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SAVANNAH, GA.......As everyone knows, I get thousands of e-mails daily of abused animals.  Those e-mails have to be sorted and gone through daily because the next day I will get several more thousand.  Two weeks ago while driving to Mississippi to see my 93 year old Mom I stopped for gas and to go through some of the last e-mails that had come in since I last checked.  The one that caught my eye was of a beautiful yellow lab that was going to be put to sleep if he was not rescued soon. This was a 9 month old that had the most beautiful eyes you will ever see.  He looked perfect in every way so I was very confused by what I was reading.  I had worked with the volunteer before so I gave her a call.  I discovered this sweet dog had been abandoned in a field outside of Savannah.  For a normal dog that would have been okay but for this sweet pup, it was horrifying because Chuck is BLIND.  Although his eyes look normal, he can't see anything.  My immediate response was that I would take him to the best Eye Specialist and Neurologist and get his beautiful eyes fixed.  His life was put in danger because of this and I was going to make it better.  Chuck had his appointment yesterday with our Neurologist to determine exactly what was going on.  After his initial exam he recommended an MRI and a Spinal Tap to determine exactly what was going on in his brain that was causing this abnormality.  The MRI showed that our sweet boy has a genetic condition called Polymicrogyria.   The normal surface of the brain consists of a series of folds called gyri which gives it the wrinkly appearance that everyone recognizes as a brain. The term gyri is derived from the original Greek word gyros (meaning to turn in a circle) which also gave rise to the words gyrate and gyroscope. In polymicrogyria, the normal folding of the brain during development is disrupted. Instead of forming the normal, large folds, the surface of the brain becomes folded into many (poly-) small (-micro-) folds (-gyria). The brain is not affected uniformly in polymicrogyria. The back of the brain (occipital lobes) are much more severely affected than the front of the brain (frontal lobes).  During the formation of the folds in a normal dog’s brain, the connections between different layers and areas of the brain are also formed, and in polymicrogyria these connections are also disrupted. Thus the affected areas both look and function abnormally. The signs a dog shows with polymicrogyria reflect this uneven distribution of the abnormality in the brain. I have enclosed a picture of a dog's brain with this condition so you could visualize what I am talking about.   Chuck is blind because of this condition and has been since birth.  How someone could abandon him knowing he  couldn't see just broke my heart for this incredible little dog.  I can't even begin to imagine the fear he felt in a foreign place with nothing familiar around him.  Blind dogs do incredibly well.  My two blind dogs do better at getting around than my dogs that can see.  There is a slight chance that Chuck could develop seizures later on but that is not a given.  Since we know his diagnosis is makes treating the seizures as easy as giving him seizure medication if it should happen.  This little boy could care less that he can't see.  The pads of his feet have become his eyes and his sense of smell (which we do believe has been affected) tells him anything else he needs to know.  Chuck will have to be placed in a special home that is familiar with blind dogs.  They totally depend on you to keep them safe.  Chuck is normal in every other way.  He is an adorable, sweet loving small lab that thinks every day is a great day.  We are taking applications for this wonderful boy and will pick the one that we feel is best suited given his special needs.  I love blind dogs and would keep him in a minute if my household wasn't already full.  He gets along great with other dogs and is sweet and loving to everyone he meets.  He now has the opportunity to live a long life surrounded with people that will love and protect him FOREVER.

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