This post is part of series on amazing blind dogs. Meet some awesome, adaptable dogs and see tips to help you care for a blind dog. Thanks to guest bloggers Tiffany Morrissey-Gollem, Lisa Stubert, and Dianne Marcinizyn!
As a volunteer dog foster with Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue, I have cared for dogs with different physical and psychological challenges. Some had severe ear infections and others were afraid of people. When I agreed to foster Boomer, I thought it would be a big challenge because he is blind. I had never cared for a blind dog and was a bit nervous. I quickly realized that blind dogs are extremely adaptable and not too difficult to care for. In fact, I was truly inspired by Boomer’s resilience! This post celebrates dogs with vision problems and the owners who have the love and patience to care for their special family members.
Boomer, a big beautiful 5-year old yellow boy, developed a retina disease in both eyes that progressed rapidly. His owners could not provide a safe environment, so they surrendered him to Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue.
When Boomer arrived, I kept him on a short leash and gave a tour of the house, saying the name of every room. We repeated it a few times and then I took off the leash. By the next day, Boomer knew the exact location of his water bowl and the doggie door and went in and out on his own to go potty! It took a few days longer to get used to the yard – he sometimes passed the doggie door or banged into the air conditioner units. We put a fence around the AC units and moved the garbage can to be a barrier in case he passed the dog door.
Boomer was adopted by a wonderful family and it makes me so happy to hear how well he is doing. Read about Boomer and his family >
Neptune was a sweet, active guy who enjoyed all kinds of activities with his family. See a tribute to this awesome guy >
Meet this amazing pack of awesome dogs with “disabilities” that enjoy a full, happy life. Say hello to Chica, Ella, and Deisel >
This deaf and blind beauty works as a therapy dog and is a Cynosports Games winner. Be inspired by Belgium >
Although I am not an expert (I fostered Boomer for two months), here are some of the things I learned.
• Eliminate safety hazards in the house and yard. For example: remove any plants like cactus that can cause injury.
• Keep things consistent in the house and yard. Examples: push in kitchen chairs, put away obstacles like shoes and the vacuum cleaner.
• Teach commands that are useful in providing direction. When Boomer and I went on walks, I used “step up” and “step down” to tell him that we were at a curb. I also taught him “turn around,” which was useful on walks and in the house.
• Teach a danger command like “stop” or “danger” to alert the dog f he is approaching something that he will bang into.
• Use different floor textures to provide cues. Examples: put a mat in front of the water bowl, use astro turf to make a path from the dog door to the grass.
• Be alert on walks. Keep an eye out for broken glass on the ground, steps, and stray bushes that may cause injury.
Do you have a blind dog? If so, we’d love to hear your story and any helpful tips you wish to share.