and came to us that summer on that year.
A small chubby wild thing 6months old that were running
around and never gave us a peaceful moment!
She had been very sick during her first months,
they suspected Epilepsy and it was said she should be
with us temporary!
The future should show her disease and faith!
But the cramps grew away and the dog stayed with us!
That summer the weed almost grew wild cause as soon as I
bend down to take it away Diana was "hanging" on my arm, or on my back.
The carrots from the seed I put became nothing, I pulled
one up and gave to the dog. Next day the plot were "burrowed and hilly"
and all the carrots were gone.
Then we began to work again after vacation and we were
very lucky to find a day-master, couple of blocks from here.
He had a Alsatian dog himself and theese two dogs played
and made trouble all day long.
Diana soon learned that her size was perfect to go under
Aramis and unprotected could bite him on the heels.
That made Aramis fly straight up and then the chase were
in full speed.
Day-master had a beach lot so the dogs took a swin
sometimes, not to mention the free supply for water when they were thirsty.
Back at the yard Diana were wild as usual.
Standing on one corner, checked out where I was and then
took off in full speed to bite me in the heels too. Not that popular!
Football was on the contrary something we both enjoyed
Diana made several somersaults over the ball before she
learned the technics.
A small peep-ball were here favourite, she tried
persistent to "kill it" with growl, attack and bark but she never could
shut it up!
We signed up for the dog-course in weekday-obedience.
Diana appreciated this very much....as long as she could
walk first on every walk.
Master appreciated the course too, cause now there was
some "manners" on the dog!
When she 1997 were not allowed to be registrated to
cause she were the wrong colour!
A Karele is SUPPOSED to be BLACK, not this beautiful WHITE
NOW SHE IS REGISTRATED AND A MEMBER!
Her colour is now accepted...but not wanted....accordinly
Diana grew and became older, stopped biting on mistress
and other forbidden things!
She developed into a cuddly, wise but very stubborn dog
that did not do something extra without a reward!
She can be stubborn and ignore everything, even her
food-bowl if she dont "want to".
She loves training Agility but only for a while, after
that she neither can hear or see anything, then she is tired out and want
to rest or walk and sniff in peace and quiet.
Is an expert on shutting down her ears when it do not
However she can express her wish in several ways,
small STAMP on the floor with her front paw (hurry up),
CHIN up and oooooooo (wanting sweets),
wag the whole BACK (to the Kennel-Club),
wag her TAIL and ooooooo (walk).
The days before her seventh birthday we got the news
that she have the disease PRA.
We got the answer 2 January 2004 that our Karelska
had the disease PRA and are going to be blind.
Right then comes the thought, is she going to feel well
as a blind dog, or shall we put her to sleep?
Here I thought I would follow up the disease for thoose
who wants to read it.
During about 1 year we have noticed that the dog is
being more careful, not longing for making trouble, but we thought that
are you 6 years old maybe you can be allowed to be a bit lazy. She has
also become a little foolish, afraid of the dark. Some more barking. (Now
we can see why, cause the eyesight in the darkness is the one thing that
Cause she missed her food-bowl a couple of times lately
we went to the vet.
And there we learned her eyesight is bad.
The Vet thought that cause she is only 7 years old she
are going to have many more happy years.
We should go home and make our home good for her.
The stairs should be closed down with a gate both
upstairs and downstairs.
We are going to get her used to not walking by herself,
lead her up and down.
So she wont hurt herself.
And carpets everywhere so she can feel the way to the
food-bowl and so on.
And during all the walks there must be talking.
To say left or right, and on the meantime a little pull
in the leash.
And besides that put up lamps, spotlights on exposed
places that makes her find the right way, cause as a blind dog she can "see"
a glowing lamp!
Everything were important to begin with BEFORE she
became blind so our behavior do not seem like a punishment.
4/1 2004. Today she looked straight at me begging for
sweets. The problem were that my eyes were a half decimetre from her. This
is the first time we noticed something so striking, she did not see me. On
the walk later we met a dogfriend, cause Zita lied down and waited Diana
did not understand. When he were in front of her sniffing then she were
happy! Apparently she did not even see him coming. Otherwise everything is
as normal, she goes with safe steps, and nothing obvious about "bad sight".
"Ugh! That was not fun to hear! I mean that your dog
Diana got a disease that are called PRA....
