Meet Brutus, the One-Eyed Labrador

Embracer Lindsey shares the story of how her Labrador, Brutus, lost his eye...

Brutus with 2 eyes"It’s not considered too crazy these days to have a majority of the pictures on your phone be of your pet. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. One day, four years ago, while scrolling through the many (many, many) pictures I’d taken of my dog Brutus, I noticed that in every single picture for the past year or so, no matter what the lighting or the angle, his left eye looked…. wonky (example to the right). There’s no better way to describe it. I mentioned it to my vet, who seemed concerned about how much of my life I spent taking pictures of my dog, but slightly less concerned about the wonky-eye-syndrome. She gave me a list of veterinary ophthalmologists (which is apparently a thing) I could go to if I wanted to get it checked out. I didn’t have Embrace at the time (shame on me!), so I just let it go.

While at a dog Halloween costume party (which, yes, is also a thing), the lighting was just right and, while looking at Brutus, I realized his left eye looked a little like a mood ring. I couldn’t ignore it anymore – he had to get checked out. It turns out his eye was wonky because his retina was detached. Apparently, my sweet, crazy, trouble-maker of a dog had been blind in his left eye for a long time – all the way back to when it started looking weird in pictures! The veterinary ophthalmologist and I did what we could to “save” his eye, but after a month or so it became clear that the eye had to go. It was causing him pain, and he couldn’t see out of it anyway, so out it went.

Brutus with 1 eyeYou really can’t prepare yourself for the day you have to say “yes, please remove my dog’s eye.” It was pretty shocking when he came home after the removal, but I know that I did the right thing and he is happier and healthier now. Still – 5 years later – I question my decision. Per the pet psychic I saw recently (yes, also a thing)– Brutus is happy I did it, and does not hold any anger toward me over it. The joke with my friends and family is that Brutus gets into more trouble with one eye than most dogs do with two eyes!

Because his fur is black and his eye is brown, most people don’t even notice that the left eye is missing. He now has a perma-wink and still has enough depth perception to catch a treat thrown his way, which is all that really matters!

And no, he did NOT go as a pirate to the dog Halloween costume party the next year. That would just be crazy. ;)"


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