Service Dog Addie, a Norwegian Elkhound, who needs cataract surgery, gives her full attention to her master, Rich Canino. Photo by Rita Thiel

By Rita Thiel

Addie, a Norwegian Elkhound, will be on her way soon to undergo cataract surgery for her diminishing eyesight.

Thanks to the generosity of islanders and others, Addie, a service dog for island veteran Rich Canino, is scheduled for double cataract surgery Dec. 12  in Virginia by doctors affiliated with Animal Eye Care, a specialist group of veterinarians.

“We are very grateful and thankful for all who have helped make this possible,” said Dana Long, Canino’s partner. “What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas by the gift of eyesight. ”

Addie has congenital cataracts that have already caused near blindness and are progressively getting worse.  

As a service dog, Addie is by Canino’s side 24/7 and at the ready to alert him to a pending anxiety attack that gives Canino time to make needed behavioral adjustments to stave off the oncoming attack and possible seizure.

Canino’s lifeline, Addie enables him to “live again and not just sit on the couch,” he said. “She’s the light at the end of my tunnel.”

Long, an Ocracoke paramedic, began a fundraising campaign to raise $5,000 toward the surgery and follow-up care.  To date, the campaign has raised a little over $3,000, which is the base amount needed for the surgery.

Additional funding is necessary to cover Addie’s follow-up visits which will be frequent–every three to five days for the first month then every seven to 10 days the following month, as well as any medications Addie might need.

Donations are being accepted through the “Addie’s Eyes” Facebook page or Addie’s Go-Fund-Me page, “Addie-Service Dog.”

Direct deposit donations can also be made to Addie’s Eyes/Dana Long at any First National Bank branch.  

To read the first story on Addie, click here.

When she wears her service dog vest, Addie, is Ocracoke Islander Rich Canino’s lifeline. Photo by Rita Thiel
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  1. Addie is in good hands. Animal Eye Care is a fantastic place. Dr. Nadelstein removed my dog’s cataracts about 5 years ago. The follow up care is very good.

    • Wonderful news to hear! Happy to know your dog is doing well also. She has really become a vital part of our family.

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