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Author Topic: A Dog Goes Blind: It's nighttime always now. Huh. How about that.  (Read 7541 times)
mouser
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« on: July 27, 2009, 07:52:40 PM »

Neat little essay about someone whose dog goes blind.

Quote
So, when she went blind, I did end up going a bit nuts. She's a profoundly sweet-natured and smart dog, and seeing her struggle, without benefit of understanding why, was wrenching...

In far less time than you'd ever guess, she adapted-- far, far better than I ever realized would be possible. I made the usual mistake of anthropomorphizing the animal I live with. Her brain just works differently than ours do: I'm told when they go blind, dogs just think something along the lines of "It's nighttime always now. Huh. How about that." and they get on with it.

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EĆ³in
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 04:51:35 AM »

That's fascinating. Goes to show animals don't dwell as much on the 'Why?' as we humans do.
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nudone
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 05:35:52 AM »

"It's nighttime always now. Huh. How about that."  what a brilliant way of putting it. something we could all learn from i think.
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bob99
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 08:48:17 AM »

VERY good essay.  Glad you posted the link.
Continuing proof to counter the "just dumb animals" bull.  It is amazing how much can be learned from a pet if you take the time to listen, watch and interact.  Actually I need to re-word that to furry (or feathered) member of the family.  Since to many they are much more than just a pet.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 09:54:16 AM »

Cute story, but I doubt that's what they think, since dogs can see very well during nighttime.

I think the author of the article did more anthropomorphizing of the dog when he decided that's what the dog was thinking than when he thought the dog would have difficulty adapting.
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40hz
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 11:26:13 AM »

I have no idea what living within a dog's conscious framework must be like. But I wish I did.

I'm sure we could learn a lot from them. smiley

« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 11:27:47 AM by 40hz » Logged

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nudone
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2009, 06:00:57 AM »

Cute story, but I doubt that's what they think, since dogs can see very well during nighttime.

I think the author of the article did more anthropomorphizing of the dog when he decided that's what the dog was thinking than when he thought the dog would have difficulty adapting.

good point. i thought that myself after i'd posted my comment.
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tomos
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2009, 06:56:09 AM »

Cute story, but I doubt that's what they think, since dogs can see very well during nighttime.

I think the author of the article did more anthropomorphizing of the dog when he decided that's what the dog was thinking than when he thought the dog would have difficulty adapting.

maybe they're not too far off the mark though -
I cant imagine losing my sight (even if I had such a good sense of smell as a dog!) and I could well imagine that I would get depressed for a long time and feel sorry for myself and maybe eventually come to terms with the situation, and only then, try to make the most of it ...

He doesnt actually say how long it took the dog to adapt but certainly sounded a lot quicker than the average human smiley
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Tom
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2009, 11:10:03 AM »

He doesnt actually say how long it took the dog to adapt but certainly sounded a lot quicker than the average human
One of mine became blind at about 11 years old. It didn't take her long to adapt... a couple of months. Everything was okay unless we (I) thoughtlessly left something in an unusual place, such as leaving my brief-case in the entrance hall.
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Chris
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2009, 04:18:24 AM »

My post could be titled:
"I wish i were a dog!"

With my eye disease that leads to fully blindness with ongoing years, i look also forward in a "Huh? Its nighttime always now, how can this happen" future. I don't know how fast the progress is and how long i am still able to see at least a bit, but darkness is my destiny for sure, nevertheless whether it will come tomorrow or in 10 years. And as this is a gene defect, there is still no chance for healing. Even if the scientists experiment on some solutions, they are yet far away from anything useful. If a medical capable or interested person amongst you are interested in my detailed illness, google for "Retinopathia pigmentosa" or "Retinitis pigmentosa" (the old name of the same disease).

I am sure, that human have more complicated tasks to fullfill and more complex needs to do, and with keeping in mind that seeing is one of the primary senses of humans (in contrast to dogs), i am sure, i am not able to adapt as fast and good as this dog did.

But nevertheless i am adapting to the ongoing loss of sighting i already face every passing year. Many of the people around me are astonished how i handle things, even without looking at it. It makes no sense to watch though, as i, when i look at it, wouldn't see it anyway. smiley

If i enter a new area e.g. i start automatically counting steps and direction changes and remember then, even for use on a second visit weeks later. When i reach my destination, in most cases i am able to tell you exactly how to move back (and are able to perform it). Thats normal life for me. "Normal people" don't care if there are 10 or 12 steps at the stairs. I do, as it makes the difference for me between "get down properly" and  "land in hospital with a broken leg" smiley . This happens without even consciously thinking "Oh, don't forget remembering the stairs count".

