Thursday afternoon I took Drifter to see the opthalmologist. She said the mark I can see across his eye is actually scar tissue that didn't attach properly, and that's why it was still so visible - it wasn't lying flat and actually healing the cut, but rather sort of sticking out and floating around the cut instead. Yick. She tested his tear production and quality, the pressure in his eyes, and he is generally healthy, except for some reason his blood vessels don't attach and heal abrasions properly. She said this does sometimes happen in "older dogs" but it's pretty rare in border collies. Much more common boxers and pugs. Lucky me, again, to have the 8 year old dog with 2 "old dog" diseases. Oh well, as we say around here "it is what it is". So she numbed the eye, went in and scraped off all the improperly formed scar tissue, then used a needle to rough up the edges of the cut itself so new tissue would stick to it properly, then they gave him a "bandage contact lens" that he wears for 10-14 days (or less if it falls out) to protect it. 3 days later his eye looks MUCH clearer, it's not weeping too often, and I think it is actually healing. He has a recheck scheduled on the 22nd, and if the contact hasn't fallen out, they will remove it then. They also gave me a lubricant drop (sort of gel-like) to give his good eye, that apparently I should keep him on for the rest of his life to help prevent this from happening again. Oh joy! Eye drops 2x a day FOR LIFE! Anyway, they are a simple solution, just a lubricant, and don't seem to bother his good eye. Right now he's on antibiotic drops still in his bad eye, so until that's all healed that's what he'll stay on.
All that mess aside, I discovered I can fit one jump in one end of our "barn" building. the footing is dirt, not real impact-absorbent, but for one jump work, maybe once a week, it'll do. The temperatures have been slowly climbing about freezing, but there was so much ice and rain on top of the snow, that the current snow on the ground just won't ever really be "fluffy" again. It just gets grainy and crunchy, so while I've been walking them around a bit in it for maybe 10-20min a day, I just don't want to risk much longer than that due to concern for their paw pads, which are already looking fragile from all the cold and ice. I may try for a short hike somewhere today in the afternoon. I got goggles for Drifter at the local pet store, to protect his eyes from flying snow and twigs and such. It took some growling at him but he does leave them alone now (at least when I'm nearby). He looks pretty spiffy too (pic on facebook).