When Zena was taken in by the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre she was a confused, broken soul. Being totally blind, and having survived years in a puppy farm, it was no surprise she found everything utterly bewildering. Special care, gentle lessons in accepting love and kindness and generous amounts of time, patience and understanding were needed for this special girl to overcome her dark past.

Many dogs coming from this kind of cruel, neglectful background struggle to adapt when they find themselves in rescue. It can take many weeks, months in some cases, for them to learn any sense of trust. It requires a great deal of special care to help dogs with the depth of trauma that Zena has experienced. For her, luckily, she has been given everything possible to help her on her way towards a brighter, safe life. One where she will never suffer again and in which she can flourish. Tomorrow, Zena will take the next step on her journey, as she undergoes life changing, double cataract surgery at the Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre.

19 April 2019


Zena’s surgery was highly complex - it turned out to be far more difficult to replace her lenses than had been expected. This was entirely due to how long her cataracts had been left untreated - if the puppy farmer had given her correct attention and care, or released her to rescuers sooner, the situation may well have been different. As it was, for her best interests, one eye had to be removed. The cataract in her remaining eye was treated but it wasn’t possible to insert a new lens. Zena went home a few days later to foster care, with a large dose of love and well wishes as well as drops and other medications.

Almost 2 weeks on from her surgery, it’s clear that Zena does have some sight in her treated eye. With no lens it is always going to be limited, but, her veterinary team are confident her sight will improve over the next few weeks. So while the outcome has not been successful double cataract surgery and fully restored vision, even some sight will help Zena navigate her future life more confidently. She will stay in foster care for a while longer, but as soon as she is ready to be adopted, her new family will enjoy having a very special girl in their life.


Zena was successfully adopted by a wonderful family as soon as she was ready. They live on the south coast and Zena has her first human family and canine sister Piper who is helping her learn how to enjoy her new life. Whilst Zena’s puppy farm background and reduced vision undoubtedly brings her many challenges, she is rising to it beautifully and day by day getting the hang of letting herself be happy.

Her family are patient, loving and perfect companions for Zena whose journey to being a regular, much loved, normal family pet is well underway. Being able to restore partial sight means there is less challenge for her than if she was still blind. This is what Schnauzerfest fundraising makes possible.

Here she is, learning to play with her sister Piper, probably for the first time in her life.