by Joanne Marsh
Are blind dogs different than any other dog? They are superb pets and family members. Daily, they amaze me and others who get to know them. Here’s a quick list of how a blind dog can change your life for the better.
- Blind dogs rule because dogs rule! They don’t care that they’re blind and they can do anything a sighted pet can do. Agility? Yes. Run? Yes. Play Frisbee? Yes. Enjoy walks with you and car rides? Yes. Bug you for nacho chips because of the faintest crinkle sound of the bag half a house away? Yes. Steal your heart? Yes, most definitely!
- Blind dogs teach us to love life, whatever the situation. They inspire us to live life to the fullest, despite our challenges. These pups show courage, strength, confidence, and faith in everything they do. They do this because, quite frankly, it does take guts to jump down from the couch or the bed when you live in darkness — and a healthy dose of confidence, courage and faith that the floor will be there.
- Blind dogs are smart, quick learning, and undefeated.Their ignorance of vision loss doesn’t slow them down much, or even at all. Many blind dogs map their usual landscapes — their homes, their backyards, their usual walking paths — carefully, methodologically and usually in what seems to be record time. They scope out borders, trace with their noses and seem to calculate their movements. They record it all and then proceed just like any other dog.When my blind dog came home, he learned the house in about a day and the backyard, which has plenty of woods and trees throughout, in about a day and a half. And in the summertime, with patio furniture placed for the day of barbequing and guests? Learning the temporary change in landscape takes just one or two passes — that’s it. He has already remapped the yard and is good to go. His only worry is which party guest will give him the biggest piece of hamburger!
- The work of rescuing blind dogs provides comfort and faith. There have been many times at community events, that visitors to the rescue booth will thank the volunteers for our work and for caring so deeply for the dogs. These dogs which might not otherwise have a chance, are now offered the chance of hope, love and enjoying a happy life. Why do they care or tear up? Because it touches them personally when they have a family member, a friend or another loved one who is blind or handicapped. Our rescue work for the lives of dogs gives them a sense of support and caring that they do indeed count and there’s reassurance that people stand behind them. Now that’s impact!
- Being with a blind dog or pet opens your eyes to make the best of any situation. My blind dog is the happiest dog I ever saw and he doesn’t care that he can no longer see.
- Blind dogs are loyal and faithful. They are everything anyone could have ever wanted from a dog. I don’t have to feel bad for my blind pup; instead he inspires me to remember this in my daily life.
- Blind dogs fulfill something inside you that you did not know was missing or needed. It is not just you teaching them, but they are teaching you. They are totally fearless in the face of adversity and go plunging ahead letting nothing stop them on their way.
- Blind dogs are independent. While many think they need special assistance, most do not. They play with your family, other dogs and pets with ease. Most people don’t even realize that they are blind.
- My blind dog rules because he is one of my best friends. In the morning when the rest of the pack is still asleep, he knows when I awake. He is right there, but always patient for his morning constitutional. Then it’s “Iz and me time” where we sit together to welcome the day.
- And the number one reason why blind dogs rule is because blind dogs truly see with their hearts.
Joanne Marsh has been with the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance since it began in August 2009. She volunteers on various teams including events and community outreach, fostering, blogging and the newsletter and public relations teams. She loves Iz and the other blind dogs who have touched her life.