BTN 500



We are stronger together than we are alone!

  • Register


I just have to tell you what happened to me and my family not too long ago... It started out so innocent and normal but then things took several unexpected turns. We, my husband and I, had agreed to get a second dog, so I started asking our friends...

Someone suggested I adopt one of THEM. I immediately listed all of the very good reasons why I was not the person. Why we were not the family, our house was not the right house!  I had a long long list..... of why I, er why our family would not be the right home.....

OKAY, to tell the truth, I was just plain scared....of what a decision like this would do to my ideas of a perfect pet. That I could not do it, that something bad would happen...

Sure, I was looking for a new fur-friend. Yes!  I knew I wanted a happy young dog...  someone for the kids to play with too. I saw one I thought would be a great match that stirred my interest, on the local rescue's website a friend had recommended. I had asked our local rescue to keep an eye out for the perfect pet. We had already had the house visit and put in our application. Both had been accepted. I just knew it would not be long and the perfect pet would find us....

babybt1grassAm I alone in this!  You have an idea of just what would fit in your family? You usually are basing this dogwalker.256174742 stdon what your last pet was, a current pet, and how it fit into your family lifestyle.  You really are looking forward to having this new pet delightfully tucked into your arms as you watch TV.  You can visualize it following your husband around the house or playing with the kids. Romping through the house with Mason (our current Boston Terrier) playing chase or keep-a-way with a toy. You imagine taking long slow walks around the neighborhood with this beautiful new dog. btwalkdog1You can just see it pushing its nose into a pile of leaves, finding something delighted in smelling something, with its tail just a wagging. (or not, Mason only had a curl for a tail, but whatever). You look up just as your neighbor comes bustling across her yard, to greet you and see this new addition to your family.  Smiling at the picture in you mind, you greet your neighbor proud of her reaction.    BUT WAIT..... the picture bursts, and you are frowning...

If you really consider adopting this dog the rescue suggested... What will happen to your vision of playing ball in the backyard, of long fun walks, of cuddling on the couch, of the kids tumbling gleefully with your new pet on the floor at your feet as you read the newspaper?  100 4322
What do you believe about blindness? Do you believe that blind dogs need help? Are blind dogs limited in certain ways? Can blind dogs know as much as sighted dogs? Can they be competitive? Is blindness a tragedy? Do blind dogs need compassion? Can blind dogs go on walks, play ball, tumble on the floor with the kids, or even curl up on the couch with you? How on earth could they even get up on the couch?
I couldn’t possibly take home a blind dog. I already had Mason, a handsome mature male Boston who seemed very happy being an ‘only’ pet. Sure at first we thought how nice it would be for him to have a playmate. But what good would bringing home a helpless blind dog do for him, how could he play with it? Besides, any dog I might consider taking would have to be a female; in my admittedly biased experience.

100 4271Darn it!, The rescue has just called back they "have the perfect dog for us, healthy, young, spayed female, playful, totally vetted. Only thing, was IT WAS BLIND!" How could they do this to me....  I mean to us.  I am calling my Vet! he will give me the reinforcement I need to say NO WAY!
I put down the phone.... Well of all the nerve! How could he have possibly agreed with them?
Our veterinarian told me there is no reason a blind dog can’t live a happy normal life because their primary sense is not their eyes. Such a dog would just rely more on her sense of smell,  and hearing. She would only need my help to write the map of her living space. He told me that even the kids could help and it would be a great experience for them too.  Easy for him to say.  IF we were to even consider this, what would by husband say!
 I will put an end to this. Right now... I am going to let them (the rescue) bring over that blind dog, and prove that we are not going to be able to be a home for a BLIND dog... then we can get to the serious issue of finding the right dog... HMM!
Just look at her smiling face, she thinks she has it all sewn up doesn't she? Pooh what could a stranger know about what we want that we do not know! Oh what a cute sweet little dog... it is wagging its back end.... The kids are trying to stop squirming on the couch.  We asked them to not rush the dog when it first came in.  My husband had Mason on a lead sitting in His chair. Mason was in full alert mode "What the heck is going on here?"
"Please come in." I greeted our guests. I watched intently as did the rest of the family, the rescue lady confidently lead the happy smiling dog into the right corner of our living room. To the amazement of our family, she slowly walked her around the room then back to the front door. Then she turned and spoke, "Thank you, I want you to meet my friend. This is Alice Sue." Then with out explaining she continued her walk around the room again, calmly stopping to let the dog sniff, as she went talking some kind of code to the dog. She stopped in front of where the kids were squirming, on the couch. "Would you like to meet Alice Sue? Please move slowly and talk to her gently and calmly as you kneel down on the floor. She will learn your voices and hear that you are BABEandMagan 3859children and friendly."

Of course, the kids flung themselves off the couch and with excited voices thumped right to the floor. Alice Sue, startled, stopped and stood very still taking in all the new sounds and smells the kids produced. But once the movement sort of slowed down, Alice Sue bravely moved toward their direction. In an instant they were all over her petting, talking, hugging. Alice Sue immediately responded in kind, all movement, wiggling and licking and whining in excitement. I glanced at the rescue lady whose smile was even bigger..
"So guys, what do you think? Would you like to be her teacher? She has a lot of learning to do to be safe and you would be just the ones to help her... "

US! BE HER TEACHER? What would we teach her? " The kids were both almost shouting in excitement.
The lady laughed " Would you mind if she also taught you some tricks?" 

