Blind Elderly Shih Tzu Lives a Full Life, Educating Others on Caring for Aging Dogs

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I had just lost two of my darling dogs within one month. Losing Mickey hit me especially hard because he was only 6; he died from a rare neurological disease (GME) that came on quite suddenly. He was my special boy.


While trying to recover, and help my remaining dog TJ Wiggles with his own grief (he and Mick were inseparable), I received a call from my groomer, who does volunteer work for our regional shelter. She was grooming an elderly Shih Tzu who had been terribly neglected and surrendered to the shelter at age 12. I left work and made a beeline to the groomer.

There she was: 16 pounds of attitude. Her diseased eyes completely covered with cataracts, she could hardly walk due to her matted fur having “glued” her legs to her belly for so long, yet she had this “joie de vivre” that was unmistakable. I immediately loved her and decided she would not spend one night in that shelter. I arranged with the ACO to foster her until her stray hold was up, and took her home.

She took over immediately. Now, TJ is an exceptional dog in his own right, who is the most compliant and “gentlemanly” of all dogs. He was sweet to her as she settled in. It was quickly apparent that she needed some help with those eyes, and after consulting with an eye specialist who told me her glaucoma was like having a “constant migraine,” we arranged to have them removed. She could only see shadows at best as it was.

That was almost four years ago.

Since then, Miss Trudy Magoo has blossomed into a spunky, playful, confident girl, who walks alongside (and sometimes in front of) her big brother TJ on our daily off-leash walks. People we meet are confounded by her ability to get around. We visit senior centers to talk about caring for aging pets, and she visits each and every member of the audience. Her lack of eyes means NOTHING, except that she no longer has a headache.


My hope is that by reading this story, others will consider adopting a special needs or senior dog. I still miss my Mickey, but this girl healed my heart.

Story submitted by Natalie Langlois from Woodstock, Connecticut.

Miss Trudy Magoo’s story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!

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