“We have a serious problem” are not the words you want to hear from the vet when you bring your guide dog or family pet in for what is believed to be just a routine check but that’s exactly what happened to me this past summer.
My Guiding Eyes guide dog, Jiffy, is more than just a navigational aide, pet, and companion. She’s my freedom and independence - and I nearly lost her. Through a twist of fate and the quick and competent action by Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s head Vet, Dr. Beth Brenninkmeyer, Jiffy is here with me today and our partnership is stronger than ever.
In June, my wife and I were at Guiding Eyes to participate in the annual Pat Browne Jr. Golf Classic and fundraiser. We took the opportunity to have Jiffy seen by Dr. B since my wife noticed that Jiffy seemed at times to be panting when at rest. X-rays showed that Jiffy had fluid around her heart and lungs and additional testing confirmed the need for immediate surgery. We were devastated by this news but grateful that we were at the Guiding Eyes Headquarters where their veterinary care is not only top notch but also always free of charge to any graduate.
Thankfully, the surgery was a success, however Jiffy would need to recover in New York until it was safe for her to fly. Jiffy remained with Guiding Eyes staff for the next two months, where she was personally cared for by Dr. B, her staff and even some of the trainers, that lovingly took her into their own homes while she recovered. We missed our little goofy dog who is always ready to play, show affection and when called upon do her job as my guide, but on August 18th, we were reunited with our wonderful girl and tears of happiness and relief flowed.
Words can’t adequately express my sincere appreciation to Guiding Eyes for all they did during this difficult time. But by sharing my story, I hope that you will consider a donation to Guiding Eyes Veterinarian Services Fund so that the next person can experience the same care and support that Jiffy and I did from this wonderful program.
Best - Dick