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Then came Gismo.............and then Baxter

In 1994 our older daughter acquired the most adorable Shih Tzu puppy.  She looked like one of those Maguas in a current movie that were called Gizmos......so she became Gismo.  Gismo was the quintessential pup, full of spark , personality , and energy.  We really enjoyed traveling to No Virginia for visits with daughter, husband, and Gismo....but alas, after a few years the divorce came and the daughter's accounting travel became a real burden for her caring for Gismo.  So........mom and dad took Gismo for a short 6 month stint .  When the time came to talk surrendering her back to Christie, the tears started to flow.......and Gismo became ours for the remaining 10 years of her life.                Gismo was a great traveler; never barked at cars or got antsy,  just laid in her bed waiting for the next rest stop scouring of the dog area.  Shih Tzu's are very prevalent to eye problems and little did we know Glaucoma was crushing her left retina over a very short period of time  until noticing the dullness in her left eye at Christmas from the camera flash.  There was a wonderful pet Ophthalmologist in our home town of Stuart FL who explained how quickly Glaucoma  can strike and we set out on a regimin of preventive treatments to save the right eye.  Gismo got an artificial eye ball behind her bad eye which made her look quite normal.........but 2 yrs later she jumped up in the middle of the night spinning around on the bed and we knew something was scaring her.  In one short night the constant topical eye treatments had given way to ravaging Glaucoma pressures and she was totally blind.  She lived 4 more yrs and adapted very well to blindness using her nose and ears to figure out the layout of new places very quickly.  Gismo lived to 15.5 yrs and she became deaf in the last couple years so she was sensory deprived but if you put your chin on her head and talked to her she knew exactly what you were saying.                                                        In the meantime..............the younger daughter lost her Flight Attendant job after 9-11 and had to change locations so we took the mighty Maltese "Baxter" for just " a little while"................7 yrs later Baxter died on my lap from an enlarged heart on Christmas night.  But those two dogs had a ball together for the years they spent with us.                 More of the adventures of Gismo and Baxter tomorrow.

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