Spinner had her consultation this morning with Dr. Tony Basher, the veterinary ophthalmologist and surgeon here in San Diego, and she is now scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning. Because he had not examined Spinner personally, we needed to get through this 'checkpoint' to make sure she was a viable candidate for the surgery.
Dr. Basher will basically cut the tissues that are holding her eyeballs down in their locked position, where they are rotated towards the bridge of her nose.
There are still a lot of unknowns. Will her eyeballs 'float' back up to normal position after the tissues are cut, or will they move only a bit? If they rotate back to normal, or close to it, will they remain that way forever? Will her eyes still work well enough for her to see?
I took the first photo of Spinner in the exam room. She was cocking her head because this was the third photo I took with the flash, and she seems to detect it when the flash goes off. (Similarly she seems to 'see' the beam from a flashlight shining on her face at night, enough to react to it.) This gives us hope that she really is visual enough that if we can only rotate those eyeballs back to a normal position, she'll be able to see.
She is highly reactive to smells, as Dr. Basher and his assistant Amy learned soon after I took the photo. He finished his exam and started washing his hands in the sink. Suddenly Spinner leaped up off the floor and burst into motion, barking madly with her high-pitched little barks. This startled both Dr. Basher and Amy, and they looked at me, puzzled by her behavior. I explained what had happened: When Dr. Basher began washing his hands, Spinner must have smelled the soap from the sink, and this entirely new 'input' to her senses set her off.
None of us humans could smell the soap in the air, but this dog with her incredibly refined nose could. And when you're blind and deaf, your nose is all you have to work with. It took us a few weeks after Spinner first arrived to realize that smells in the air triggered her, just like a 'normal' dog would react to new sounds or sights by barking. Often we can't notice the smells she can, so it looks like she's just having a spontaneous outburst. But there's something in the air, and she knows it.
The second photo I took of Spinner on the lawn outside our hotel room when we got back from the hospital. She spent the rest of the day lounging by the patio, while I worked on the laptop (thank heavens for wireless Internet).
I'll update tomorrow on the surgery!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Montana, Alayne reports it's been snowing all day!