Living with uveitis and an aging hound

Days are dim dim dimmer with the thickening light
and the veil of water swarming sea of black dots
car windscreen in a storm and no wipers.
I am lost adrift with a single line to clutch
with one closed eye to blot out the swell
the fury of the scorpion crab alien.

A clearing of the gluey mass the spawn
trailing black dots in a viscous mess
the alien leaping gathering its young in pinched arms.
Through its fading sunlight on trees blurred
and too bright through unresponding pupil
but the world returning.

The world aging like the old dog
whose legs won’t support his too long back
too high too massive too much for the jealousy of his maker.
I will rise again to meet the light
though he sinks lower failing fading
my beloved alien.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

38 thoughts on “Living with uveitis and an aging hound”

    1. It’s just the right eye but it’s damaged. We won’t know how much until the inflammation goies down. Finbar’s not in pain but his back legs are giving way more and more. He’s too big for such sllender legs.

  1. The iris isn’t responding to light anymore, the pupil can’t contract so I’m wearing dark glasses. Apart from that, which is probably definitive, it’s set off a cataract. We’ll decide when and if to operate when the inflammation goes down. Three to six months.

  2. My dog, Kona, has the same problem with her back legs. She’s almost fifteen years old.
    Take care of your eyes. Take care of yourself. I’m cheering for your and Finbar.

    1. Thanks 🙂 We could both do with lots of cheering. Finbar has just turned 14 but he’s very big for a galgo, 72cms at the shoulder and 30 kilos. He looks skinny still but he’s heavily muscled and it’s just too much for his frame. Keep Kona walking. I’m not sure there’s much else to be done. As for the eye, I won’t know how much damage the infection has done until the inflammation goes down. It will though.

  3. It sounds like a process with your eye–hopefully all will be healed in the end. My cataracts seem to come and go, or maybe some days I just compensate more. Dog or human–we can’t defeat our aging bodies forever. (K)

    1. I thought cataracts were something that just happened. I’d no idea they could be caused by an infection. It’s reassuring to hear that they can come and go without surgery. Having had an injection of cortisone in the white of the eye I am not keep on having anyone loose on it again.

  4. Jane,
    Praying the best possible outcome for your eye under “the fury of the scorpion crab alien,” a fearful battle. Your poetry rises to the occasion always, lucid and vivid. We’ve had an aging hound who suffered in his last days with a tumor brought about by medication for another condition. His pain before he died has left a deep scar on us. I’m so glad Finbar’s decline is less agonizing as sad as it must be to watch.

    1. The alien has gone, thank goodness and taken its frogspawn with it. Just got the blurred vision and the brilliance because the pupil won’t contract.
      We had medical persistance with a cat that the vets knew was dying and I’m not having them milking Finbar with useless treatments. He’s a runner, and he’ll never be happy in the dog equivalent of a wheelchair. It’s not arthritis, it’s simply the weakness of old age. He’s too big, too massive for his long giraffe back legs to carry any more. I won’t see him miserable.

      1. So glad to hear it’s getting better! More good news please. Jane, I agree about end-of-life “treatments”: learned the hard way, twice with our dogs. They make it all the worse, the medicine worse than the purported cure. We could have had them both longer, and happier. Amazing to believe, but all they want is to be with us as long as they can. Better than we deserve.

      2. I’ll know more about the damage next week. The infection has started a cataract but I won’t know much about the state of it until the inflammation clears.
        It’s hard to find a vet who isn’t just in it for the money. They know they can string us along with false promises, but I won’t force treatment on my dog I wouldn’t want for myself.

      1. I now had read something about this uveitis. There is no clear cause, and it can happen on every age. One of the mysterious diseases we have. ;-/ I hope you will use the time for resting. Sleep possibly is always the best. Best wishes, Michael

  5. That sounds like a most uncomfortable condition, I hope you feel better soon. I know what you’re going through with Finbar, I went through the same with my lurchers and greyhound – sadly, those wonderful long legs that are so strong and fast in youth just can’t cope with old age.

    1. Thanks Annabelle. It’s a truly horrible condition.
      Finbar is too big. I keep wishing he’d been one of the smaller galgos, but he’s right at the upper end of the scale and heavily muscled. It’s too much for him poor lad. I’m already preparing myself for him to leave us.

      1. Finbar’s sleeping next to my chair. He’s happier now he doesn’t have his medication which wasn’t going to help anyway. We’re taking each moment as it comes.

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