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Many of the owners we work with stay in touch. We love building these relationships, and making sure owners leave feeling happy that they and their dog can move forward with confidence.
Sometimes it just needs a brief exchange of texts, sometimes lengthy emails are exchanged over a long period of time as worries or issues arise.
Below are three very different stories, which offer the owners personal view of their experience.
If you have feedback you would like to add here, please click below to email your story.
The Feedback: The Feedback
Gandalfs mum was one of the first people to contact us via the revamped website just a few days after her adored Shnauzers shockingly rapid loss of sight, and feeling very distressed. Here is their story......
My 5yo miniature schnauzher was diagnosied with SARDS and went blind within days. I was devastated by the news. I left the specialist with nothing more than one page document about ''vision loss''. No vet or support that was avaiable to help. Social media platforms were of little help as well, with overload of conflicting information or no information about how both my dog and I could adapt to the world in new way.
I found BLIND DOGS ENABLED, and thanks to BLIND DOGS ENABLED the guidance, information and support that was provided, helped me to help my dog, with the CAN DO mindset; able to make necessary changes to support and enable him.
Thank you so very much for your help and support, i cannot thank you enough.
We were contacted one weekend by a lady with a terrible dilemma.
It was quickly obvious that this lady was a true animal lover, with a huge heart, and this is her story........
" It was a long and emotional year after our second fur baby crossed the rainbow bridge. We were left with my youngest Dachshund, Lilah, (now 10 years old) who was terribly lonely. After a lot of contemplating, we finally made the decision to expand our family again and for Lilah's sake decided to go the puppy route instead of a rescue dog. Searching for a pup through "the reputable" breeders was quite daunting and quite a process with a lot of stress and uncertainty. There was a breeder that decided that we can have one of her pups. We were super excited, and the 8 weeks of waiting felt like a lifetime. We went to meet her when she was 5 weeks old and decided that Gracie is the perfect name for her.
The breeder contacted me 5 days before we were due to collect Gracie to inform me, she realised that the pup is blind and that we are under no obligation to take her.
We were so ready for Gracie to come home, and then came this news. What now?A million questions ran through my head. What if we cannot give her the home she deserves? How will she cope? How will we cope?? How will we teach her? How does one even raise a blind puppy? Will it be a lot of extra work? How will I make time for it all? How will my elderly parents cope with it? What if? What if?! How? My heart was truly so confused.I reached out to an amazing lady in the dog world I made friends with through Facebook and she gave me the name of Barbara's page and told me to contact her.
The first thing that I have tremendous appreciation for is that Barbara offered to speak to me on the phone as soon as I messaged her – on the same day! For a heart in turmoil, this was lifesaving.
Barbara made me realise that a blind puppy is first a puppy and then blind. It does not define them, nor does it make them very different to any sighted dog. Being born blind they know no different. She gave me the main pointers and important information to make me realise that it is completely do-able if you have the right mindset. Barbara was thorough and kind.
It took me a bit of thinking to get my head around the thought of raising a blind dog. I realised (and Gracie also proved it) that a blind dog is exactly like any other dog, except they are so much more special. They perform at the level of your expectation. Like the specialist that examined Gracie said. "Dogs really don't need to see. Their other senses are so strong that they don't actually need vision". Blindness in dogs is something vastly different than in humans, however one only realises that once you have the privilege to have a blind dog as part of your family.Blind dogs truly come with an added bonus - they are little angels walking on earth and they teach you so much about bravery and trust every day. They see with their hearts. Gracie has proven and continues to proof that to us every day.
She has mapped the house and found all the Dachshund ramps within the first days. She now uses them without hesitation or problems. She moves around the house and garden almost as if she can see everything.
I will always be so thankful to Barbara for "enlightening" my mind and "enabling" our whole family. She has given us a very special gift. Lilah has found a best Friend in her new sister. Gracie is a little miracle and we are very lucky to have her part of our family. Thank you, Barbara! I will for ever appreciate you."
This story belongs to someone who put a dogs needs first, despite - or because - how much she loved him.
One summer day, we were contacted by a trustee of a dachshund rescue.
This is Normans story....
"What can I say about Norman ? He is a beautiful cream long haired Dachsund... he had spent a a lot of his life in a kennel and was petrified of people in general but mostly men.....he was homed to a lady on her own who had two other dogs but after about a week discovering he was blind, she no longer thought she had a suitable home for him, and wanted him out of her house.
She was about 10 miles from me so one Sunday morning I set off to pick him up... I’ve worked with rescue dogs with behavioural issues, or dogs scared of the world for over 25yrs so I knew this wouldn’t be an issue, but Id never had a blind dog. On paper I would be the worst home... I had other dachsunds, young twin girls, two older girls who have a busy social life with lots of people in and out of my house, our lifestyle is very busy and wondered how this would suit a scared to death little blind Norman.
I got to the address and sure enough Norman was petrified and wouldn’t allow anyone near him. Eventually I managed to get a lead on him and popped him in the car, although nervous he was never aggressive. I took him home and spoke to him all the way back, when I got home I took him out of the car and took him into the garden to meet the other dogs.... he was fine with the other dogs but if a person went near him he would bolt and do everything and anything he could to run, he attempted to climb the fences just to get away so I left him for an hour to calm down and then I sat in the garden with him for a good 2hrs... he got closer and closer but still wasn’t brave enough to let me touch him, so I got him into a comfortable crate with lots of blankets to hide in and took him into the kitchen where he could hear everything without being confronted or feel threatened.
Eventually I sat next to his crate and he was still very scared but was no longer panicking so I opened the door and he allowed me to stroke him so he had some roast chicken for being so brave! I did this many times, the following day I let him out without a lead on and guess what ?! He didn’t bolt he stood next to me looking at me every time I spoke to him and I actually got a tail wag!!! I had tears in my eyes at this point because I knew he would be ok and he was starting to trust ! He still ran away from everyone else but he was using me as his safe space. I was overwhelmed with love for this precious little chap and from that moment he became my shadow.
I wanted the best for him without being selfish so I looked on FB and the internet for someone with experience of blind dogs for some reassurance that I was doing things right.. that’s when I came across Barbara at Blind Dogs: Enabled. I PMd her and she was amazing and very reassuring that all was good. BUT.... I still had the issue of him being petrified of other people so with such a busy house it was still a concern on my part, I didn’t want him to live in fear and anxiety for my own selfish reasons because I loved him so much!
After a few messages back and forth to Barbara I sent her a photo of him and she was smitten as well, I had another foster dachsund coming who would need a lot of care as he had IVDD so I decided Norman would be better off in a quieter home with other blind dogs... so Barbara decided she would love him and I knew he couldn’t be in safer hands.
The day came for Norman to start his life with Barbara... I was a mess with tears screaming down my face as I cuddled and kissed him said goodbye and popped him in the crate but the whole time knew this was the right decision for Norman... I will never forget him but he has come along way with Barbara and he has all the love in the world.. he can now run free and live his best life and although I still think about him and miss him everyday he couldn’t have had a happier ending and for that I will be forever grateful"
"I really cannot thank you enough as it is so reassuring to know someone who has been through this sort of experience and can give some proper advice....."
"..thank you so much for all the information, it has been a great help, and hopefully I can collect him now on Saturday"
"Thank you. Its given me great ideas on how to start.....i've noticed a big difference in her bumping already today, and she is going down the step into the garden by herself!"
"Thank you so much for all the great advice....so glad I found your page!"
"Thank you so much again for all your help... she really doesn't seem any different now, and is just getting on with life"
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