Dogs: man’s best friend. They may not be there for you your whole life but the chances are that you’re there for most of theirs. When it comes to having a dog join your family, you are investing in many years of fun and love along the way. Their love is unconditional; their loyalty is unmatched. Here is the story of Duffy, a dog so special it may just bring a tear to your eye.
Duffy belongs to a human called Benjamin May. They grew up together, forming a unique bond along the way. We know how easy it is to fall in love with animals and babies, and it seems the two of them fell in love with each other, too! However, one day Duffy’s health began to suffer – his owners couldn’t understand why – and so they took him to the vet. What they were about to find out would rock the family to its core.
The Problems Begin…
Duffy’s life began as a search and rescue dog before Benjamin’s family accepted him into their home. Unfortunately, his past caused him to have many health problems, induced by stress and exhaustion. For many months, Duffy was pushed to the limit of what he could do. While he was out there saving lives and protecting people, it took a toll on his health. The Irish Terrier was loved by his new owners, but he had problems that needed help.
Sadly, his health problems developed into Diabetes. This was because of Duffy’s poor diet and extreme lifestyle before the May family adopted him. His sickness made his eyesight suffer – slowly getting worse and worse until it disappeared entirely. Very quickly after his adoption, he went completely blind after eight years of being able to see. Can you imagine the impact that would have on your life?
The parents and young Benjamin couldn’t believe it. It had only taken 3.5 months, according to the family. They wrote on Reddit: “Within about 3-5 months he went from a totally normal 8-year-old dog to a dog who was completely blind.” Benjamin was a proficient social media user and would update friends and family on his developments. They hoped there was a way to help the poor pup.
When humans suffer from diabetes, they can develop problems pertaining to their eyesight. It’s not uncommon for people to get stronger glasses or use medicine to counteract the reduced eyesight. With dogs, however, the problem is more complicated. Dogs’ eyes are more sensitive and the prognosis is usually much worse. Panicked, Benjamin ventured on to Reddit again to seek any help he could get. Who knows, perhaps there is someone on the internet that might know something that could help the family?
Duffy had been given medicine and a strict, new diet that tried to combat the ailment, but there was no improvement. There seemed to be nothing that could be done to restore Duffy back to normalcy. The poor dog wasn’t the same once he became blind: his personality disappeared and he spent many of his days cuddled up at home sleeping. However, after extensive research, the family found a possible solution!
Under The Knife
Reddit users had found a possible solution to the problem- invasive surgery. It was a risk for the family – what would happen to Duffy? At the time, it seemed like the only viable option. Duffy couldn’t walk, eat, see his owners, or stop walking into walls around the house. Were the parents expected to leave him stranded in darkness? They decided the best hope was to undergo a surgical operation.
Duffy’s Last Hope
The May family hoped an operation would help Duffy see again. It was heartbreaking to see how much the poor dog was suffering. They realized that something had to be done, and if the risk paid off then Duffy would be a brand new dog with restored life and energy. The possible rewards were just too great to ignore. So, after thinking it over, Benjamin delivered Duffy to a special operating clinic. They ran tests and found that Duffy was a candidate for surgery!
The Scary Day
The day of the operation came around quicker than anyone could have thought. Both terrified and hopeful, the May family was filled with emotions as they arrived at the hospital. There was no guarantee that the procedure would work. Benjamin closed his eyes and prayed for what he hoped would be the first day in Duffy’s new life. They waited patiently, anxious to hear updates.
When Duffy was out of the operation, everyone waited for him to open his eyes to see if they would work. How would he react to finally being able to see again? Benjamin decided that this moment was too great for just the May family to experience, so he decided to film it on a camera. Whether it was a success or not – they wanted to record the moment.
The footage was a huge success. Not only could Duffy see again, but the reaction is too cute to bear. He runs around, absolutely delighted at the opportunity to see again. His tail is wagging widely, his eyes are sparkling, and the family cannot hold back the tears. To date, it has 15 million views from people all over the world who have been moved by the story.
At first, Duffy is overwhelmed by the experience. And it’s no surprise as to why, either. He couldn’t understand why his eyes were failing him and why he lost the ability to see. Then, he was taken somewhere against his will and drugged by a stranger. Waking up after the long operation was a procedure in itself, but then he had the overwhelming experience of seeing again and having to contextualize the whole experience.
The Playful Pup
Immediately after realizing that his life was back to normal, Duffy jumps up to Benjamin and to lick him across the face – a happy greeting – and Dr. Brady Beale could barely hold back the tears. As the doctor who had performed the procedure, he was amazed it had worked so well and that this dog was able to live its fullest life again.
Holding Back The Tears
Benjamin has spoken publically about the video since it went viral. He can’t believe so many people cared for Duffy as much as he does. He says that he gets tears in his eyes every time he watches the video. “It literally brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it,” he told the Daily Mail in June 2014. It’s amazing to see how much joy can be shared through such a short video.
A Day of Reflection
Looking back on all the struggles that Duffer had to overcome throughout his life, Benjamin has a newfound admiration for his precious pup. To spend a life saving animals and humans, to get sick yourself that would result in months of blindness, is the ultimate sacrifice. Only after a long and painful surgery could Duffy return to his normal life. Benjamin was very humbled by the positive attention the video received.
You can see how happy Duffy is in the video when he is wagging his tail. It looks as though it can’t go much faster than it is already! “I can only imagine what went through his mind that one day it went black,” Benjamin reflects online on Reddit. Duffy had to stay at the hospital a bit longer for tests and additional treatment, but it wouldn’t be long before he would return home…
Home For Christmas
It would be a few weeks, near Christmas time, that Duffy would be finally allowed to return home. Benjamin and the rest of the May family couldn’t wait to see Duffy relax at home again after so many months of not seeing them and his own home. “I can’t wait to get home over Christmas so my dog can see me for the first time in two years,” Benjamin said. The home had changed a bit since Duffy lost his sight – would he notice?
Costs and Rewards
According to an interview with the Daily Mail, the total cost of the surgery was $5,000. However, if you are a pet lover, you would understand that it was priceless. The fact that their dog and family member could see again was worth every penny. The love for a pet is unconditional – like a child – and owners would do anything to help them out. Money is no factor when helping out a family member.
Youtube comments are usually a negative place with anonymous people quick to criticize and belittle. Not for Duffy! The online communities on Youtube and Reddit basically banded together to show support for the brave dog – with wildly positive results. It just goes to show that no matter what happens, good things will always bring out the good in people online and offline.
Man’s Best Friend
This amazing story of Duffy and the support from the May family shows that no matter what happens, dogs truly are a man’s best friend. There is no bond and connection stronger than canine and human. While Duffy can enjoy the rest of his life as a healthy and happy dog, Benjamin now has his best friend back. Forever, they can look back at this time of their lives as one of the darkest times with the brightest light at the end.