How I Helped My Blind Dog To Overcome Her Handicap

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When my dog became blind I knew that in order for her to continue to live the normal life she did before she was blind she would need my help.

The 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 and she would now rely more on her sense of smell, and would need my help to rewrite the map of her living space .

I began in our home, to help my dog find her way around again I just walking behind her and would tell her to turn left or right or go straight and I used be careful if she was about to bump into something, she learn that one quickly and began turning away when I would say be careful .In no time she was able to get around the house and find her water and food bowls and her bed, and even find where I was in the house on her own.

 My dog Tanya
My dog Tanya | Source

The best tool I used in helping my dog map out her world was patience, because if you get upset you will then upset your dog and that will not help either one of you and may take longer to get your dog to get around on their own. Also praise your dog telling them they did a good job, in the eyes of a dog praise will go a long way. Now that my dog is able to find her way around our home and has a mental map of her living space it is important that I don’t change that map in any way, by leaving something in her way or even on the floor that she could trip over and hurt herself or by moving any furniture around or do anything that might confuse her or make her lose that mental map of her living space .

Now it was time to see how she would do outside in the yard, I have a big fenced in yard so I don’t have to worry about her going in the street and getting hit by a car. I had found out earlier that she was able to go up and down the stairs on her own so that was a big step in overcoming her handicap . I put the leash on her and let her lead has we walk around the yard, the leash connects us together she can feel me holding the leash and hear my voice has I tell her when to turn or go straight, using the leash like this is like being able to hold my dog’s hand she feels secure that I’m there guiding her around the yard .I walked her around the yard three times, the fourth time I tried to take her the wrong way she pull me back the right way, she already has the yard mapped out .At that moment I knew she would do fine on her own.

 

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. My  dog just turned 14 and is in good health and  goes  around our  home and yard by herself. Even when I let her out at night she is able to find her way around the yard and find her way back and when she is ready to come in she will scratch on the door. She live a happy and normal  life despite her blindness.  In fact  she does  so well that visitors don’t even know my  dog is blind .

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Comments 76 comments

carrie450 profile image

carrie450 6 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

She is a beautiful dog and I admire you for all of your patience with her. I must be so rewarding. Kudos to you for a wonderful entry!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thanks carrie,it was very rewarding when she was able to get around on her own.


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 6 years ago from USA

This was very special to read, I could feel your pride of your dog while reading it, It's wonderful and you did such a great job helping your dog and telling us!

Great news and great hub :)


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thank you schoolgirlforreal I am very proud of my dog for how well she has adjusted to her blindness.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 6 years ago from Sweden

It is very special to be able to help your dog in this way! You must have a very good contact with your dog. And how clever dogs are, mapping areas in their mind! By the way, I have a friend that have a blind dog, and he also live a happy life! Thanks for sharing and great hub!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

thoughtforce thanks, yes it wes very rewarding to help

my dog, she and i have a tight bond between us .


traci15 profile image

traci15 6 years ago from everywhere :)

Awww your sweet...I have a female teacup yorkie and she is my world...Have a great night :))


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thanks Traci, i feel the same way about my dog!


Jennifer D. profile image

Jennifer D. 6 years ago from Canada

Very nice! As you know, I am quite attached to my blind cat. As blind pet owners, we can assure others that this is not really a handicap, but an opportunity to witness the keen senses that our pets have. Kudos to you and your pooch!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thanks Jennifer, yes your cat is so cute. Cats and dogs depend on their nose more than their eyes.


blondey profile image

blondey 6 years ago

I loved reading this..It's very sweet and makes you feel at home when reading it..your caring shows in your writing. Rated beautiful


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thank you blondey for your nice comments, she is a smart dog and i knew with my help she could find her way around.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 6 years ago

Great hub! The patience and love you have for your dog is an inspiration to me. I enjoyed reading how you became your dog's seeing eye person. You and your dog are very lucky to have each other. I hope you write more hubs about the bonds you share. Best of everything to you. See you around hub pages soon.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thanks toknowinfo, you are right my dog and i share a great bond and i am grateful for each day i have her. Glad you like my profile picture,my dog hates those goggles but she will wear them in the snowy sunny weather.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America

Rated Up and several others. Very good Hub.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thank you Patty, glad you enjoyed it !


