'She's got my heart'

Dog blinded by glaucoma adopted by loving owner

BIG RAPIDS — Clarice, a blind Chihuahua mix, has found her forever home and a new lifetime companion to love.

The dog, who is between the ages of 5 and 7, was found as a stray and taken to the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County. Unfortunately, Clarice had become blind from glaucoma, a condition that can damage and destroy the eye’s optic nerve. To stop the pain, veterinarians recommended to have her eyes removed.

Following surgical recovery,Clarice was moved from the shelter to a foster home, where she awaited adoption. However, she remained on the mind of Big Rapids resident Mary Vogt, who saw the petite canine in an article previously reported in the Pioneer.

"I saw the article, and there was just something about her that touched me," Vogt said. "I thought about her all of that time, so I went and met her on Thursday and we seemed to fit."

Come Friday, she knew Clarice was the perfect dog for her. The adoption took place on Friday, and Clarice has been adjusting well. She can navigate the house and back yard with ease and relies on her sense of smell and sound to replace the sight she no longer has.

"She's so much company," Vogt added. "She's always hunting me down if I leave the room. She needed me and I think I needed her, too. She's happy and that makes me feel happier. She sleeps on the bed with me and she trusts me."

Cate Arroe, director of ARC, said the home Mary holds is the perfect setting for Clarice to live a calm and fulfilled life.

"This is exactly what I was talking about when I thought about where Clarice would work best," Arroe said. "A quiet life with someone where she could sit on a lap all day long. Mary has got a phenomenal dog."

Although moreso a lover of cats, Vogt said it was easy to allow Clarice into her heart.

"She's spoiled already, and she's got a nice place here," Vogt said. "We're both pretty happy. She's got my heart and she's in her forever home."