This rather rotund fellow is blind Zach, who came from the same shelter as Darla. After we had agreed to take Darla and just before our transport arrived, the shelter director emailed me to say:
So the luck of this is like getting hit by lightning - we just had another dog that is blind surrendered to us. The dog is approximately 10 years old and has lived with an older woman that passed away this last week and her family surrendered the dog to us.... Let me know please. I will understand if the answer is no, but I had to try.
[People: If you think your family is going to take care of your beloved pets if something should happen to you, think again. We see this all too often. Please don't make any assumptions.]
Here's what he looked like when he was turned over to the shelter:
The shelter took him to a groomer right away, and after getting him bathed and clipped up, they could see he had a very large growth between his eyes.
So last week I took Zach along to Burlington to get that growth checked out, as well as a general geriatric screening so we'd know what kinds of medical issues he might have.
Here's our internal medicine specialist, Dr. Tanya Donovan, holding him for the blood draw:
The good news is that the pathologist found the cells were mostly inflammatory, not cancerous, so we don't have to worry about a tumor at this stage. But it still needs to come out to make sure it doesn't become something lethal later. He'll be having that surgery in a few weeks.
On ultrasound all of his organs looked good, too:
His blood work was all normal as well, so other than being blind, Zach's in great shape. We have him scheduled to see the ophthalmologist in a few weeks as well. At this point I can't tell what he's blind from. I tested his eyes with the Tono-Pen and his eye pressures were on the border between the high end of normal and just above, so he may be developing glaucoma ... though there seems more going on.
Now, enough about Zach's medical status -- let's talk about his personality. As in, there's a lot of it! He is a bundle of love and affection, and is so very sweet. He actually likes to roughhouse with us, pawing and twirling and trying to get us to play with him. It's just endearing. When I was taking photos of him in the dog room this morning for this post, he could tell I was sometimes down on my knees for various shots, and he thought I was inviting him to roughhouse. He's wonderful with all the other dogs, too.
He seems to really like Darla, too, as if he knows he has her to thank for coming here!