A blind Golden Retriever named Tanner was experiencing regular seizures, and when struck by them would lose control of his bowels. A blind dog with this kind of problem obviously would not be as adoptable as a sighted one without the cleanup, so to speak. However, at the Woodland West Animal Hospital, the blind retriever encountered a young black lab named Blair. The connection resulted in a symbiosis – a mutually beneficial friendship that so far has changed both of their lives.
Blair had been living on the streets before being admitted to the shelter and only came there for treatment after being shot. Because of the violence she experienced her demeanor was mistrusting and skittish, which also made her less likely to be adopted.
After Tanner and Blair started bonding, Tanner’s regular seizures decreased considerably, though they still occur sometimes. Blair was not trained as a guide dog, but she will pick up Tanner’s leash and guide him, and his presence is calming for her. Today they spend a great deal of time together at the shelter.
Tanner was born blind and with the seizure problem, which was worsened by the death of his first owner. At one point, the shelter vet recommended Tanner be euthanized due to his health problems. Together, the dogs have experienced a better health status, so they have been kept together and will need to be adopted as a pair. Tanner could live another 10 years, so whoever adopts him and Blair needs to be aware of his particular lifestyle issues. The Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue will in Oklahoma City be handling the pair’s adoption.
Image Credit: Muffet, Wiki Commons (Note: the dog pictured above is not Tanner.)