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‘More I’m around some people, the more I like my dog’

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By Abigail Whitehouse

Czechoslovakian writer Milan Kundera once said, “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”
I’ve told you before how much I love my dogs, but this quote puts it to words quite perfectly for me.
On Sunday my boyfriend and I loaded up the pups and took off to town – nothing out of the norm.
But when I looked through the window at Goliath, my 150 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, I noticed something was off. His pupils were completely dilated.
Panic. I thought, “What if he is having a stroke? But he’s only 6 years old!” and then, “Maybe it’s just the lighting?”
We got home and I realized my worst nightmare was coming true. Goliath started bumping into walls and by the time I called our local vet, Devin Carlton, he couldn’t see anything and I was leading him with the sound of my voice.
I know for many people it’s hard to understand how or why someone would get so emotionally and physically ill over a dog, but for a week now I’ve lost countless hours of sleep and put everything that I could on hold to take care of him.   
In my desperate quest to find answers and fix whatever was wrong, I managed to rack up $2,000 in vet bills, ruling out one thing after another. On Friday, the neurologist found no infection in Goliath’s spinal tissue and told me she believed he had a brain tumor.
I did the only thing I knew to do – call my daddy. And I bawled like a baby. As soon as we got off the phone, he called our lifelong friend and equine vet, a man my father has always called when the answers are hidden.
And he asked my dad the one question no one had asked me yet, “Could Goliath have taken a blow to the head?”
Just like that, a memory was triggered. Dad and I recalled standing outside of the barn Sunday afternoon when our mischievous jack Russell Mr. Jiggs leaped at Goliath, causing Goliath to hit his head hard on the trailer hitch attached to our four-wheeler.
And suddenly everything made perfect sense. It wasn’t two hours after he hit his head, Goliath’s symptoms began to show.
It’s a new week and Goliath’s vision has come racing back. He’s eating, sleeping, and even playing.
Do I regret all of the tests and the debt that I incurred?
No. All of that is completely wiped away when I walk through my living room and see Goliath staring up at me, seeing me, and wagging his tail.