I would like to introduce you to Patty who is a 9 or 10 year old male australian shepherd. He was recently diagnosed as diabetic and is getting insulin shots twice a day. They came to the diagnosis only because he went to the vet for going Completely blind.
Patty belongs to Alex's grandfather, I've known him for two years and I have HATED him the entire time. I know it's not his fault but he's a dominant, pushy, rude dog that is very territorial. The first time I visited Alex's grandparent's house Patty tried (and nearly succeeded in) biting me. He barks and nips at me repeatedly. Unfortunately we're not allowed to work with him at all, he's Grandpa's dog and Grandpa likes him like he is. Alex has tried putting him in his place before and he runs off and pees in "submission" and Alex gets scolded for scaring him.
Anyway, we went to the in-laws' place Saturday night/Sunday and Patty and Angel were there. (Angel is a 10 year old female pure shepherd that is massively overweight with horrible hips and a skin allergy of one sort or another) Turns out, Patty is a MUCH nicer dog when his dad isn't around, magnified by the fact that he can't see so relies on humans now. Alex's grandparents are in Florida for a couple weeks, leaving my mother-in-law to work with these two dogs who are on very strict diets, multiple medications and both of whom have severe behavioural issues.
Patty is so nice now! I'm not holding my breath that he'll be as nice when he's back at home with his dad, but he'll certainly be nicer than he was. He smelled my face numerous times and layed at our feet, he even licked my hand. I in-turn helped him outside to go to the bathroom and just walk around and cuddled with him on the floor.
It's amazing how our attitudes towards someone/something chances once they become "disabled". I've never noticed before how strikingly beautiful Patty is, or how endearing the markings on his face are. Alex has sworn against getting an Aussie after having known Patty, but the past weekend has changed his mind.
While most of us try to not allow this, it's amazing how much dogs change around different people. Grandpa's attitude towards Patty bumped him up to top of the food chain yet when he's around other people and his dad's not around he willingly and happily reverts back to being a well-balanced dog.
So I can now respond to that oh-so-annoying question we all get with PITs "Is that one of them blind dogs!?!" with an affirmitive answer. Yes, Patty is blind, but he's so much happier (albeit clumsier) due to it!