I was born on May 1st, 1999 along with my brothers and
sisters. When we were 7 weeks old, people began to stop by to adopt us. One day two guys
stopped by and for some reason I went right over to meet them, Lenny and Wayne were
looking for a new dog to adopt. Lenny picked me up and began to look me over. He put me
down and started looking at my two remaining brothers. I followed them around and pretty
soon he picked me up again, they smiled and said "We want this one". It all
happened so fast.
It was a long drive to my new home in Fargo, North Dakota but I slept most of the way. When we got close to home I woke up and was told my name would be Lightning. When we arrived home I met the rest of the family: Samantha, Travis and Thunder.
Samantha was a twelve year old collie and had trouble walking and getting up. After about a month they carried her around a lot and one day they took her for a car ride and I never saw her again. Travis is a Pomeranian, he has a yippee bark and doesn't like to play much. Thunder is Wayne's two year old black lab and looks just like my mom.
I like to play with Thunder and she teaches me things that sometimes gets us into trouble. She showed me where the socks are and how we can take one and tug it apart. She taught me how to take tomatoes off the plants when Lenny isn't looking, he says we can have tomatoes but not too many or we'll get fat. Thunder and I especially like to take naps together.
One day after a walk, Lenny and Wayne started to look at my eyes. The next day they took me to the vet who looked at my eyes and put stuff in them to make them feel better. The vet thought I had a detached lens but wanted to look at them again in couple of days. During the next few days things began to get blurry in my left eye.
Soon we went back to the vet, he told us that I had a cataract developing in my left eye and to bring me back in a week. It became harder for me to see out of my left eye and things were getting blurry in my right eye.
At the end of the week we were back to the vet, he told us that I was now blind in the left eye and that a cataract was forming in the right eye. Lenny and Wayne looked depressed but I did my best to cheer them up. Lenny keeps telling me that I'm the best dog ever and he wouldn't trade me for anything.
During the summer we had gone to puppy classes followed by beginners obedience. In the fall we took puppy classes again at a different school. When my eye problems developed we decided to take agility classes so we could work together more, in case I go blind in both eyes. When they told people at the school about my eyes they seemed sad, they told us to get a second opinion and about the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the University of Minnesota.
The next day they took me to a different clinic and I saw a new doctor who looked at my eyes for over an hour. He told us the same thing the first vet told us except that I needed to go to the U of M right away and he would schedule the appointment.
In a couple of days Lenny woke me up really early, around 4 am, and we went for a car ride. This was the longest car ride I've ever gone on but I slept most of time. When I woke up the sun was shining and we had arrived at the U of M. I had an idea I was smart but this seemed to be rushing my education.
After parking the car we walked to a building where lots of people sat around with their dogs. I did notice one cat. After a short wait we were taken to a small room and two vets looked at my eyes, they confirmed what the
others had said except that I also had an eyelid problem called entroption and that needed to be fixed first.
A week later Lenny picked me up and we traveled back to the U of M. I was suppose to have eyelid surgery in the morning but it got bumped to the afternoon. I was pretty out of it when they let me go home. Lenny had to carry me to the car. I felt better the next day but I had to wear a cone around my head so I wouldn't scratch the stitches.
During the following days Lenny spent a lot of time on the computer. He had visited LABMED's website and they suggested contacting Labrador Life Line. Soon he announced the good news, Labrador Life Line was going to help pay for my cataract surgery. Lenny assured me it's not my fault, my problems are hereditary and copies of my medical reports were sent to the breeder.
I had my cataract surgery on January 4, 2000, they removed both two lenses and replaced them with artificial lenses. The vet told us that because I was brought in so quickly my chances for a full recovery are very good.
I have regained my vision. Now instead of sleeping during the ride home I looked out the car windows and barked at the people along the way. Its great to see Lenny and Wayne smile at me again, I guess they meant it when they said "We want this one".
Thanks to Labrador Life Line I can see clearly now.
See Lightning's story on KX4's news report!