Bobbi Loomis has a sunflower-decorated eye patch covering her left eye.
She is smiling for a picture with her arms wrapped around Lucky, a 6 1/2-year-old border collie that Bobbi and her husband of 34 years, Dave, take care of every few weeks.
Lucky is wearing an eye patch, too, except his is red with white hearts. It covers the spot where his right eye used to be.
Both are quite literally shortsighted — Bobbi from a stage 4 cancer that caused her left eye to drop and lose most of its vision, and Lucky from his mother accidentally stepping on his eye when he was a newborn, forcing doctors to remove it.
About four years ago, they found each other.
And together — with Dave Loomis, too — they’re not shortsighted at all.
“We’re almost like a one-eyed family,” Bobbi Loomis, 59, told The Huffington Post. “I’ve got one and Lucky’s got one.”
The Loomises met Lucky’s owner at their dentist office around the same time that Bobbi Loomis was diagnosed with the advanced case of squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer that affected the left side of her face. They bonded instantly.
“He’s our little God dog,” Dave Loomis, 64, said. The couple repeated this several times.
For the past three years, the Loomises have shared custody of Lucky with his owner, having the dog over to their Reno, Nev., home for weeks at a time.
Bobbi Loomis and Lucky have more than colorful eye patches in common. Both know what it means to not be given up on.
“They didn’t euthanize Lucky when he had his accident,” Dave Loomis said. “And thank goodness, because he turned out to be such a great doggy.”
Bobbi Loomis’ saving, meanwhile, came after a doctor refused to operate on her, saying the best he could do was make her comfortable while her cancer persevered. She went for a second opinion and found doctors at Stanford Hospital & Clinics in California who were up for the challenge. Two surgeries in 2009 — 22 hours in total — put Loomis on her way to recovery.
“They looked at me and said, ‘Oh yeah, we can do this,’” Loomis recalled. “They got every single bit of cancer out. They’re why I’m alive.”
Now, the “one-eyed family” hopes for more good news. Friday, when doctors remove sutures from a recent operation to keep Loomis’ eyes in place, they may be able to plan steps that could restore some of her vision.
If that happens, Lucky will be around to witness it.
“What we can learn from Lucky is not to give up on animals just because they’ve got one eye or a leg cut off or something wrong with them,” Loomis said.
“I think it’s an absolute inspiration to see animals with disabilities,” Dave Loomis added. “They don’t give them a second thought. They just get out there.”