Friday, July 2, 2010

Quality of life is in the eye of the beholder. Just ask Myron!

Mimi's note: I've had handicapped dogs in my life and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that they don't want or need sympathy. All they want is what your dog wants: love, comfort, good food, medical care and someone to play with when the mood strikes them. I would never hesitate to adopt a dog that society has tagged 'less than perfect' because, in my opinion, it is society and not the animal that is flawed.  Myron the dog dives into the backyard bushes on the hunt for hidden treasures, and hits new heights when jumping for flying discs and tennis balls. Sound like every other pooch you know? Not exactly. The boxer-border collie mix is completely blind and has become a celebrity for his community outreach in his home of Sydney, Australia.

"He amazes me constantly," owner Raquel Wood tells "There's nothing he can't do."

And that means using his disability to raise awareness for matters that are important. Earlier this month, Myron was the guest of honor at Narellan Library's 10th Annual National Simultaneous Storytime event in Australia. For the kids' reading campaign, Myron performed a few of his famous party tricks — like doing a spot-on impression of a frog with all four limbs splayed out.

Blind since birth, the talented dog found a forever home four years ago with 41-year-old Wood and her husband, Terry. After Wood lost a previous dog to cancer, a friend told her about a "dumped dog" that had just given birth, so Wood decided to rescue a puppy and picked Myron "because he looked cross-eyed."

But after just two weeks of getting to know her new guy, Wood learned that Myron was blind. Within three months, Myron developed glaucoma and his eyes began to swell to the size of golf balls; surgery to remove his eyeballs was Myron's only option to alleviate his pain.

After the operation, "he was very happy," Wood says. "His confidence came back tenfold."

Wood recently wrote a memoir of her dog's life called The Magic of Myron, which she hopes to publish and release soon. Until then, Wood keeps her days filled by maintaining Myron's own Facebook page – which has more than 3,000 friends and continues to grow every day. But most important, Wood wants to share Myron's story with the world, and show how he uses his life as an example for others.

Myron can fetch and play, sit, stay and shake, just like any other dog. But his signature trick is his frog impersonation, in which he stretches his fore legs out front and his hind legs behind him so that he's flat on the floor. It's a trick he can perform on command. "He likes to show off!" Wood says.

Though Myron is living his life to the fullest, he has a few obstacles ahead of him. Not only does he struggle with environmental allergies – thankfully under control with the help of a personally formulated serum – Myron also suffers from epilepsy, enduring a seizure once a month. With no cure or treatment for this illness, Wood and her husband do everything they can to ease his pain and keep their baby comfortable, and try not to think about the things they can't control. Instead, they focus on Myron's future.

"No matter what situation you're in, you can always do something for someone else," Wood shares. "Myron shows people that you can have joy in life, even though your own health might be suffering."
National Canine Cancer Foundation


Maggie Mae said...

What a great story! Myron is an inspiration, that's for sure. Thank you for sharing it with us. Mom will go to Facebook now and find him...

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artagnan Rumblepurr said...

He looks SO happy!!

Sam said...

Cisco was blind - I wouldn't hesitate to take another blind or disabled dog. They have a different "outlook" on life. They don't pity themselves, they keep trying, they love life so much!


Kira The BeaWootiful said...

Woos! what a lovely story and he is so lucky to find his furever home as a puppy. I was dumped because of my epilepsy, which is not finally being treated with some good meds, and I have been seizure free for almost a year!
~husky kisses~
-Kira The BeaWootiful

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

Good for Myron to spread the word that handicapped dogs are as worthy and capable as any dog. My best furrend one year at dog camp was a paralyzed white shepherd in a doggie cart. He went hiking, went into ponds, did efurry I did at camp. And when I had an owie on my ear from where a mean dog but the bitey on me, he licked it efurry day and made it all better. Such a sensitive, sweet dog he was!

Ludo van Doggy said...

What a great dog!!

Frankie Furter said...

What a Wonderful story!!

houndstooth said...

What a great story! He sounds like he has the perfect personality to do the work that he does. Our first greyhound had grand mal seizures, but that certainly didn't stop her from living life to the fullest. Phenobarbital was our best friend!

Hovawart Puppies Blog said...

I agree that it is a wonderful story! And we are really on the same point of view referring to handicapped dogs.

Mrs. JP said...

Absolutely true that dogs are over-comers! Our Daisy had the ball of her hip removed and we thought "oh well she'll get around on her three good legs." After all, she'd only have tendons and muscle in the one back leg. After physical therapy and patience, she runs wherever she wants, stands on her hind legs to try to get the cat's food and needs to pity.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What a truly beautiful story. We had a blind and then also deaf dog for over eight years. He was perfectly happy and did his doggy play things just like nothing was wrong at all. He was always happy. Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

Sue said...

I agree. Special needs dogs can cope just as well as those that have no obvious disability. He sounds like quite a fellow.

YD, sometimes with ♥Samantha and ♥June said...

Great story! I just don't get people who give up their pets when they found out that there's something wrong with them.

Anonymous said...

That's a Most Wonderful, happy-making story! Yay for Myron and for his family!

Wiggles & Wags,

soggibottom said...

I never blame the dog either. X X X
Thank you so much. I am so pleased that I found this blog X X X

JackDaddy said...

Myron sounds like a great dog. And his peoples are pretty great too!

road-dog-tales said...

Way to go Myron! Forget those soccer guys, you're the champion!

The Road Dogs

Kari in WeHo said...

that is such a great story

Lola said...

Every life is worth living. Myron probably doesn't have any idea that he's disabled but he surely does know that he's loved.

wags, Lola

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Love has no boundries
Love has no predijudces.
This was a beautuful story, and makes my heart sing.
Myron needs a chance just like everyone does.
Thank you for sharing this story- so all our hearts can be happy today.
ps (I see my sweet friend from Soggibottom came to visit you)

Sierra Rose said...

Happy 4th friends!! Hope you had a nice weekend. See you again soon :)

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Great story!