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 6 years ago from Canada

Kashmir, this was such a beautiful story, and so inspiring. I mean, if a dog can get over being blind, how much more should we able to overcome the problems in our lives? Thank you so much for sharing this moving piece ... bookmarking it under "moving hubs." :))))


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thank you prairieprincess glad you enjoyed it so much, i thought i would give back to my dog by helping her get around. She has giving me so much joy and happiness over the years that it's only right that i now help her.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

What a lovely story. I can tell how much you love your dog - just as I love mine. Dogs are such wonderful companions.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi AliciaC yes dogs are great companions and yes i do love my dog a lot she has giving me much joy and happiness it was only right i help her out in her time of need.


leabeth profile image

leabeth 5 years ago

kashmir you have a lot of patience and love for your dog. I have 3 Jack Russels and a Chihuaha. They are like children to me and my hubby and if you spend time with them and show them how much you love them it is amazing to see how much joy they bring in your life.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hello leabeth, My dog Tanya is just like if she was my daughter i have had her since she was a puppy and she now depends on me to guide her on her way so no danger will come to her,she has great trust in me and she is like family to me. Thanks for stopping by again and for your nice comment has well !


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 5 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

Kashmir56

I can feel how deeply you love your dog. Your dog is so very beautiful. I am so proud of you for taking the time to help your dog find her way literally. Your dog is so lucky to have you for a master. God Bless


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Healing Touch nice to see you, and thank you for your very nice comments. I was a little worried that in all this snow my dog Tanya would have trouble finding her way around, but she has been just fearlessly climbing up on all the snow banks just like when she could see. Dogs are so amazing !


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

I love this story. I have 2 medium sized dogs and they are spoiled rotten. They are the only things in my life i can count on to give unconditional love. Sad though that comment might be, i would be lost without them, and would be devastated if anything every happened to them. Friends come and go, family has their own lives and agendas, but these little 4 legged buddies are always happy to greet me when i come into the house, even after 5 minutes outside. They have ME totally trained and with such little effort on their part.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi d.william nice to see you, yes i feel the same way about my dog has well ! Thanks for your comments and to for stopping by, take care !


daffodil2010 profile image

daffodil2010 5 years ago

sincere and very attractive hub thanks


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi daffodil2010, Glad you enjoyed this hub, thanks for stopping by and to for your comments !


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo

Awesome! I had a blind cat and I can totally relate!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Mrs. Menagerie nice to see you, pets are so smart and can over come such handicaps they are so amazing . Thanks so much for your comments and to for stopping by !


clark farley profile image

clark farley 5 years ago

Very good Hub.

Can identify with the events.

Our first dog, Ola, (her photo graces a number of my hubs), became blind as part of her getting sick when she was 10 years old.

In fact, the blindness was the first symptom of her illness. The vision loss had a very quick onset, I recall noticing one afternoon that Ola was 'missing' the dog treat being offered to her (the vision loss was in one eye first, so she could not see the food on the left side, unless she turned her head.

I got her to a vet immediately, but her vision failed completely.

We made the necessary adjustments to the house (barriers on staircases no tripping objects, as well as to our daily routines, and similar to your experience, Ola made the adjustment faster than we did.

Dogs just seem to have a deficency in their 'complain gene', or something.

Ola simply adjusted.

An example that I take to heart even to this day, 10 years later.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi clark nice to see you,yes dogs are so amazing how they can adjust to something like going blind so easy and fast, we could learn a lot from our dogs . Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

kashmir56,

This article is perfect to share with a friend whose 7yo dog is losing her eyesight. Your story is very inspirational.

I agree there is much we can learn from our dogs.

Voted UP & UAB-- thanks so much, mar.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi marcoujor nice to see you, glad you found this useful and i am glad you will share it with someone to help them help their dog ! Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your mice comments !


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Beautiful. What an adorable dog. Good for you for not giving up on this sweetie :)


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi ethel nice to see you, she has been there for me always so i could not let her down in her time of need, she is a very loving and sweet dog and by helping her i made her feel the being blind doesn't matter ! Thanks so much for your nice comments and to for stopping by !


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Voted up. What a great story Kashmir. It shows that patience can pay off in big ways. I have a dog that was dumber then a box of rocks, literally. I never gave up on the old girl and I couldn't ask for a better dog. Great story. very inspirational.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi thelyricwriter nice to see you, glad to hear you enjoyed this hub, my dog is now 15 years old and still doing well.

Thanks so much for your vote up and nice comments and to for stopping by !


