(aka Senorita Pilarsita Cha Cha Cha)
I met her one memorable night as I idled up and down the aisles of a large kennel looking for my perfect companion.
You see, I had made the commitment to get a dog -- my first since childhood.
There she was, up on her hind legs, bellowing at the top of her lungs to be noticed. I could not pass by -- what an adorable puppy! I took her home, named her Pilar (after
Hemingway's Pilar) and that was that! It was a package deal: a few groomings, vet visit, an overnight stay and the dog. I decided to take vacation from work between Xmas and the
New Year so that we could get to know each other. We got along great -- we ran and played (always on the leash since I live in a condo complex).
I noticed that she was very clumsy -- bumping into trees and car bumpers with a good whack. We went to the kennel's vet.
Yes, he thought her eyes needed attention by a specialist. I called the State University Veterinary School, found the closest vet ophthalmologist, and made an appointment. My little Pilar was congenitally completely blind in both eyes and could not even distinguish light.
I was in such despair.
I called the kennel owners. I could give her back and pick out another dog but I could not get any of my money back. Of course, I could never have given her back. A pet supply store was attached to the kennel. I bought all sorts of food, shampoos, toys, etc. and donated it to the County Animal Rescue League.
Senorita Pilarsita Cha Cha Cha is going to be 14 years old in August 2001. She is something else --she runs down the corridor to visit people in other apartments, is invited to Xmas, New Year's, and birthday parties by people. When we are outside, if I say hello to someone, she barks to say hello too. Despite Pilar's blindness, this little soul asserts herself when we are walking to go in a certain direction (often she walks in front of me leading the way), is very social and so happy -- performing her pirouettes and high jumps in pure joy. She has lots of doggy friends, especially her two cousin Shih Tzus, Tasha and Chu Chu.
I recently read on the Internet that a lot of Shih Tzus are born blind in those horrible puppy mills but I want to encourage adoption of these beautiful, spunky and playful little creatures even if in some way handicapped. To those who do, wonderful and fun moments are in store for you! If I give her a kiss, she makes a kiss noise back and gives me a lick (just one). She takes her toys out of her toy basket and yells at me to come play with her. So now you know who is in charge here. That is my Senorita Pilarsita Cha Cha Cha.
Visit Pilar's Photo Page
Pilar's photo page 2
Meet Cousins Tasha & Chu Chu