Bachelor of the Week: Hachi!

Dear World,
I hope you are well. Today, I would like to introduce you to Hachi, a small pomeranian who has a few needs. Let me give you his information:
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Name: Hachi
Weight: 7 pounds
Age: 10
Special Needs: blind, torn ligament in leg, heart murmur
Batting average: 0.0 (he doesn’t play baseball – he prefers hockey)
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Now then, let’s discuss Hachi’s needs. He is blind, but he comes when you call him, he’s house trained and crate trained. Also, sometimes his eyes move back and forth a bit.  Hachi has a heart murmur but he requires no medication for it and I’ve heard that Co Q-10 supplements are helpful and inexpensive for such things. He also has a torn ligament in his leg, which prevents him from playing hockey and aids in him having a 0.0 batting average, but he’s on a low dose of pain meds, which in turn, makes him quite the happy little fellow! He sometimes hops on it. You can hop too, and call it dancing.
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Hachi gets on well with dogs and cats and he really, really, really loves people. In fact, he loves people so much, he would like to go home with one who wants to love and snuggle him so he can retire from baseball forever. (Just kidding. Hachi doesn’t want to retire from baseball. He wants to watch it from the couch. With YOU.)
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If you’d like to meet Hachi, he’s in foster care in Virginia through the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance. He can be transported to you at no extra cost, even if you’re out of state, as long as it’s a reasonable distance. Call him up. Have a chat. If there’s anything Hachi can do, it’s love you. In fact, he’ll knock it right out of the park. Meet Hachi today.
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Hachi enjoying a game from the stands

Hachi enjoying a game from the stands, which happen to be filled with dog food. Lucky him!

Strutting his face.

Strutting his stuff.

YEAHHHH!!!!!

YEAHHHH!!!!! HOME RUN!!!!!

Love,

Crepes.

PS. Check out the newest CATastrophes video – it’s under one minute and tells you what to do if your cat is scratching up the couch!

 

Bachelor of the Week: Malcolm!

There comes a time in every cat’s life when s/he has to see a dog in a litter box. Today, friends, is your day.

World, meet Malcolm. He is a nine-year-old beagle mix who can’t see out of one eye. But you know what he can do? He can see out of his other eye, and he uses it to zero in on cats and their things. Look at this:

This cannot be unseen.

This cannot be unseen.

There he is, sitting in a litter box. He does that when it thunders outside. When it thunders, he finds comfort in feces.  Here’s what else he does:

Oh, look, it's two cats - hey wait....

A kitty snuggler? This dog is perfect!

Yup. Malcolm loves cats.

Honestly, I can’t even joke any more. This little doggie has touched my heart with his earnest desire to be loved. Malcolm has been in foster care for two years and before that he was in a shelter for 7-months. And before that? A stray. Luckily for everyone, Blind Dog Rescue Alliance pulled him from the shelter and put him in a loving foster home.

Malcolm’s current foster mom says that he’s “so full of love and always ready to do whatever you want to do, whether it’s cuddling, playing, or going for walks.”  Malcolm loves to roll in the grass, and is open to large families. He gets along great with other dogs, cats, and children. He never causes trouble and is well-trained. His only special need is that he’s blind in one eye, so he’s batting a 50% and I’d say that’ pretty darned good considering he doesn’t need ANY eyes to be an awesome dog. (If you’re curious about what it’s like to live with a blind dog, please see yesterday’s article. There are also more pictures of Malcolm.)

Do you think you could love Malcolm? If so, please contact the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance. You can read more about Malcolm’s daily life here and, please note, he’s in Tennessee but the BDRA will transport him out of state at no charge to a loving home.

Love,

Crepes.

PS. This:

"I love this dog so much, I want to adopt him." - Crepes.

“I love this dog so much, I want to adopt him.” – Crepes.

 

Adopting A Blind Dog: What You Need To Know

You guys!

If you recall, I recently did an article with Tree House on what it’s like to adopt a blind kitty. Well, we couldn’t leave out our doggie friends! Today, we have with us Karen Belfi of Blind Dog Rescue Alliance to answer some of our questions about adopting and living with dogs who are vision impaired.

