Sunday, January 13, 2008

London Googler, please come back

I'm not as obsessed with the stat-counter at the bottom of this blog as I was when I first added it, but it's still fun to check it occasionally to see where my readers come from. A lot of folks come from my daughter's website, and some come through links kindly provided by other bloggers. A lot of people find this blog through Google searches, though this blog is rarely what they're looking for. Most of the Googlers don't stick around to read.

Oddly, the number-one Google search term that leads people here is "pictures of octagons." This comes up so often that I imagine finding pictures of octagons must be a common elementary school assignment.

There are apparently a lot of people who wonder whether Crocs and escalators are a dangerous combination, because those folks come here in large numbers, too. I always wonder if they decide to keep their comfortable shoes, toss them out, or play it safe and stay off escalators.

Then there are the people whose imaginations are captured, as mine was, by a song about a cleverly plotted prison escape. Those folks usually Google some variation of "get my lantern get my gun" or other brief snatches of the song's lyrics.

Occasionally -- not often -- someone finds this blog by searching for, well, actual "velvet sacks." This isn't the website those people wanted to find, either.

Up until very recently, it's been nothing but amusing to check out the Google searches that have brought people here, and it didn't bother me that they didn't stay long. A couple of days ago, that changed.

A Googler from London searched with a long string of words along these lines: "dog has primary glaucoma vet says both eyes must come out is it fair to the dog?" (This isn't an exact quote but my best recollection of it. My stat-counter is free, thus limited, and that search had already rolled off before I decided to write about it.) Those words led the person here -- exactly the right place to find some reassurance on that subject -- but the entries about Butch's blindness were too well buried to find quickly. The Googler came to this blog and left almost immediately.

My heart aches for that person. I remember the agony of trying to evaluate the rights and wrongs of an almost-identical situation, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody. I want to reach out to that person, to shout, "Come back, wait a minute, let me introduce you to Butch." I want him or her to read how little Butch's blindness has interfered with the quality of his life, how enthusiastically he goes about his doggy-business and how much joy he gives and receives in the course of the average day. I want to say that when the time comes for me to add another dog to this family, I wouldn't hesitate to adopt a blind dog or one with another type of special needs.

What I know now that I didn't know when Butch's eye problems began is that the condition of the animal's eyes is not nearly as important as the size of its heart, and that the capacity of the human heart will grow, too, for every day spent with such a dog.

Blind Dog Running

I think I'm gonna create another blog on just this subject.

UPDATE: Butch's blog is up -- at least the bare bones of it. The information there won't be new to regular Velvet Sacks visitors, but maybe, by putting it all in one place, it'll offer some comfort to someone else who needs it.


  1. Velvet, I have long been a Butch fan even before I knew of you or your blog. Bluff wrote such amazing posts about him on her site when his surgery was going on.

    He is such an incredible boy. Your tales of him fill me with wonder. I know they would touch that London reader too.

    Why don't you create some links on your blog about it? You have a wealth of info here...maybe they just need help finding it.

  2. Oh that's such a shame. You and your blog were such a comfort to me when Barney had his glaucoma scare. I read and re-read, and had my husband read everything you wrote about Butch's surgery and recovery. I hope the googler comes back.

  3. Many years ago, Sweep (sheepdog)became diabetic, and even though we stabilised her with daily insulin, she became blind. And managed fabulously well.
    Even escaped from the back yard many times and was brought back by irate neighbours... "You should be ashamed of yourselves, letting a blind dog run up and down main street"... as if!!

  4. It sounds like a good idea to have a blog devoted to Butch and blindness in dogs. He's such an inspiration, and I hope that Googler comes back and checks out what you have to say about Butch, because it shows that there is hope.

    By the way, is he still having trouble finding his way around? I remember a while back you were trying to re-teach him the routes with smells. I can't remember how that worked out.

  5. Butch could teach alot of us a few things!

    My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind; So flew'd, so sanded;
    their head are hung with ears that sweep away the morning dew...
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
    "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

  6. This post got me. Right there in my heart. And to come to the end and see the photo. I love him, just love him!

  7. Creekhiker, I'd already started setting up a "Butch blog" before you suggested the links. I'll probably just copy existing posts from this blog on that one and try to organize them in some way that would be relevant to someone searching for information--and hope.

    Javagirl, I'm glad you caught Barney's problems so early and glad Butch's story was comforting to you and your hubby.

    Ex-Shammickite, isn't it amazing how well they adapt? I took Butch to the vet on Monday, and he totally has their floor plan memorized, too.

    Janet, refreshing the various scented oils seemed to help a lot, but I think the changing seasons made the biggest difference. I'm pretty much convinced that allergies were messing with Butch's sniffer.

    Sister-Three, he's certainly taught me a lot! I like the Shakespeare quote.

    Duly Inspired, (heh! I accidentally typed "dully inspired," but that would be MY name, not yours) Butch is a special little guy, all right. I hope you'll come and meet him one day.

  8. Made me cry...give that Butch boy a big hug and skritch from me! Carmon

  9. Carmon, I'll give him a hug and skritch with your name on it -- just as soon as his fur dries out. It's pouring down rain here today.


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