Curtis, found as a stray, came to us from Coulee Region Humane Society. Estimated to be around five years old, he weighed in at 3.2 pounds. His coat was littered with matted hair and he had a severe debilitating eye condition. His eyes were beyond saving and were surgically removed.
When CRHS reached out to us to foster Curtis, our concern was his quality of life. Where would Curtis fit in at Bob’s House for Dogs? Would he belong in our Dying With Dignity program or would he be adoptable? Curtis came to bobs in late December. He was nervous and shy at first, yet had a very sweet personality. We gave him a large pen in the living room for his safe space. He was carried outside to potty and we took things slow while he acclimated to his new surroundings. Within 24 hours he was mapping out the house, smelling everything and exploring his new home. He was eating well and loved to be held. I am so happy that someone could still see the sparkle of life left in this loving little soul.
Curtis has made himself home here at Bobs and enjoys walking out to the big yard with his housemates. He is so smart with sounds and mapping out things. He is also very tolerant of other dogs and meeting new people. He loves to be held and will snuggle with anyone who takes the time to scoop him into their arms. We are truly lucky to have this little boy here touching our hearts while he waits for his forever home.
Visually impaired dogs do require some adaptations. Here are a few tips for living with a blind dog:
- Regularly visit your veterinarian to maintain your dog’s physical and mental health.
- Dog proof your home and create a safe space for your blind dog when they are not supervised.
- Have a consistent routine in your home with potty and feeding schedules – keep bowls in the same location.
- Consider a fountain water bowl, so your dog can easily find it.
- Use a leash to prevent your dog from wandering away. If you have a fenced in yard use a leash while your dog maps out his/her new surroundings.
- Consider a dog collar that says “Blind Dog” along with your phone number.
- Talk frequently so they know where you are and keep on the tv or radio when you leave.
- Keep furniture and rugs in the same place and consider textured rugs to help with mapping.
- Introduce simple commands slowly and positively, for example: “step down, back, move right”
- Use sounds such as a clicker or bell for training.
Most importantly remember, blind dogs have rich and full lives and live just like most other dogs.
Heather Muller, Bob’s House for Dogs Medical Coordinator