Luca never really saw the world like the rest of his dog friends. The 4-year-old rescue knew that beauty existed all around him, but it’s always been a blur. If only his eyes would allow him, he’d take it all in, savoring every moment.
And thanks to an eye-correcting surgery, Luca recently had that moment. For the first time in his young life, he saw everything clearly — including how much his mom loves him.
After years of poor eyesight, Luca underwent cataract surgery in July. By the third day of recovery, the sweet rescue seemed ready to get back to normal life — only this time, he’d actually get to see it.
“We went on our normal walk, but instead of running around with his nose to the ground and sniffing everything, he was taking a few steps, stopping and just staring around,” Luca’s mom, Katie Schneller, told The Dodo. “It was so beautiful. He kept whipping his head around to make eye contact with me and giving me his big doggy smile.”
Luca took in every bit of his newly clear world with his most-trusted person — Mom — at his side.
“He would sit in the middle of the road and look up at the trees, then walk over to the edge of the road and stare at the river with his mouth open,” Schneller said. “I really did interpret him as being completely in awe. This is a dog who never stops moving — [and he] just sat and stared for minutes at a time.”
You can watch Luca see the world clearly here:
Luca had been living on the streets when Animal Care Centers NYC took him in. That’s where Schneller fell in “love at first sight” while visiting him every day after work.
“The rescue staff actually tried to dissuade me from adopting him because they said he was too anxious and high-energy and the blindness would only exacerbate that,” Schneller said. “I assured them I was up for the challenge.”
Schneller noticed Luca’s worsening eyesight when he began running into things. One particular incident led to an emergency room visit. That’s when Schneller knew it was time for surgery.
Afterwards, the vet told Schneller that it could take up to seven days for Luca to see clearly.
“He looked so happy in the car, but was still very swollen and kept his eyes closed most of the time,” Schneller said. “He slept through most of the day and just did gentle walks.”
Luckily, Luca felt the benefits sooner and now he gets to see how happy he makes his mom every single day.
“He is an incredible dog,” Schneller said. ”I’ve had dogs before, but Luca is special. He feels like my soulmate. He is the cuddliest, smartest, happiest pup I’ve ever met. He loves everyone and has brought so many wonderful people into my world. I love him in ways I have trouble putting into words … every day it’s more than the last.”