Shugart Flats: Spring 2001

Always the happy, cooperative, instinctive, reactive, "can do" and "me too" dog, Ptolemy completed Agility 101 at age 11 with failing eyesight but undiminished energy and enthusiasm. With the warning of one brief advance episode, glaucoma took the vision in his remaining eye at Christmas 2000, soon after his 12 th. birthday. Recovered from his second prosthesis surgery, he is still a "try anything" dog, and quickly learning to cope with blindness and to reassert his independence. Sometimes (see photo 3) he still looks like a young dog! Until May 2001 he was still doing agility, but warmer weather and ear infections bringing increasing deafness have sadly put an end to that.

The thinking and sensitive member of our trio, Cicero is fun-loving, but careful, cautious, large and gentle. At four months old he had greater focus, concentration, self-discipline and determination than then 7-year-old Ptolemy. As he grew up and grew large, he became clumsy and very lacking in self-confidence. Over the last six months of 2001, Cicero has grown up a lot, in good ways. With the agility, he is gradually regaining confidence in his physical abilities. He'll never be an athlete, but he has lost weight and is fit and happy. For some months Cicero was devastated by Ptolemy's blindness and trembled whenever Ptolemy bumped into things-- which is Ptolemy's preferred means of navigation. But now Cicero has come to terms with it and is even beginning to be a helpful buffer for his blind "brother"-- softer than the furniture for bumping into.

Photos: Shugart Flats, May 2001.