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Crepes: Welcome, Karen! Please tell me a bit about BlindDogRescue.org.  It seems that you don’t have a specific physical location, but that you are a network across the US and Canada. Is that correct?
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Karen Belfi: Yes. We have a series of foster homes throughout the US and Canada. Since we formed in August 2009, we have rescued over 300 blind and visually impaired dogs.
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C: Excellent! Some of the dogs that you have rescued aren’t completely blind but have impaired night vision or other difficulties. What are some of the other forms of blindness that one might encounter?
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KB: There are many causes of blindness. Cataracts and glaucoma are two common causes. PRA, or progressive retinal atrophy, starts off with night blindness, then the dog eventually loses all vision. Diabetes can cause blindness. Some dogs are born without eyes, or very small, malformed eyes. Injury can cause blindness as well.
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C: What is it like to care for a blind dog?
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KB: Really, they are like any other dog. They react differently to situations, depending on the individual dog. I have a dog with no eyes, Pete, whom I fostered for BDRA, and ended up adopting. He can adapt to anything! We moved a couple of weeks ago, and he learned the layout of the new house (and big yard) in a few hours. You can see him just walk the perimeter figuring things out. My other blind dog, Mabel, took longer to figure things out. It’s very individual. Most dogs adapt to blindness very well.
Blind dog "Malcolm" having a meet and greet.

Blind dog “Malcolm” having a meet and greet.

C: Are there any particular household dangers that someone caring for a blind dog should look out for, such as dangerous furniture, stairs, etc.?
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KB: Stairs, of course, are a concern until the dog learns where they are. Anything that can puncture the eye, like branches, are a concern, if the dog still has eyes. This is why ophthalmologists will sometimes recommend removing a dog’s eye(s) if they are blind.
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C: What is it like to take a blind dog out for a walk? Do you always need to take the same route?
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KB: Pete pulls like any other dog! He just plows right along as if he could see. We try to get our blind dogs and fosters used to different situations. We take them everywhere – into pet stores, into the city, to the park – to get them used to noises, smells, etc. We try to make them as independent and confident as possible.
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C: Do blind dogs like to explore their environments?
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KB: They do. Their noses tend to work VERY well, so they use them to explore and figure out where they are. We teach a couple basic commands to them. “Watch” is for when something is in their way. They learn to slow down and feel for what’s there. “Step” is for when there are stairs, a curb, etc. They start to slow down and feel for the step.
This doggie's rolling in the grass so far he's blurry!

This doggie’s rolling in the grass so fast he’s blurry! No camera could catch his awesome!

C: Can you teach a blind dog to play fetch using a sound toy, or is that not something you’d want to have a blind dog performing?
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KB: I have a rubber ball that has a bell in it. Pete loves to play fetch with it. We have also gotten some tennis balls with bells in them that the dogs love to play with. There are other noisy balls and toys they can use.
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C: Can you leave a blind dog unattended in the same way you would a sighted dog?
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KB: This would also depend on the individual dog. Does the dog know the area well? Is the dog a chewer? Will the dog get into things in your absence? Are stairs blocked off? Our dogs do fine left alone. They know exactly where the stairs are, and do not tend to get into things.
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C: Please walk us through how you would teach a blind dog to perform the basic command “sit.”
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KB: It’s really the same as any other dog. Tap their bottom, or hold the biscuit high above their nose to position them to sit, then treat.
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C: How can our readers assist BlindDogRescue.org if they’re interested in helping further? What do you need the most?
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KB: We ALWAYS need volunteers. Of course we always want foster homes, but if you can’t foster, we definitely need your help!
We need people to do lots of things-organize transports for fosters (you don’t have to drive to do this!), check adoption applications, contact shelters with blind dogs, attend local events, check volunteer applications, etc. Lots of things. If anyone wants to help, they can fill out the volunteer app on our website.
FACT: Children love blind dogs.

FACT: Children love blind dogs.

C: Is there anything you’d like to mention that I’ve forgotten?
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KB: I think the main thing to know about blind dogs is that they are all individual. Many people tend to assign character traits to a blind dog. “He’s scared of other dogs, because he is blind.” “He should have another dog with him, because he is blind.” Really, that depends on the dog. Some blind dogs are scared of other dogs. But, some sighted dogs are too. Ditto having another dog in the house. Some do better, some do better as an only dog. Each dog is so individual. They’re dogs first, blind second!
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That’s it, everyone! A wonderful thanks to Karen Belfi for her help with this piece. I hope this article opens your eyes to the awesomeness of blind dogs. If you’re considering adopting one, here are some more resources for you to look at:
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You see those photos above? That’s Malcolm. Tomorrow, we meet Malcolm, who just so happens to be looking for a home, no pun intended.
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Love,
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Crepes.
**photos provided by Margaret D. of BDRA – Thank you! **
PS. Last chance to enter The Honest Kitchen Quickies Valentine’s giveaway! Just leave a comment and let me know you want an entry! (and make sure I have your email there in case you win!)