You’ve heard of guide dogs, I’m sure. Those smart pups trained to lead their visually impaired parents everywhere they need to go. It’s a noble profession, and we’re grateful to any pup bold enough to take it on. But one guide dog, in particular, has recently caught our eye. A four-year-old boxer who leads, not a human, but a blind dog. And what’s more, the pair are father and son.
A Blind Dog And His Guide Dog
Buddy, a young boxer mix, was completely blind from birth. So from his very first days, he was forced to navigate the world without sight. Fortunately, he didn’t have to take on this overwhelming task alone. Buddy’s father, Big Daddy, formed a strong bond with this little blind puppy, and the two have been inseparable ever since. (1, 2)
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But even though Buddy and Big Daddy vowed to take on the world together, they had a pretty rough start. Not long after Buddy was born, he and Big Daddy were taken to an animal shelter in North Carolina. One family chose to adopt the pair but took them back to the crowded shelter not long afterward. The shelter staff worried that the blind dog and his dad would never find a permanent home. (1, 2)
Luckily, Flying Fur Animal Rescue helped relocate Buddy and Big Daddy to Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park in New Jersey. There they had a better chance to find a loving home and happy future. And most importantly, they could stay together and support one another as father and son. (3)
Buddy And Big Daddy’s New Home
But the good news is far from over! As we all hoped, this loyal, adorable pair of pups finally found a loving home. Their new puppy parent commented on Popcorn Park Shelter’s post, saying, “[Buddy and Big Daddy] are safe, cozy, happy, and enjoying the quiet life outside the shelter”. Along with her comment was a lovely photo of the pair, taking a peaceful nap together, side by side. (1)
Caring For A Blind Dog
This story has us smiling through our tears, and we can’t get enough of Buddy and Big Daddy. But unfortunately, not every blind dog has a loyal fur-buddy to help him through life. In most cases, you have to be that buddy for your pup. Whether a pup is born blind, has sudden blindness, or gradually goes blind with age, it’s important to be prepared with these tips in order to support him as much as possible.
- Training. The command “wait” will be extremely useful in order to keep your pup from running into things. New commands such as “step up” and “step down” may come in handy as well.
- Make some noise. A blind dog needs to hear you much more often than a seeing dog. Make sure to reassure him frequently with vocal encouragement. Additionally, buying toys with bells and rattles will allow him to play more easily with you.
- Avoid change. A blind dog relies heavily on routine. Keep his food and water bowls in the same place at all times, and refrain from moving furniture as much as possible.
- Tactile cues. Just as your pup can use noise to navigate the world, he can also use touch. Lay down doormats and rugs to help your dog find hallways and doors. Line the perimeter of your yard with woodchips or gravel to keep him from hitting the fence. You’ll be surprised at how fast he learns to use these cues to find his way around. (4)
- Support your pup’s eye health. All pups gradually lose their eyesight with age. But with the right vitamins and supplements, the process may be slowed. If your pup’s breed is known for having issues with eyesight, try Improve Me Eye Health. It’s great for keeping those beautiful eyes in good shape, and your pooch will think it’s a special treat.
You Don’t Need Eyes To See The Love
Who would have thought a blind dog would have his own father as a guide dog? It’s heartwarming to see such a sweet bond between Buddy and Big Daddy. And even sweeter to hear that the two boxers are still together in a lovely home with a puppy parent dedicated to helping them grow and thrive together.