The Oz Project


         CICERO AKA THE DUKE OF OZ                 ADULT MALE SEPTEMBER 2007

   Cicero arrived bringing with him the worst eye infection that I have ever seen. When he came out of his crate he acted like he couldn't see. Green gunk covered his little eyes, and when he blinked it would move over his eyes. I was sure that he couldn't see through it and could hardly wait for the transport driver to leave so that I could clean them. I knew that they had to be uncomfortable, they made me hurt just to look at them. I warmed some saline water, dipped cotton squares into it and started to carefully clean the gunk from his eyes. I was so afraid that it might frighten him, but was pleasantly surprised to find that he seemed to know that I was trying to help him, and he stood patiently while I cleaned them. I thought that I was done with that chore until the next day but was sadly mistaken. Later when I checked on him I was shocked to find that his eyes were once again filled with gunk, this time it wasn't hardened and it took only a minute to clean out of his eyes. I noticed that one was worse than the other and could hardly wait for morning so I could call the vet and make an appointment for him to be seen. At the vet, I was given an eye ointment for and was told to clean his eyes and put it in twice a day. I was sure that soon his eyes would be fine very soon and the green gunk would finally stop filling his eyes. In a few days, his eyes were better but there still seemed to be a problem; in just a few hours a white film coated his eyes and once again he acted like he couldn't see.

  Cicero didn't want to walk once he got out of his crate, he would stop and just stand there. I would carry him either to the indoor exercise area or to the outdoor kennel, and seeing that he was being treated like royalty, I started calling him Duke. Once there he would slowly take one or two steps then stop and lift a front paw to feel the air in front of him just like a person uses their hands to feel around in the dark. I was heartsick and sure he was blind.



    Cicero was pleasant and well mannered, and by putting that little paw out in front of him when I approached, it looked as though he was granting me the privilege of being in his presence; just like royalty. The first few times that he walked to the outdoor kennel it took a long time because he would stop every few steps and put his paw out to feel around him. Cicero was courageous, and in no time at all he was running on his leash leading me to the kennel. I noticed that if I cleaned his eyes every few hours, it white film from forming, and he acted like he could see better. I was hopeful that maybe his eyes would be alright after his eye infection was gone.


  Cicero trusted me right from the moment that he arrived. He seemed to know that I would never hurt him, and he proved it by allowing me clean his eyes. In the days to follow, his trust was obvious with him allowing me to walk him up and down the walking trails at Oz. He was wonderful on his leash. As we walked he lightly brushed against my left leg, and as long as he could make contact with my leg he would follow me anywhere. Cicero didn't use his front paw like a cane when we walked together; he put his full trust in me to be his eyes.      One day while Cicero was still at Oz, the officers from Col. Potter's came to visit. Even though he couldn't see very well, and they were strangers, the Duke of Oz was the perfect gentleman. While they were there his eyes clouded over and I took him back in the crate room and cleaned them. Even though it was sad for little Duke it was good that they could see for themselves what the poor little guy was going through. That day the decision was made for him to see an eye specialist. They told me that when he went in for his neuter to ask the vet to once again check his eyes. She did and told me that Cicero was blind in one eye and may only have a little vision left in the other eye; Cicero was given a referral to a specialist. I remained hopeful that the specialist could do something to improve little Duke's vision. I knew that as long as I kept his eyes clean and moist it seemed he could see better. He even played with toys!


    It wasn't long and Cicero was on his way to his foster home. I heard from his foster mom that the eye specialist determined he was blind.  Like me, she was sure that he see more than anyone thought as long as she put his eyes drops in h keeping them moist and clean.

Be sure and read Clybourn's story