Have you ever thought about adopting a blind and/or handicapped dog?

by Pam Giorgis

Now, why in the world would someone actually WANT a blind dog?

Rescues are full of dogs that are healthy. Puppies always are the first to be adopted. They ARE cute...but you have to potty train them..this can take months...You have to obedience train them..again...months. Yes, having a little sweet, cute puppy is a joy, as well as a serious committment of time and effort.

Then there are the younger dogs that are sometimes already housebroken. Great, too.  People always want a young, housebroken dog with no defects.

Rescues are full of handicapped animals that have even MORE love to give than a NON handicapped one.  How do I know?  From personal experience.

I have had dogs and cats all of my life.  My richest experiences are with rescues. They just seem to Know that you picked them and saved them.  What is a stronger word than unconditional love?  That is what you get with a rescued animal.

Rocky was my first rescue dog.  He had eye injuries and worms and was a mess!  He was 3 months old.  Rocky had been abused in a puppymill.  He must have been thrown down stairs, as he  has never completely has gotten over his fear of them.  I started giving him baby carrots as a treat, kept putting medication in his eyes a few times a day and he can see just fine now.  I cleared up the worms and he is now a wonderful 8 year old boy.

The next year, I looked for another and found Star the product of an "OOPS " breeding.

Two years ago, I was perusing the rescue sites and there she was.  Muffin!  It looked like one eye had been removed..but she had the other one.  What a beauty she was! As I read her story, I began to cry!  Though she indeed had one eye left, it was not functional. She had been left outside for two years!!!!!  The reason that her former owner gave was that "she sheds!" She came to the rescue with worms, rotten teeth, a skin condition and was blind, due to being out in the elements.  Can you imagine the things she went through?  Pugs are NOT outside dogs.

She was gorgeous, despite her handicaps. I thought my heart would break for her. I thought that I could adopt her, if no one else had applied.  Hey..what's one more pug!?  LOL

I filled out the application and waited...and waited.  I checked the site and found that I was not the first to apply for her.  Oh well, I thought, I am not greedy. I already had two.

Imagine my joy when I was contacted.  I was chosen to be her "forever mom".  Now, I  never had a seriously handicapped animal before.  I wondered how she would adapt to my house, stairs, other animals.....

That was two years ago.  Muffin has become a somwhat of a celebrity since then.

She sleeps in the bed with her brother Rocky and sister, Star. She gets along with the cats.  She manages and navigates very well, ESPECIALLY at feeding time! 

The permanent damage to her eyes, her fear of thunder and the fact that she howls like a coyote, at times, are the only reminders of her abusive past. ( I thought the howling may be due to the fact that her only contacts, while being outside, may have been hearing coyotes/wolves howl.)

Her coat is now healthy.    Of course, she sheds..she IS a pug, you know! I had the rotten teeth removed. She is a beauty and knows it!

 Muffin is now a Reading Therapy Dog.  I take her to school several times a year to "read" with the children.  She never judges them and they ADORE her.  She enables me to teach about disabilities in animals, as well as in people.  She has shown the students how the give compassion and acceptance. Being blind does not hinder my little Muffin.  You could almost say, it is one of her best assets!

If you are thinking about adopting a rescue dog...do it!  If you want an even more special joy, adopt a handicapped one.