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

An awesome story, Tom. I had an Italian Greyhound that made it to 19 1/3 named Bacon Puppycookies. He actually named himself, but that could be a future hub. He was blind, but did all right. I never let him out alone and was always with him when he went out, just in case.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi aviannovice nice to see you,Yes dog are very smart and with a little of our help they can live a normal live when they can no longer see on their own.My dog never need help she found her way around the yard and her way back to the door and never was unable to do that,because of our training together she remembered the lay out of the yard.Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

I read this hub AFTER I read 'Escape to the other side' one. Glad it was that way, as I did not even know she was blind...but your fantastic teaching with her was great! I wouldn't have agreed that a blind dog could do so much, but you proved differently. Thank you!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi frogyfish nice to see you,If you work with the blind dog and guide them around they will find their way, but dogs relies more on their sense of smell rather than their eye site and could easily find their way around their own yard .Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


billips profile image

billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

This is the kind of 'Hub' that makes me happy - because of all the unkindness that is directed towards animals, it is great to hear about the 'good guys' - people who are blind learn to cope, with a bit of help, so there is no reason why animals can't - have you seen the video clip of the blind Great Dane, and her sighted Great Dane 'buddy', that always stays by her side - it is amazing to see them running side by side - the blind one just cocks an ear and senses where to go - it's lovely - I think blind animals have a slight edge over blind people - they don't realize what they have lost so they just make do with what they have - a lesson for all of us - regards, B.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi billips nice to see you, so glad to hear this hub has made you happy reading it. I use to tell my dog be careful and she would turn away because she learned when i said that she was about to bump into something . I think you are right about blind animals have a slight edge over blind people . Dog depend more on their noses that their sight . Thanks so much for your nice comments and to for stopping by !


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

She is very beautiful :) Our dog is lose her sight due to cataracts so thanks for the advice here


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi ethel nice to see you,It sad when they lose their sight,but dog depend more on their sense of smell than their sight. And with a little help from you your dog will get around just fine .Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


angie ashbourne profile image

angie ashbourne 4 years ago

Hi! kashmir56 Beautiful and inspirational story. Looking at the photos - Marsha and Tanya look-a-like. Vote up.

Angie


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi angie nice to see you,glad to hear you enjoyed reading this hub about my beautiful Tanya . And i think you are right Marsha and Tanya do look very much alike .Thanks so much for stopping by and to for you nice comments !


Kansas Cowgirl 4 years ago

I am most impressed with what I have read. I have an Old English Mastiff that has been going blind for about a year now (due to diabetes). I have a very large yard, very properly fenced. She is an indoor dog unless I am at home and always has been. She finds her way around the house just fine unless I move furniture to vacumn. She does 'BUMP INTO THINGS' if they have been moved around. That includes things outside, such as mowers, vehicles, etc. I would like to also note that not only do they (the dogs) function with scent, and hearing, I believe they feel vibrations. She knows my footsteps. She can tell when I change shoes or boots and seems to know whether I am going outside to feed horses, take a shower or I'm leaving for work. It is amazing what you can learn if you pay attention and 'read' your animal.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Kansas Cowgirl nice to see you, yes dog are so smart and if you put in the time they will learn anything you want to teach them. And i think you may be right, they may even feel vibrations around them and can determine what it is as well. It sounds like your dog has the inside of your house memorized already and is only bump into things if you move something.I wish you much luck with your dog and enjoy his/her companionship for years to come. I just lost my beautiful dog in March and do miss her much, you can read about that in the hub Escape To The Other Side. Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Tom, I love your dog Tanya! She is so cute! Thank you for taking good cae of her and for not using her "handicapp" against her! You are wonderful! Voting this up and sharing!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi iamaudraleigh nice to see you, glad you enjoyed reading this hub about my Tanya, she was one awesome dog and friend . Thanks for your vote up and sharing, also thanks for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


Olde Cashmere profile image

Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

Your dog is a champion and you have a heart of Gold being there for Tanya. This was such a heartwarming read kashmir, you are amazing. Voted up, beautiful, and awesome :)


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Olde Cashmere, thanks for your kind words, i know some people might put a dog to sleep if they were blind but that was never a option for me. With a little work and time she was able to find her way around the house and yard,and find her way back. After that i never worried about her, she was one amazing dog . Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments ! Also thanks for the Voted up, beautiful, and awesome !


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

She's such a pretty dog. We had one that looked like but she was black. My brother-in-law had a blind dog. She learned to get around. They had to block things so she couldn't get out to the pool area. Voted up and more.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi moonlake nice to see you, Yes my beautiful dog Tanya was a good and smart dog and i just helped her to get around so she could live life out and not be stumble around all the time . Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Tanya was a very special dog, and very well loved. God Bless You my friend.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Stars nice to see you, yes you are right my beautiful Tanya was a very special dog and i did love her has much as she loved me ! Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments ! GBY !


