Updated: Jul 14, 2021
sometimes people share with me that they would enjoy having a puppy. I usually encourage the getting of puppies. i love puppies. other people's puppies are even better than my own puppy because puppies are terrorists and living with one is terrible. but this is how I got myself into a bit of a situation.
I have a friend. that friend enjoys corgi puppies. so i hatched an evil plan to encourage the getting of puppies. i looked up where we could go to play with corgi puppies and found a local branch of Petland that had some corgis for sale. So we made a plan to go to there and play with the corgi.
I was not going to get a puppy at this time. I had 2 cats at the time, and one of them was scared of everything. i work a million hours. i couldn't have a puppy. but, the website did have a pretty cute little hound dog that I wouldn't mind seeing. not playing with, though, because I can't have a puppy.
so in we go. I studiously avoided the puppies while my friend played with them. i'm not allowed. but when she determined she was ready to be done playing, the corgis were returned and we were ready to go. but i kept looking in on this cute little hound. He was sharing a kennel with another puppy and the other puppy had clearly eaten ALL the food, because his little riblets were poking out of his chest.
since turnabout is fair play, my friend suggested I just play with him for a minute. Out he came. little guy was just mine. i couldn't leave him there. he was clearly starving and so very cute. That is how Trevor came to live with me. The adventure was just beginning.
Trevor was a tiny little terrorist who destroyed...everything. Rugs, toys, shoes, furniture. One time I went out of town for one night and he ate the carpet off the stairs. But we also went on adventures together. We tried swimming (with a life vest, of course) at the lake (trevor is not a fan), hiking, playing at the park. And lots of cuddles on the couch.
About 3 months after his second birthday, I woke up one morning and Trevor didn't look quite right. His third eyelids were up and he was squinting. It was terrifying. He looked like a zombie dog.
So we rushed to the vet. This started a lengthy process for us that I think I detailed in another
post, which you can find here. It concluded about 4 months later with the first of Trevor's major surgeries, which was having both of his eyes removed.
After a few more months of trial and error by our amazing vet (more on that here), we settled in with his diagnosis (uveodermatologic syndrome). His disease affects his skin, so he takes pills every morning to combat it. Its a habit now, but certainly overwhelming at first. I thought we were probably done, but Trevor had just begun.
After having his eyes removed, Trevor and I worked on learning to walk together safely. He knows commands like left, right, make a left and make a right, stop, step up, step down. go slow. Especially when we are walking in a new place, he is good at following those directions. But he doesn't do much running or leaping or any of the other things you might expect would cause a dog to tear his CCL (equivalent of ACL, but for a dog). Thanksgiving of the next year, this little guy decided it had been a year since a major surgery, so why not try a TPLO. Now he has no eyes, but he does have some screws in his leg.
Fast forward a couple of years and one or two strange medical emergencies (why would my blind basset hound get limber tail?), and Trevor wakes me up early one morning with his eye socket bulging.
Now, this is 3 full years AFTER he had is eyes removed. But something was clearly wrong. Even though it looked like his eye was the problem (he doesn't have an eye, but still), both our vet and the eye specialist thought it would be unlikely for an infection to set in this far after his surgery. So we looked into maybe a tooth abscess? Something else? At this point, with this dog, it could be anything.
Trevor's favorite game is stump the vet. He loves his vet, so he figures the best way to get to go see her more is to get very sick in a way he has no business getting sick, so we have to go multiple times to solve whatever issue he has.
After a dental cleaning, a visit to the ER when his eye started bleeding (apparently eye bleeding is not an emergency?), we finally decided to do a second surgery on his eyes. Remember how he got his eyeballs removed? They put in some silicon implants, which keep his skin from sinking in and making him look like a skeleton. Somehow, three years later, this guy developed an infection in there. Our vet removed it, and he seems to be much better these days.
Now Trevor is the only dog I know who has had 3 eyeballs removed. Let me tell you, though, his post-surgery look was...terrifying. Want to have nightmares? Look at your little baby puppy with a surgical drain IN HIS FACE!
(photo is after the drain was removed.)
All of this history sounds like Trevor has had a hard life, and in many ways, he has for a little 5 year old puppy. But trust me when I say he is very spoiled and very loved. Through 5 surgeries, countless vet visits and pokes and prods, hundreds of pills, he has never stopped being his happy, loving, confident self. It is overwhelming and humbling to be his human.
Yes, I am overprotective and paranoid about him, but he fills my days with joy. We still go on adventures (follow him on instagram @daretrevil ). He loves to "drive" in the car and feel the wind in his ears. He loves to meet people and their dogs. He plays every day with his brother Calvin and with me. We snuggle each night in the bed.
Trevor has opened up a whole world that I never knew existed. I learned about vet medicine, vet specialists, the hardships of that field. I learned about an amazing community of blind dog owners and their dogs living full lives. I developed the tiniest bit of an addiction to his breed.
I also learned about the hard truths about pet stores and puppy mills. I think much of Trevor's hardships are a result of irresponsible breeding encouraged by Petland and the people, like me, who buy dogs from them without knowing better. Trevor is perfect in every way and I don't regret bringing him home for one second, but if I could go back and spare him all the pain, all the pills, all the surgeries, I would gladly do it. If I could bring the light back into his world, I would. I can't make Trevor not sick, but we can try to prevent the bad breeding behavior that led to it.
The biggest thing I've learned from Trevor is that it is possible to be happy, even through the worst pain. I still have work to do to live this way, but he is teaching me. If you've got water, food, a soft place to sleep, a few snuggles, and a trip to the park, you can keep waggling through life. unless you have limber tail.