For thoose who dont know what PRA is I can tell you
shortly that PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) is an hereditarily
eye-disease that gradually are breaking down cells in the retina, the
retina wither away, so eventually the dog is blind. The disease are often
shown when the dog is 4-6 years old, and the first typical symptoms are no
eyesight in the darkness, and that the dog is seeing badly in the twilight,
refuse to go out at night, wont go into a dark room, and so on. Cause the
eyesight are giving away. Cause the disease are coming gradly and the dog
had time to get used to seeing worse and worse it is many times hard for
the owner to discover. Thoose who I know and are having or have had a dog
with PRA have all been wondering how they havent noticed anything about
the dog seeing badly.... My trainer had a dog who got PRA 3 years old and
she lived to she were 13 years old.... Also 10 years as blind and had it
Grethe began to notice something were wrong when her dog
started to make airjumps and missed the obstacle-jump in the
obediencetraining + that her nightseeing were badly. Most dogs with bad
eyesight compensates like us humans, by using the other senses more
intense. Grethe says that you shall always have your dog in a leash
outside, and inside it is important that you dont rearrange the furniture.
If you have a dog that keeps up during the walks, you will have a dog
walking next to you, you will become the dogs companion. About activity
you can do everything with her when she are wearing a rope, and are in a
suitable terrain so she wont get hurt. Tracking must be a suitable
activity for a Karelare. Love, Åsa."
6/1 2004. There is no change and not so hard as we first
thought the other day. We can now see that she only can see badly in
darkness and bad light. If I am sitting in bad lighting she cant find
eyecontact. She are tramping wrong in the stairs. But out in daylight she
stills can see well. Today it were chase the friend in full speed on the
yard. I had my heart in my thoat that she would crash into a bush. But
when Zita turned abruptly Diana stop and looked surprised. Have she only
tunnel-seeing? There are so many little things that are saying just that.
We also noticed that she sniffs very circumstance on the walk. She have
never done that before. We are starting to get some lamps in abrupt
corners, so she see to "turn", one in the window on the terracedoor so she
can find her way in. A lamp over the bed where she usually are lying. And
we lead her down the stairs to her big irritation. Then she stop and want
to let us pass first. And Zita stop and she want to be lead instead.
16/1 2004. Sometimes you can believe it is true! She
move so secure, it is as normal. But then comes theese little things. Like
when we where to my mother and Janne took her out for exercise in the
forest nearby the hospital. Diana went in every directions, he said she
were totally disorientated. Like that the smells did not match, so she did
not know where the road were. Or when she walk alone in the stairs. She
tramps on outer edge of the step, slip 2-3 times on this short stair. We
do so that I who cant bend my back goes first in the stairs, with my hand
under her chest, so she have support if she fall. (During as I with my
behind pushes Zita down who cant walk by herself anymore - she could not
be more jealous. - Mistress help me too!!!!). Despite that Diana cant see
very well she wont give up her routines. On nights she sleeps downstairs
half of the night, about 4-5 in the night, she want upstairs to sleep. So
she stands by the gate and growl-barks to someone wake up and open so she
can come in. She goes very slowly up the stairs, but secure, as she are
feeling where she will place her paws...................................
Yesterday I put them next to eachother and study their
eyes. Zita is much more clearer with a pupil that vary after the light.
Dianas pupils are washy in the colour, not regular round and inside the
pupil it is like small fields of grey mountains! So there is something!
The question is how much she really can see? Very hard
to decide.The nose are busy being used! Now I am meating a lot of dog
owners with knowledge of blind dogs. Everybody seems to know somebody who
have become blind.
To quote one of them ------------- If you did know it
you would never know that Berta was blind - she checked everything! For
instance she ran around easily in the dogyard and playing with one or two
of the other dogs, and knew exactly where the fence was. Indoors she moved
just as the other dogs, she never bumped into anything or so. On unknown
ground she quickly made herself at home, it only took her three times to
find her way at my house. Sometimes Marie took her down to a place nearby
Klarälven where there is a lot of sandbanks - Berta loved go swiming! The
area is huge some years with low water level, but Berta ran all she was
worth and Marie would tell her if there were something dangerous. Her
trust and confidence to mistress made her react directly on words for
instance STOP, SLOW DOWN, and COME HEAR. It was incredible to see her!
7/2 2004. A bit more than a month has passed since we
got the news, now we think she is completly blind. I am writing think,
cause she manage this so gallant that despite of everything you cant be
100% sure. But she walks gladly next to me or Zita. Not alone. Suddenly
she can stop on the yard and if you say something to her she comes happy
and wag her tail, sometimes she maybe loose location on the yard. She
never walk into anything, she has full control where all the trees and
bushes are. But sometimes it happens small episodes that makes you want to
cry. Like when were where lying in the bed cuddling. I had my legs up, one
leg over the other. Diana rises and walk straight into my knees. Stop and
draw with the paw over the eyes like for taking away the thing that hide
her eyesight. Then she put her head against my leg and "feel her way
around" my legs until she can feel the end of the bed. Down on the floor
she sits down and really rubs her eyes, sigh and lay down again and fall
Then we were out on a walk and met a dogfriend. Then she
made trouble as usually, within the ropes length. You have to steer a
little cause she cant see the trees. But the trust is big so she handle
this with pride and is a happy dog just as the vet said!