When Elle Nailga started working more than usual, she was worried that her dog, Bella, might be getting lonely. She thought it would be fun for her to have a friend around, so they welcomed a little pug puppy named Baguette into their family.
Bella was super excited when she met Baguette, and the pair bonded quickly. After a while, though, Bella realized that Baguette had way more energy than she did and didn’t always understand when she was done playing.
So, Bella hatched a plan.
Nailga started noticing that Bella was having a hard time jumping on and off of the couch and was also bumping into things occasionally. She thought it was weird, but Bella seemed to be OK otherwise and wasn’t injured or anything, so she didn’t think too much of it. Then, things escalated.
“One morning, I woke Bella and Baguette up to play fetch,” Nailga told The Dodo. “I threw the toy, but Bella didn’t want to go after it. I thought maybe it was just because Baguette took it first, so I held Baguette to stay and threw it, but Bella was just sitting there staring at me. She didn’t even follow the direction of the toy … I pretended that I was about to poke her eye and she DIDN’T BLINK! That’s when I really worried and thought that something was definitely wrong with her eyes.”
Nailga rushed Bella to the vet, and after doing some tests, they diagnosed her with acute blindness. The vet recommended that Nailga take Bella to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Panicked, she quickly made an appointment — but the results were definitely not what she was expecting.
“The specialists told me that they did a maze test with the lights on and off as well as a few other tests,” Nailga said. “It was suspected that Bella may not be fully blind because she was still able to walk through the maze without hitting any of the obstacles. They said her behavior was very ‘inconsistent.’”
After some more tests, the ophthalmologist called Nailga with the results. As it turned out, Bella wasn’t blind at all.
“He said that her eyes worked perfectly fine,” Nailga said. “He asked me if there were any changes at home or her lifestyle, because this may be a behavioral issue. I told him that I had gotten a puppy, and that’s when he thought that it was Baguette causing this … They realized that she was trying to avoid and ignore Baguette.”
Apparently, Bella had decided she needed a break from the new puppy — so she pretended to be blind so she wouldn’t have to play with her.
Since then, the pair’s mom has been very on top of making sure Bella has space and time to herself, away from the very energetic little puppy. Baguette is also learning how to have better boundaries, and Bella has become much more relaxed around her new little sister.
It still may take some time before the sisters are completely adjusted to each other’s styles, but things are now calm enough that, hopefully, Bella won’t feel the need to pretend she’s blind again.