If your sight was suddenly taken away, it would be disorienting and scary. Yet that’s exactly what happened to one Irish terrier – who has since stolen the hearts of millions online. The moment the dog came out of corrective surgery was captured on camera, and it sent the internet into a spin.
Benjamin May is the owner of a very special pooch named Duffy. May and Duffy grew up together, and over the years they formed a unique bond. That’s why when Duffy’s health deteriorated, it was difficult news for his owners to take.
Duffy had been a rescue dog when May’s family took him in, and unfortunately he wasn’t destined to have an easy life health-wise. Yes, while the Irish terrier was loved by his Pennsylvania-based owners, they weren’t able to stop his issues creeping in.
Unfortunately for Duffy, he began to develop diabetes, a condition that can lead to many complications in both humans and our four-legged friends. In this case, the disease caused the Irish terrier to struggle with his eyesight – until he eventually lost it completely.
It all happened so fast, according to Duffy’s number one companion, May. “Within about 3-5 months he went from a totally normal 8-year-old dog to a dog who was completely blind,” May wrote on Reddit.
The pooch’s owners naturally did their best to help. But even though Duffy was given medication to try and stabilize his condition, no amount of it could bring back his vision. After speaking to veterinary professionals, however, Duffy’s owners were told that there might be an alternative solution.
Once his diabetes was a little more under control, Duffy – who was unable to see his owners or the food that he was eating – was in a position to receive life-changing surgery. The dog’s owners therefore hoped that this course of action would help him see again.
They duly sent Duffy off to the operating theater, then, in the hope that he would return a changed dog. And it was May’s parents who were on hand to escort Duffy to and from the animal hospital on that fateful day.
So what happened? Well, the moment that Duffy was returned to his owners after his surgery was caught on camera. And it was such a remarkable piece of footage that May uploaded it to YouTube, where it quickly went viral. Indeed, since it was put online in June 2014, it has racked up an impressive 14 million views.
The video begins in the animal hospital, where May’s parents are waiting for their dog’s return. Then the doors open up to reveal Duffy on the other side. And while the dog is wearing a cone around his neck, that doesn’t seem to dampen his spirits one bit.
As soon as the parents’ beloved doggie enters the room, he bounds towards them with his tail wagging furiously. Yes, the post-op pooch is clearly totally overwhelmed by the situation – and that’s not all. You see, his eyesight had been restored, and so he was excitedly taking everything in after having spent so long in the dark.
In the footage, Duffy playfully leaps from person to person as they all coo and fuss over him, and soon whines of excitement accompany his frantically wagging tail. It’s also clear that Duffy’s loving parents are just as excited to be reunited with their pooch as he is with them.
When May then watched back the video of his dog seeing his parents for the first time in a long time, he couldn’t help but feel emotional about it. “It literally brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it,” he told the Daily Mail in June 2014.
There’s no doubt that it’s a truly heartwarming video – and one that May simply had to share online. Moreover, since posting the footage to YouTube, he has watched the views and likes roll in. The video may only be a minute and a half long, but it’s certainly a tear-jerker.
Reflecting on his four-legged friend’s struggles, May told the Daily Mail how difficult it must have been for Duffy when he went blind. “I can only imagine what went through his mind that one day it went black,” his sympathetic owner said.
But thanks to the surgery that he underwent, Duffy was suddenly given the power of sight once again. Meanwhile, after the life-changing operation, May expressed a strong desire to rush back home for the festive holiday so that he could be with his beloved dog.
“I can’t wait to get home over Christmas so my dog can see me for the first time in two years,” he said. And after so long spent with no eyesight, Duffy had so many more things, and people, to rediscover. However, the surgery itself was by no means cheap.
The total cost of the operation was $5,000, according to the Daily Mail; still, to May it was worth every last penny. “I know most people will say that it was a waste of money, but whatever. He’s happy, and he makes us happy; he’s family to us, [and] you can’t put a price on family,” he said.
And it seems as though the YouTube community agreed. “I love dogs. I love people who care about dogs. And I am happy for both the dog and his family,” one person commented on the video. Another wrote, “Thank you for sharing, Benjamin,” before admitting that they’d shed a tear while watching the emotional reunion.
This story just goes to show that there’s real truth in the saying that dogs are “a man’s best friend.” In a world where so many animals are maltreated and abused, it’s reassuring to see this four-legged friend receiving so much love from his family members.