Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Today's Rescue - Blind Stella

I'd never heard of a rescue group called Molly's Mutts and Meows until I came across this post about a blind bulldog mix they'd recently pulled from the South L.A. shelter. Turns out, not only does Molly save blind dogs, she's also pretty funny:
Tennessee Williams could not have written a better character than this wonderful girl. Meet Stella (say her name loudly, with reckless abandon and emotion like Marlon Brando's Stanley Kowalski), a blind bulldog/pit bull mix that we pulled out of South L.A. If you can imagine, she was in heat when we bailed her out, and had a wicked case of doggy bronchitis. Just what L.A. needs...a blind, female pit mix in heat in the city shelter. Pssh.

We put Miss Stella at the doc for a week where we had her spayed and medicated. Then she had a nice three-week "recovery stay" with our foster home in Pasadena. Now, Stella is with the dumb broad who runs MM&M (me) here at The W (our home). She's living with six other dogs and 4 indoor cats and a variety of mafioso ferals on our front porch. She's the life of the party.

As I mentioned, Stella is blind AND she makes a lot of funny noises (sort of like a wild boar or an unknown monster on "Lost.") Many people at the adoptions would ask me, "Do you know how blind Stella is?" or, "Why is she making that grunting noise?" In turn, I would ask Stella, "Hey, Stella - can you see that tree over there?" or, "Hey, Stella - why do you sound like Sleestak?" Unfortunately, she would then walk up to me and bump into my shin making her "Land of the Lost" noises.

So I took her to two of the best vets in the county. She went to Dr. Kathleen Baldy, a vet opthamologist in Brentwood, who gave her an ERG, several series of tests and a full exam. The diagnosis: Stella is blind at a retinol level - she can see shadows, gets around really well in the light (struggles in the dark a wee bit), but is in no pain whatsoever.

We also took her to Dr. Michael Lesser, a vet cardiologist in Hawthorne, where she received an ECG test. (Yes, they have electroretinogram tests for the eyes and electrocardiogram tests for the heart, even for dogs!) Her heart is healthy. She's just a funny dog-breed mix (probably the bulldog) that makes her breathing kind of loud. I find it endearing, but my mother-in-law thought Stella was going to eat her feet because she kept grunting while sniffing her flip flops.

All of these tests cost $$$; we have spent in the thousands. Why did we do it? Because this dog is so worth it. Stella is funny, sweet, good with everything. She's roughly 3 years old, loves to play, is housebroken 90 percent of the time (if she's scared to go outside at night because she can't see, she sometimes pees indoors), and a huge people person. But she could be killed if she was placed with the wrong types of other dogs. The trainer (who worked with Stella a wee bit) told me that a pack of street dogs would kill her because they would sense there was something not right with her. She is very special, which is why I am making you scroll to read this.

If you think you can love a dog like Stella - like everyone who comes into our home, except my mother-in-law - please call or email our rescue.
For more information on Stella, contact Molly Wootton of Molly's Mutts and Meows at 310.837.MUTT or

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