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa

hello Kasmir my friend...what a wonderful hub this is, i used to have a totally blind kitten, and i learned a lot from her. she had such a huge appetite for life! we had just moved in to a new trailer and i kept her in my room. the room was cluttered with boxes and such in the beginning, but that never bothered her. she would race around the room, go flying up to the top of the highest box and wrestle with the other cats, never worrying about whether she might fall off or not. sometimes she did fall, sometimes she would leap off the box to go racing around the room again. she loved to play with toys, especially noisy ones. like your dog, she now relied on smell and hearing to replace her sight. your dog was very beautiful. thank you for taking such good care of her and allowing her to live a full and happy life. voted up and SHARED.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi my friend nice to see you, thanks for sharing that wonderful story about your cat. Also nice to hear you have enjoyed this hub about my blind dog, in March of this year at age fifteen she passed away from old age. Thanks so much for the voted up and SHARED ! Also thanks for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Sorry that you no longer have your beautiful dog Tanya with you. Her handicap of being blind did not affect the obvious affection between you and it is wonderful to hear how you and she adapted. She is now up in doggie heaven and will be waiting for you to rejoin her. I truly believe that we are not the only ones who deserve to go to heaven! Up votes and sharing.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Peggy nice to see you, thanks so much for your kind words, i do still miss Tanya a lot and know she is playing with her best friend and playmate Pumpkin......see the hub Escape to the Other Side and you will understand that. It would be nice someday to see all my dogs again, hope i do ! Thanks so much for the vote up and share ! Also thanks for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


jessefutch profile image

jessefutch 4 years ago from North Carolina

My neighbor has a blind dog. I think she's older than twenty! She is deaf to boot! This dog amazes me every time I see her. She walks up and down stairs, smells her way to her food and water and still jumps on the bed and sleeps at their feet at night. One should never underestimate the strength and will for life to go on and even excel. Truly amazing story, excellent hub!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi jessefutch nice to see you, yes i agree that dog are so smart and they do not depend on their eyes but more on their nose to get them around. So that is why your neighbor's dog and my dog could get around when they are blind. Glad you enjoyed reading this hub ! Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Up and awesome ... a lovely story. Animals and people are amazing at adapting!!

Shared and tweeted (as Pinterest seems to be blocked).


iefox5 profile image

iefox5 4 years ago

Sweet and warm! Wish your cute dog a better life.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Brett nice to see you, yes i do agree that dogs are very amazing and with the help from people can adapted to even overcoming their blindness . Thanks so much for the up and awesome and shared and tweeted! Also thanks for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi iefox5 nice to see you, Glad to hear you found this hub sweet and warm. Thanks for your wishes for my dog Tanya to have a better life, she has had a better and a full life up in till March of this year when she passed away from old age. Thanks so much for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


Lady Wolfs 4 years ago

kashmir56 - That is great what you did for your dog. Dogs have such an unconditional love for their owners. They are very smart and know that you care about them. Sorry to hear about your loss. Really sad when they experience health problems. It is never easy to lose a pet. Thank you for sharing your story. Nice hub.

Voted up, useful and beautiful!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Lady Wolfs nice to see you, thanks for your kind words. Dogs are sometimes smarter than some people and can adapt if they lose their sight or hearing. My beautiful Tanya just got very old those last few months and peacefully pass on.......she is missed. Thanks so much for your vote up and useful and beautiful! Also thanks for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Hi kashmir56,

We forget that even the smallest animal needs love and care, it is an amazing story you have here. Your dog must be very happy and proud to have a caring and patient master. I enjoyed reading this, it is awesome. Voted up.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi dwachira nice to see you my friend ! So glad you have enjoyed this story of my dog Tanya. But i must tell you that my dog Tanya has passed away this March at the age of 15. But she was very happy and loving because she could still find her way around the house and yard. Thanks so much for your vote up ! Also thanks for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

Our dog is blind. This article is comforting and encouraging. We have been slowly trying to help her learn how to get around. Thanks for this article. Up and awesome.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi my friend KoffeeKlatch Gals nice to see you, hope this article will help you to help your dog to get around better. Hang in there and good things will happen. Thanks so much for the up and awesome ! Also thanks for stopping by and to for your nice comments !


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 10 months ago from the short journey

Thanks for sharing how you responded to your dog's situation so others can know that it is well worth the effort to spend a little time working with a newly blinded dog!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 10 months ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi RTalloni and thanks it was well worth the effort and it helped her to live out the rest of her life being able to get around on her own . Thanks so much for stopping by and for your nice comments !

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