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Hi everyone, So much 

for being professional.This is my precious Xena. No chance of being objective. Xena is my service dog. I am the originator of Giant Schnoodles, bred for service for people with allergies.  She is the dog of my heart. She has saved my life at least 6 times, pulled my wheelchair, instrumental in getting my out of the wheelchair by alerting before painful episodes, Does Doggy dancing, canine freestyle (which is my physical therapy, Pulls my dog chariot, www.tinyurl.com/JoyChariot  , & more. Do you get the impression that she is the love of my life? She's coming 13 in April. She has cataracts. Otherwise she's so healthy, she plays like a pupppy. The cataracts seem to have come on slowly at first but then suddenly, intermittently she can't see. It is so confusing for her when she can't see. It breaks my heart to see her confused. The surgery will be about $5,000 . The good news is we have the best veterinary specialists of all types including 2 vet opthomology clinics in San Diego. I'm saving up. May sell my house & move to Mexico which is 20 minutes away. Has anyone been through cataract surgery with their dog? Pls tell me your story how it went. What to watch out for; cautions? I have been through so many things with animals. birth, death, sugeries, dentals, you name it. Generally, I'm so cool & objective. I'm the person you want around during an emergency. But not now.  I'm a whimpering piece of mushy idiocy. I can't seem to tune into any part of what I used to proudly think was the rational me.  I think I'm doing the right things, asking people about these local specialists & do they recommend, outcomes etc. but it doesn't feel like my brain is all there. I just want to cry.  My brain doesn't seem to want to compute objectively even while I'm going through what seem like rational motions. This is my Xena, My Warrior Princess. She has always taken care of me. Now I need to take care of her. I'm fine with that but I feel so scared :& so sad for her. Also, I'm not very nice when I'm scared. My vet never insists that I leave my dog with him alone. These specialists say drop off at noon, pick up at 4 & that's just for the prelim exam. I never leave my dog with anyone, ever.. Some people cry when upset. They get sympathy. Unfortunately, that isn't my mode.   I've been known to get a little shall we say female doggy about it? More like a terrier that brings out the terriers of anyone around me. That isn't too okay when there are only 2 clinics & then U P them both off. Well I guess you get the picture. All input welcome.  Here is Xena & her mom, Karma pulling my dog chariot.http://www.tinyurl.com/JoyChariot  Xena is the black dog, pulling with Karma, the white poodle who is her mother. Zorro is running behind making a bit of a fool of himself. But he was a rescue who had just arrived. He settled down after a few months.  The impromptu interview is about planning CaringTown. The crowdfunding site is up now:  www.crowdrise.com/servicedogs  Pls share your stories & advice. Thx for your help. there's no people like animal people. Puppy love from Inventing Joy & Furry Folk

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Thirteen is a good long life for a large dog.  You may get her to live a few more years and surgery may help with her current problem, however, admit it - she is at the end of a great life of service to you.  My mom, who is 98, complains because her hand "doesn't work" anymore.  I ask her, "How's your heart?" and she answers "Fine".  Then "How is your liver?" And she answers "Fine".  "How are your feet these days?"  Again "Fine".  So then I tell her, "Well, something has got to give."  My mom is 98 and my FIL is going to be 100 next month.  Cataracts and even blindness is not the worse thing that can happen to Xena.  Comfort her and love her as she starts her decline into old age and start getting a younger dog trained to do what Xena does for you now.  At least that is my advice.

That's a great story Lynda. I have 2 more dogs. But I have to face it. There will never be another Xena. The hugs are great everyone. So is the posts saying your  listening. It helps to know and only animal people understand. They aren't "just a dog". Puppy love from Inventing Joy & Furry Folk

I'm sorry about to hear about Xena.  She sounds very special.   I had a Bearded Collie who developed inoperable cataracts and as long as he was in familiar surroundings, he adjusted and you wouldn't know he was blind.  He still loved to go for walks in familiar quiet places play, explore, etc. although I stopped walking him in town where all the sounds and people confused him.  I read the strong senses (smell and hearing) helps them compensate and he did well. I think  it was harder for me to accept than it was for him. I would be hesitant about putting a 13 year old dog through surgery.  Whatever you decide,  I wish you and your beautiful girl, luck and more happy years as Xena "retires."

Xena sounds like an angel. I have no answers or advice, just am listening and sending you a hug.

Aging sucks, for dogs and for us. I have no advice, but I will be thinking of you and Zena. ((((((Hugs))))))

Katie

Aging really does suck. You have all made me aware of what I don't want to know. That's probably what's sucking my gray matter under my gray hair. One more journey. Not one I want. Puppy love from Inventing Joy & Furry Folk

Thx all of you for your heartfelt responses. With my mushy brain, I hadn't thought about her age in respect to surgery. That s/b an obvious consideration that I would have suggested to someone else. Why is it easier to be rational about other people's problems? Thx Cheryl, I'll definitely discuss it wi my vet at your suggestion. It helps to have a group of working brains when mine shuts down LOL. Puppy love from Inventing Joy & Furry Folk

I am sorry to hear about Xena. I hope it all works out. She is a special dog.
No advice, but sending hugs to you and Xena. Certain souls touch us like no other. Obviously, your precious Xena is one of those souls. Having you by her side is what she needs most...
What a good girl Xena is. I agree with allowing her strong senses to take over as her vision declines. As smart and special as she is, I am sure she will adjust well under your leadership. Best thoughts.

Xena is a true joy to your heart and to your life. Seeing our precious dogs get old is so hard. My granddog is a 14 year old Golden Retriever. She has slowed down significantly, but if I take her outside for a stroll, she always gets excited and has a sniff-fest along the way. We have had many dogs in our lives but there are some extra special ones along the way. While Xena is your heart dog (and she will remain so even in your memories) you may find another dog that you love as deeply for different reasons. I hope Xena remains healthy for a long time. 

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