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Pet Stories: In Your Own Words

Stevie the Wonder Dog

By: Diane Armitage

Stevie came into my life in the early 90s while I was working at a veterinarian practice. One day we received a call from someone who found a four month old (approximately) German Shepherd pup sitting helplessly in front of their farm on the road. She was blind, due to glaucoma, a degenerative eye disease. So, the vet was on his way to go put her down, but because I had such a strong feeling about her I asked him to bring her in to me. He did. It was love at first sight by both of us, even without sight.

She came to work with me every day and very quickly learned the ropes. She would take her lead in her mouth then lead the way to the door through a gate around a corner and to her work station in my lab. Stevie worked her way into everyone's heart with her courage and uncanny ability to sense objects in front of her and avoid running into them.

We took her hiking and usually she would be off-lead as she could feel the edge of the trail with her pads and one of my other dogs was her chosen lead dog.

Our cats had a devil of a time trying to hide from her. She would hone in on their presence then adjust her ears till she was able to pick up the slightest of movements. I would often play hide and seek with her and she always found me. She would also play chase with her latest companions and run as fast as she could with no fear.

In 1994 she actually pinpointed a burglar hiding behind my neighbor's house; the police woke us up to tell us thanks! Our other two dogs slept through the ordeal.

In August 2003 it was discovered that Stevie had developed cancer and at the time the vet could only give us about 3 more days to say goodbye. He put Stevie on a medication and she improved immediately; in fact, she did so well that she had a great time and good quality of life until December. The fight was over suddenly.

I have gone through this with many four-legged friends in the past, but this was the most difficult at the time. Stevie taught me so much about enjoying what you have and NOT missing what you don't have. She didn't have sight, but she had tremendous insight. Stevie couldn't see, but she could still run, sniff and what a sense of smell! She had a great heart and knew that she was loved. So she didn't have sight, she had everything else and she made the most of it. I think all of us can learn from her.

Thank you Stevie, we will love you always,

Your family


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