Advice, Knowledge And Insight For The Modern Man

James Anthony Ellis 
Editor, Legacy Magazine

My baby girl wasn’t feeling well.

For my dear Hennessy, an Akita mix, there was something going on with her left eye. She would not open it. About two weeks prior she had a simple procedure to remove a benign cyst that was growing on that eyelid, and everything seemed fine for about a week.

Then slowly, gradually, that left eye started having problems.

It was heartbreaking to watch on, as she would keep that eye closed, some liquid oozing out of it every once in awhile. I got to the point where I wouldn’t even want to look in her direction, for the fear that eye would still be closed. And I would not know what to do.

And I would not know what to do.

That was the pain.

Was it her condition I did not want to face? Or did I not want to face that helpless feeling of not having the solution for my baby?

As any pet daddy or mommy knows, the love for your pet would have you do anything to make sure your doggie is taken care of and is well. So when Hennessy had this eye issue for over a week, and our awesome vet didn’t have the answer, and my wife had exhausted all her knowhow, and we couldn’t even get the eye drops past the tightly closed eyelid … I was at a loss.

I did not know what to do. And I hated myself for that.

Aren’t I – as the adult, the owner, an intuitive, resourceful person – supposed to come up with something? I was lost. All I could do was pray.

My wife was so upset one night, she laid there holding Hennessy and crying. We just wanted her well, playing and running around again.

At one point, we had an appointment with an eye specialist … and it was set for a Monday. On that agonizing Friday morning, when the eye was still having issues, we knew that we could not have Hennessy suffer an entire weekend. I got clear that I would have to take proactive steps immediately. I followed through on a hunch that her vet could pull some strings and get Hennessy in on this day rather than three days later. I made the call to the vet in the early morning as soon as the idea came to me.

It worked. The vet got her in, and we were off for Kearny Mesa office as soon as possible. This specialist was able to see, with special instrument, a small hair growing on and rubbing the third eyelid of our girl. After plucking that hair, the specialist even fitted her with a contact lens, not for the sake of vision but rather the purpose of soothing.

It all worked.

The remedy worked, and within a day, she was well on the mend. That eye opened. What a gorgeous site that was!

It all worked.

  • The pain – of caring so much that it just hurt to see Hennessy hurting.
  • The agony – of believing there was nothing that I could do to help.
  • The willingness – to do whatever it took once the solution came about.
  • The tears – cried in simple surrender to open us up to another answer. 
  • The prayer – when there was nothing else to do.
  • The love – the true motivator for all spontaneous action, and the only thing that heals anything in the long run.

Even in the face of helplessness, there is always an answer.  

My baby girl wasn’t feeling well.

And that would not do.

Jim Ellis is a writer and filmmaker living in San Diego. Below is his video tribute to his Akita mix Hennessy. The piece is written by Ellis for his wife Jennifer as if Hennessy wrote it for his mommy Jennifer.