Freckle suddenly appeared beside the bed in an agitated state. She was running back and forth and bouncing up and down–behaviour that we’d never seen at 3:00 AM when the entire house is normally sleeping. I immediately lept out of bed and followed Freckle as she ran down the hallway into the other room. She stopped in front of Mary Doug’s antique desk and chair. Poor Ceilidh had somehow gotten tangled up in the legs of the chair under the desk. She was clunking into them trying to find her way out but seemed to have gotten into a bit of a panic. Freckle stood and watched while I gently pulled Ceilidh out from under the desk and picked her up. Her little heart was pounding and she leaned in the way that Pugs do when they’re nervous or scared (we call it “clinging”).
Ceilidh has always had a younger, bigger Boxer sister to look out for her. When she was young, it meant she could be really mouthy with big dogs in the neighbourhood. Nowdays, it just means that she has someone to run for help when she gets into a jam.