"How would that be? What could we teach her?", they asked, their hands never leaving her body...

"How to play games, find the ball, find the food, and importantly, how for you to know when she wants outside to do her business. Stuff like that? Would you be interested?" Well you can guess their responses....

By this time Mason was becoming almost uncontrollable in his interest at meeting this invading dog!
"OK guys, lets let Mason greet your new friend.. Could you please get back on the couch so she will have a chance to meet Mason?  Thank you. We will let you pet Alice Sue again before we leave.. OK!"  BABE 2195Amazingly the kids did not even argue, but politely got back on the couch ... I did not like the gleam in their eyes... HMMM, they were sold... lost them in the battle.. But Mason and hubby, they will put an end to this craziness, leave it to them!!! So I held my ground... but it was I admit becoming harder not to get excited too. Alice did not even look or act blind.. Well maybe a little..
 The lady turned next to my husband and the impatient Mason.  "I am going to pick up Alice Sue and retreat to the next room, would you please release Mason and let him sniff around where Alice has been? Then put him back on his lead. Then we will introduce Mason to Alice." And with that she bent down and gently started talking again to Alice, touching her. Then gently scooped her up and went into the next room shutting the doggie gate behind her. Mason went directly to work, sniffing wherever Alice had been, his head down and his rearend doggiedoorjust a wiggle wagging.

As soon as Mason was back on his lead and standing in the middle of the room, Alice Sue was lead back into the room. First she and the rescue lady circled Mason. Mason watched intensely, straining on the lead. The lady watching for body language from both dogs, talking gently all the time to Alice.  "Okay it looks like they are ready to meet.  Alice knows there is another dog and some things about him. Let me introduce her to Mason first. Can you hold him still?"
btgreeting 5276In amazement our family watched. The lady guided Alice to of all things, Mason's butt! Mason seemed okay with this and then she guided Alice to Mason and they traded sniffing.  What on earth is she doing with the dogs?  I need to ask about this! Then she guided Alice away and watched Masons reactions... and then again she drew Alice closer this time face to face, almost. Always watching both dogs reactions.  "Okay" she told my husband "I want you to let Mason follow Alice as we walk around the room, please keep a foot or two away from her." Around the room they slowly went.  Now they reversed the walk and Alice was following Mason. From what I could tell they seemed happy. What are they doing?  This is the craziest and longest meeting I have ever seen. It has been at least 45 minutes, maybe more, since she walked in her with Alice Sue.
Then suddenly the lady said, "I wonder would you kids like to help us? (Dumb question to ask a couple of kids.)  I want you kids to take Mason around the room." She turned to me. "Could you please follow with Alice?  First say hello to her."  I am being lead into the trap I just know it... Okay don't tell me you would have said no, if it had been you.. Expecting strong objections from husband and only hearing, instead, “It does seems like a nice dog. Whatever you think, Honey”. I was trapped, I did like BabChristmasthe dog it did seem like it would make a nice addition. What was she saying to him?  "....Your  new dog will probably not be able to get as much exercise as Mason. You will need to reduce her food intake accordingly so that she  will not become overweight. Do not try to over compensate the blindness by giving her too many treats." OH NO HE HAD FALLEN INTO THE TRAP TOO! He was smiling and nodding in agreement!  What was she saying to the kids? " No it is real easy...Keep  your dog's food and water bowls in the same place. She will quickly learn where everything is, but you must understand that Alice Sue will get confused if you move things around." I could not concentrate on her words, I was too busy watching the excitement on the kids faces and the concerned smiling on my husband's face... NOW how on earth was I going to say NO?  I could feel my "NO WAY's " starting to waiver...
Games, they were talking about games?
"OH let me tell you what her favorite game is "Find the Treat. " Drop a piece of your dog’s food or a small treat on the floor and say "Find the Treat".  When she finds it, praise as she eats it. You can start asking for a “sit” and a “stay” and release the dog to go find the treat. This adds self control to the exercise! Allowing a dog to use her nose creates wonderful games and builds confidence. If you do it right you can teach Mason to play the same game.  Oh, and let me tell you about her other favorite game, which will help her learn her way around your house. It is called "Find It". Treats are put down in a trail leading to something extra special at the end, you can have her favorite toy for a joint play session, for example. "

"Oh I want to teach her!, NO I do! " Both kids exclaimed at the same time.
"Oh that would be wonderful. You can both be teacher and take turns teaching Mason too." The lady went on to explain, "It is important that Mason get a teacher too. We do not want him to feel left out do we? That would make him so sad, Right?" 

Then suddenly without warning she was looking me right in the eyes, "Pets who pick you are the best! They Know what is the right home for them, all we can do in rescue is guess. Just look at her!" I looked where her eyes were leading me. I should not have, She was right up next to me looking up with her blind eyes, as if on cue she raised her right paw trying to tough my leg like she wanted me to pick her up... OH THIS WAS NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR AT ALL!   I could not stop myself, I picked her up only to get Babe 3826patterna face full of tongue, a wet warm tongue that would not stop. I could feel her excitement as she tried to tell me . What had that lady just said, "She just picked me".