Last Friday, April 15th, we met Isabella for the first time. Isabella is a 3 year old Lab/Shar Pei mix and is suffering from severe entropion in both eyes.
Entropion is a condition found mostly in Shar Pei and Shar Pei mixes, where the eye lids grow and turn inward, causing the wire like eyelashes to scratch the eyes. It is a painful and very irritating condition that requires surgery.
Isabella, a product of a puppy mill, had passed through a couple of different hands before ending up in the hands of one woman who loves dogs but did not have the means of providing what this dog needed. She was referred to us by a local shelter and even though we could not take on anymore dogs, we went to see her. After spending thousands of dollars in the last few months, our funds just about ran out.
The purpose of our visit was for advice and to leave some eye lubricant behind. When we arrived, we were greeted by Isabella, who was walking around with both eyes shut, which prevented her sharp eyelashes from scratching her eyes and causing further damage and pain. It’s something like brushing your eyes with a tooth brush. So Isabella was walking around pretty much blind and using her other senses for guidance. We tried to administer eye drops, but had no luck in getting the eye even close to open. We knew then, that she was in trouble and our advice and drops alone would not help her.
It was either us, or Isabella would be surrendered to a shelter. Given her condition and overcrowding in shelters, that option would pretty much be a death sentence. As our funds were dry, I realized something. My family has not exchanged gifts for Christmas and birthdays for the last few years. Instead we donated to various animal charities, and the last two years to Special Needs K9. And today, Friday April 15th was my dad’s 80th birthday. Two quick phone calls later, we were getting our paperwork ready to take Isabella into the possession of SNK9. My brothers and I decided that we would donate enough funds to SNK9 to cover Isabella’s surgery which would be the gift to our father for his 80th birthday. And so it was.
Paperwork was complete and she was ours. Stacey even brought our Lily to do a D2D test. Isabella exhibited no signs of guarding or aggression. She is very sweet, playful and friendly with people as well as with other dogs.
Later that day, our family went out to dinner and presented our dad with a photo of his gift…The Gift of Sight. He accepted his gift with a smile on his face (photo), knowing that through his gift, a dog that has not opened her eyes in a very long time will hopefully see once again, without pain.
Isabella’s surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26th at the Pompton Lakes Animal Hospital.
Hopefully all will go well and Isabella will be available for adoption once she has healed.
Happy Birthday wishes to our dad.
Mike, Karl, Jiri and the Special Needs K9 family