I often hear and notice even silent and short noises others won't. I recognize and remember sounds better than others. I differentiate people on how they sound while speaking.

My memory seems better trained than most of the others around me. If you tell me your phone number, address, whatever, i am normally able to memorize the data immediately (of course only up to a certain amount) and can repeat it even after hours. This comes, because i can't use business cards or even a slip of paper to write such and other information down. I am not able to read it again anyway. smiley

I found ways to differentiate money (coins and bills) from feeling and weighing them and comparing sizes with other items (e.g. my wallet, my thumb, whatever nearby i know the size of), found ways to tell when my glass i just fill up is full without spilling the fluid all over the table and so on.

Sorry, if this sounds like bragging and you get the impression i will tell you i am a superman with all that special abilities. That is not my intention. I am just trying to equalize my disadvantages in normal life with some cheating. smiley

There are many "tricks" to adapt and equalize the problems you get when you can't see sth. So i am still not desperate about my disease and use more the way of thinking "Thanks god, that i was able to see at least a bit for so long time!" than "Shit, why must i suffer!". The people who know me will testify, that i am a funny, life loving person, even with my "problem".

But i am also sure that there are many situations i will not be able to adapt in any way. E.g. do you know how often i walk out of the house wearing different colored socks? Colors are one of the real problems when you can't see. Colors are not tangible, weighable, measurable. My Mom, also suffering the same gene defect, uses a small gadget that can recognize colors and speak the color name aloud. That works fine for very basic colors, but won't when you get to pastel-colors. So this is only a small helping hand, not more not less.

And i definitely miss some things badly too, like driving a car and be mobile in all other ways also, like going out alone to foreign areas. And also doing some hobbies i loved to do earlier, like computer gaming, driving RC-Racecars and throwing boomerangs, that i am no longer able to do. And i think that's make the main difference between me and a dog! The dog don't miss anything and have no wishes and needs, beside the basic ones like to be feeded, get a home and such, in my opinion.

So i come to the summary of my (sorry) too long post: If i only were a dog smiley

Greetings
JoTo
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 05:03:57 AM by JoTo » Logged
cranioscopical
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2009, 10:41:25 AM »

You are a smart guy, Joto, finding ways to compensate without becoming embittered.

I'll try to remember your example the next time I find myself grumbling about something trivial.

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Chris
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2009, 10:48:03 AM »

Joto is one of the funnest and friendliest persons in our irc chat channel.. He brightens up the whole place and you'd be hard pressed to find another with such a friendly disposition.

In fact there is something called "Joto Hour" in the chat channel, which happens at 1am, which is when Joto usually signs on, and there is always much celebrating.  Thmbsup
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2009, 10:52:30 AM »

I am just trying to equalize my disadvantages in normal life with some cheating. smiley

Cheating? What? Some of us could certainly use noclip mode smiley

But i am also sure that there are many situations i will not be able to adapt in any way. E.g. do you know how often i walk out of the house wearing different colored socks?

That's why black clothes > *

If i only were a dog smiley

StrReverse("dog");

In fact there is something called "Joto Hour" in the chat channel, which happens at 1am, which is when Joto usually signs on, and there is always much celebrating.  Thmbsup

Some of us pout when JoTo Hour arrives. No more olly questions PLEASE! Wink
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mwb1100
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2009, 11:48:50 AM »

Joto:

Thanks for the great perspective - I think it's often tough to understand how other peole have to deal with different (and difficult) circumstances every day.  Stories like your go a long way to helping with that.

do you know how often i walk out of the house wearing different colored socks?

I'm sighted and have a similar problem (just due to carelessness or whatever).  I largely solve this specific problem by having nothing but pairs of gray socks - or close to it anyway.

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nudone
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2009, 12:56:13 PM »

thanks for sharing, Joto. your predicament is very humbling.
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tomos
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2009, 01:50:55 PM »

yes, thanks JoTo
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Tom
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2009, 03:18:38 AM »

Hey, i thank you all for finding that nice words.

Except Scancode of course! So i have to punish him for his post in the channel again. Now thinking for 1000 more Olly questions that i can torture scannie with on monday in IRC smiley

Hahahah, to be serious, always have a great time talking to scan in channel, with or without olly topic. smiley He's one of the funniest and smartest guys there and always have a helping hand for everybody.

Why have i knew that Scan reverses the word "dog" for himself? Hmmm, seems i know him too good already, eh? smiley

Greetings to all
JoTo
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